|Ealing Criticised Over School Places|
But Council say they are meeting growing demand
A third of children in Ealing didn't get their first choice of High School this year and 1 in 15 haven't been allocated any of their preferences.
The figures for each borough have been released by London Councils (pdf), which represents London's local authorities.
A spokesperson said: "London's education system has seen a significant rise in demand for school places, as pupil numbers have grown at a faster rate in the capital than any other region.''
This year (2014) in Ealing:
The figures have been slammed by the Liberal Democrat prospective parliamentary candidate for Ealing Central & Acton, Cllr Jon Ball. He said:
''It's simply not good enough that over a third of Ealing children didn't get offered places at their first choice of secondary school and 1 in 15 children in Ealing didn't get a place at any of their first six choices - making Ealing the eight worst Council in London.
''Ealing's Labour administration has recognised the shortage of places but has been too slow to address this, leaving thousands of local parents and children disappointed. The Council needs to get on with building new primary and secondary schools to address the 630 places shortfall for each school year it projects by 2019."
Ealing Council has dismissed his criticism as inaccurate and say that since 2010 £65.58million has been invested just in High Schools, and a further £16million will be invested from 2014.
Cabinet member for children and young people, Cllr Jasbir Anand said:
"We have invested £160m in new schools places over the last four years and there are sufficient places to more than meet demand at the moment, all on time applications were offered a place and we have some vacancies.
''We know in the future there will be a shortfall if we don't act. However it is the Government's job to provide councils with enough resources to meet demand. This current coalition government has a shameful record of failure on school places. It's only because of this Labour council stepping in to meet demand that we have enough places this year.
'' Cllr Ball's criticism is particularly hypocritical because he is campaigning to be elected to a Government that has indulged in vanity projects like free schools rather than allocated London councils enough money to meet demand."
Did your child get the school place they wanted? Discuss on the forum.
The council say '' You are strongly advised to accept the place offered until you have secured a place at an alternative school. If you decline the place it will be offered to another child and you will not be able to change your mind at a later date and keep the place – your only option will be to join the waiting list.
''You will automatically stay on the waiting list for any higher preference school/s for which you applied and can add additional or replacement preferences to a maximum of six including the offer you have accepted.''
5th March 2014