School places in West Northamptonshire: The hardest secondary schools to get into in 2023

Three quarters of pupils across West Northamptonshire were admitted to their first choice secondary school for the 2023/24 academic year

Three-quarters of pupils in West Northamptonshire were admitted to their first-choice secondary school, new figures show.

The Association of School and College Leaders said the rising number of secondary school pupils is putting pressure on applications, especially in more affluent areas that have schools with good or outstanding Ofsted ratings.

Department for Education figures show 4,664 children applied for a place at a secondary school in West Northamptonshire for the 2023-24 academic year.

Of them, 3,538 (75.9 percent) were admitted to their first choice, while 4,357 (93.4 percent) received a place from at least one school in their top three choices.

Nationally, 82.6 percent of secondary school applicants received an offer from their first choice for 2023-24 – down from 83.3 percent the year before – while the proportion securing a place from any of their favoured schools fell slightly from 95.8 percent in 2022-23 to 95.6 percent.

Geoff Barton, general secretary of the ASCL, said the slight fall in pupils receiving their first offer could be due to the rising number of applications – some 619,991 pupils applied for a secondary school place for 2023-24, the highest number since records began in 2014-15.

But in West Northamptonshire, the total number of applications fell. Despite this, the proportion of children receiving their first choice also decreased.

Mr Barton said: "The rising number of secondary-age pupils is putting additional pressure on places, particularly in schools located within affluent areas that have an outstanding or good Ofsted rating.

"Conversely, there are other schools in more challenging circumstances in other areas that are stigmatised by negative Ofsted ratings and are struggling to recruit pupils to fill their place numbers.

"It is an absolutely ridiculous situation, and the Government should focus more on investing the money and support that is needed to ensure every community has good school places on their doorstep."

Here are the secondary schools in West Northamptonshire which were hardest to get into, based on Department of Education figures showing the proportion of families putting it as their first choice who were successful in getting a place: