Sutton has the third-highest first-preference rate for secondary school places in London, with almost 80 per cent of families receiving their first choice of school for their child. That’s well above the London average of 68.52 per cent.
Sutton has once again achieved one of the best rates overall, with the percentage of families receiving one of their top-three preferences increasing to 94.5 per cent – up 1.5 per cent from 2015 and almost six percentage points above the London average of 88.64 per cent.
Almost all Sutton families (97.5 per cent) now receive a preferred secondary school for their child – which is almost four percentage points above the London average of 93.88 per cent.
Parents in the borough were told this week which secondary schools had made offers of places for their children for the September 2016 intake. In addition to Sutton’s 80 per cent first preference being much higher than most of the rest of London it was also an impressive 5 per cent rise on the number of pupils who got their first preference school in 2015.
These results are all the more impressive because of the high standard of Sutton schools, and the demand for places. The borough’s secondary schools are officially ranked as being among the best in England for teaching and exam results. In 2015, the proportion of Sutton students scoring 5 or more A* to C grades including English and Maths was 76.9 per cent, well above the 2014 national average of 53.4 per cent. Across the borough, 83.5 per cent of pupils achieved five or more GCSEs.
Almost two-thirds (65.1 per cent) of students across the borough achieved the highest A-Level A* and B grades in 2015 and the percentage of Sutton students achieving an A-Level pass grade (A* to E) increased to 99.7 per cent from 98.5 per cent in 2014. This was above the UK average as, across all UK students, the proportion achieving A* to E was 98.1 per cent.
The small minority of families without a preference school offer are being advised to reconsider all local schools and add these to their applications before further offers are made later this month.
Cllr Wendy Mathys, Liberal Democrat Chair of Sutton Council’s Children, Family and Education Committee, said: “We are delighted that preference offers for Sutton residents this year are once again well above the London average, and are some of the highest across the capital.
“We have worked hard with our secondary schools to plan for and provide additional places in Sutton’s excellent schools so that 79.67 per cent of Sutton’s pupils getting an offer for their first preference school, up from last year’s figure of 75 per cent. This is a tremendous achievement.
“Sutton has an increasing population of children who have reached or are nearing secondary school age and demand continues to increase for secondary school places due to the excellent schools we have in Sutton, which make our borough an increasingly popular place to live and raise a family.”
Of 2,238 resident applications only 14 children have no offer at the first stage of allocations while 41 children have received offers from non-preferred schools. All 55 children could have received a Sutton school offer had they named eligible schools.
The only London boroughs to rank above Sutton for first preference places are Waltham Forest (81.19 per cent) and Havering (80.84 per cent). The percentage of first-preference places in neighbouring boroughs Kingston upon Thames was 75.95 per cent, Richmond upon Thames 67.16 per cent, Croydon 67.11 per cent and Merton 65.0 per cent.