94 per cent given first choice school

Dan Berry, St George's School, Marton headtecher.
Dan Berry, St George's School, Marton headtecher.
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ALMOST all Fylde coast pupils are set to start at the high school of their choice this September.

In Blackpool, 94 per cent of Year Six pupils will go to their chosen secondary school while 93 per cent will do so in Wyre and Fylde.

It is expected almost all high schools will see less than capacity year groups though, due to a smaller population of the current Year Six.

Around 1,506 children will start Year Seven in Blackpool schools this year, compared to 1,621 back in 2010.

Highfield Humanities College was oversubscribed for places, with 257 applications for the 224 places.

Its new £22m building, unveiled in September, was one selling point for the school off Highfield Road, South Shore.

Headteacher Ian Evans said: “We’re pleased we’re full on first preferences and we think the new building has had a part to play with that, but we try to show what we do in school rather than just the buildings.”

New facilities have also been a selling point for St Mary’s Catholic College, on St Walburga’s Road, Blackpool.

Stephen Tierney, headteacher at the school, said: “I think people look at the academic standards for the school, the reputation the school has for pastoral care, and I’m hoping the buildings have helped too.”

St George’s CE School continues to be oversubscribed, with more than 200 people consistently applying for its 190 places each year.

Dan Berry, headteacher at the school on Cherry Tree Road, said: “To be full in a low [population] time is brilliant.”

As outlined by Blackpool Council when it announced proposals to merge Bispham and Collegiate High Schools last year, these schools have seen lower numbers of applications.

Collegiate, on Blackpool Old Road, will welcome just 47 Year Seven pupils in September, despite its 180 year group capacity.

Coun Sarah Riding, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for education and schools, said: “I hope that all children are happy with the choice of school picked out for them, where they will be able to get a good education, as well as making lifelong friends and growing as a young adult.”

In Fylde low numbers of applications also reflect lower population levels but schools say they remain confident they prove popular.

Patrick Earnshaw, headteacher of Carr Hill High School, Kirkham, said: “The figures show Carr Hill has never been more strongly supported by its local community.”

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