“We are pleased that more families have been given their first preference school place than last year. The percentage of secondary school first preference offers is the highest rate for five years. This is quite an achievement in terms of place planning given that it comes in the context of rising pupil numbers in secondary schools.
“However, we know that it is very disappointing for families when they do miss out on the school place they want. The answer is for the government to ensure that schools which face the greatest challenges are better resourced and supported so that every community has access to good school places on their doorstep. The government’s obsession with a punitive inspection system and performance tables serves only to stigmatise these schools and make improvement harder to secure.”