New analysis by the Labour Party has exposed that the number of Bradford pupils starting secondary school this September who weren’t given a place at any of their parents’ top three choices of schools compared with last year has increased sharply.
The figures show that Bradford has far more pupils in this situation than any other authority in Yorkshire and Humber. 663 Bradford pupils were not allocated a place at any of their parents’ top three places, the sixth highest figure in the country, and a 29 per cent increase on the previous year.
The figures come as David Cameron announces the creation of another 18 free schools in other parts of the country, spending yet more of the Department for Education’s budget without doing anything ease pressure on school places in areas like Bradford.
Although Bradford’s numbers are much higher than other areas of Yorkshire, the percentage increase is lower than some neighbouring authorities – Leeds, for example, saw the number of pupils not allocated a place at any of their top three choices more than double, from 152 to 390 – still only about half the figure for Bradford.
Bradford South MP Judith Cummins said:
“These numbers are deeply concerning – too many of my constituents in South Bradford, and across our district, are being let down by this Tory government .
“Despite David Cameron repeatedly saying that parental choice was one of his priorities, far too many parents are missing out on getting their child into their first choice school and the number not being allocated any of their top three choices is unacceptable. Local Authorities are being left in an impossible position by a government sitting back doing nothing about rising populations and ever-increasing pressures on school places.
“Even worse, rather than addressing the shortages of school places and teachers in places like Bradford, David Cameron is instead persisting with his pet project of free schools which only serves to further drain resources away from us, making the situation worse.
“This is yet more evidence that the Conservative government’s education reforms are failing to deliver. It’s another broken promise by David Cameron and it is Bradford parents and children suffering the consequences.”