Sussex

'Quick decisions' over Brighton and Hove primary places

School children
Image caption The council said making long-term predictions of pupil numbers was "impossible"

"Quick decisions" have been taken to establish two more reception classes in Hove, the education authority has said.

Extra classes have been created at Davigdor Infants' School and St Andrews Church of England Primary School, Brighton and Hove City Council said.

The council said there had been more pressure than expected on schools in central and western areas of the city.

It said quick decisions were needed because making exact predictions of pupil numbers had been "impossible".

The council said the timetable for allocating school places was set by the government, Church schools allocations were known two weeks before allocations were sent out, and the city had a high number of people on short-term tenancies.

It said many of those people changed their address at short notice, or were often not registered with a local GP - which made it impossible to predict exact pupil numbers.

'Positive response'

Councillor Sue Shanks, cabinet member for children and young people, said: "The decisions to create these new classes have had to be taken quickly, but were made after full consideration of the situation."

She said both schools responded positively to the situation.

The education authority had a total of 2,899 reception age applications across the city this year, compared with 2,707 last year.

This year, 2,399 pupils were allocated their first school preference, 251 received their second choice, 103 were given their third choice, and 149 - 5.03% of the total - did not receive any of their top three preferred schools.

Last year, 2,153 were given their first school preference, 201 received their second choice, 102 were given their third choice, and 199 - 7.36% of the total - did not get any of their top three choices.

The council said families who did not get any of their top three preferences were directed to schools with spare places nearest their homes.

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