The anxious wait for news of secondary school places is almost over for pupils and parents.

On Monday 3rd March, parents of pupils transferring to secondary school in September 2008 will receive an allocation letter from Gloucestershire County Council. All parents throughout the county will be offered one school place on the same day. Gloucestershire parents will have until 20th March to return their reply form.

Every letter will be specific for each pupil and will contain an explanation for the decision made. Further clarification about general issues can be found on the county council’s website

Samantha Budd, Senior Access Manager, said; “This is always a stressful time for pupils and parents but our Access to Education Team have worked very hard to try to ensure that as many pupils as possible get one of their preferences. This year, at this stage, 94.6% have received one of their preferred places, and 83.8% have been offered their first preference. This has been a huge exercise with places for 7,212 pupils having been allocated out of the 8,868 available. This includes 403 who are coming into Gloucestershire from other authorities.”

“I would encourage parents to complete and return their reply forms as soon as possible, but definitely by 20th March. We anticipate that most parents will be happy with the place offered to them. For those who aren’t happy, I would urge them not to panic and to keep their allocated place as this will ensure that, whatever the outcome, their child will have a place at a school.”

If parents ask for their child’s allocation to be reconsidered, the parent can request for their child to be placed on the waiting list for the school(s). If places then become available, they will be allocated in strict accordance with the published admissions criteria for the school. The admission criteria and more information about waiting lists for every school in Gloucestershire is contained within the Guide for Parents and Carers Secondary Transfer 2008, which parents received in September last year.

Further copies can be obtained by ringing the Access to Education Team on 01452 425407/8 or downloading a copy from the website

The Access to Education Team will write to parents with the result of the reconsideration after 31st March 2008. Parents who are still not satisfied with their allocated school will be advised of the appeals procedure.

Councillor Joan Nash, Cabinet Member for Schools, said: “Starting the next phase of education at secondary school is a big step and I wish all pupils and parents well for this exciting time ahead.”

Source: Gloucestershire County Council