Parents are being blamed for a rise in the number of children missing out on their school choice.

In 66 cases pupils missed out on all of their secondary school preferences, up from 58 last year.

But Brighton and Hove City Council has blamed parents for not putting down schools in their catchment area.

It said out of the 66 applicants who missed out not one had put their catchment area secondary school.

The council said in these instances pupils were offered places at the nearest schools to their home address that had spare spaces.

This year the number of applications for a secondary school place for September went down slightly, from 2,274 last year to 2,209 Preference In total 1,809 of pupils got their first preference, equating to 81.9% of applicants and almost identical to last year’s 81.7%.

There were 265 pupils who got their second preference (12%) and 69 got their third preference (3.12%).

Nearest school

The council’s cabinet member for children and young people Councillor Sue Shanks said: “Our catchment area system means that our young people are getting the chance to go to a school that’s near to them.

“Last year we had our best ever GCSE results, with Hove Park in particular showing a fantastic improvement.

“I know that all our schools work hard to help every child achieve so I am sure our children will receive a good education wherever they go to school.”

The creation of King’s School, the free school in Hove, is likely to have helped ease the strain on secondary school places.

St Aubyns

But there could be trouble in the offing with St Aubyns in Rottingdean possibly closing at the end of this academic year.

While it is expected the majority of prospective students to the £5,000 a year private school will try and get into other private establishments there is the possibility some will look to state education.

That will undoubtedly lead to additional pressure on secondary school places in the city.

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