EXCLUSIVE: Race for a Place: How oversubscribed are the schools in your area?

By Mark Magill & Claire Miller & Carlos Novoa

Two-thirds of parents didn't get their first choice of a place at one Bristol school this year - use our interactive to find out how oversubscribed your local school is.

Exclusive figures show just 33% of those who put Bristol Cathedral Choir School as their first choice secondary secured a place for this September.

The school had 2.5 first preference applications for each of the 147 places offered - 369 in total. Of those who put the school as their first pick, only 120 were successful.

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Including second and third preferences, there were 8.7 applications for each offered place, with 19 second preferences and eight third preferences getting a place. If you want to know how many applications there were for a place at a school in your area, you can use our interactive to explore how successful people applying were this September.

Colston's Girls' School was the next hardest secondary to get into locally, with just 37% of those who put it as a first preference getting a place.

There were 2.2 first preferences for the school, a total of 298, for each of its 133 places offered. Cathedral Primary School was the hardest primary school to secure a place at locally. The school had 1.8 first preferences for each of the 58 places offered, with just 50% of those who put the school as their first choice getting a place.

Overall, the primary school was put down as a preference 237 times, with four second and no third preferences being successful. Whitehall Primary School saw 159 first preferences for 88 places offered - 1.8 per place - with just 55% of parents who put it as a first choice being offered a place.

With children returning to school for the new year, applications for places for those set to start primary or secondary school next September are starting to open.

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The application deadline for applying for a secondary place is October 31, while it is January 15, 2022, for primary applications. Beaumont Primary School in Croydon is the toughest primary school in England to get a place at. Just 23% of those who put it as a first preference secured a place in 2021. That was down from a 26% success rate in 2020, when it was also the toughest primary to get into.

It had 133 first preferences - 4.4 for each of the 30 places offered - and 14.5 preferences per place in total. The Royal School in Wolverhampton was the hardest secondary school to get into, with just 10% of those who put it as a first preference getting a place.

Competition has also got tougher compared to 2020, when 12% of first preferences secured a place.

There were 8.4 first preferences, a total of 219, for each of its 26 places offered.

Overall there were 34.2 preferences for each place for children starting this September.

The data from the Department for Education is based on figures from National Offers Day, so data held directly by individual schools may differ, for example, because late applications were included.

[Schools with lowest proportion of successful first preferences]

School name // Type // LA // total number of places offered // number of 1st preferences // % 1st pref // 1st preferences to places // all preferences // All preferences to places

Bristol Cathedral Choir School // Secondary // Bristol City of // 147 // 369 // 32.5 // 2.5 // 1273 // 8.7

Colston's Girls' School // Secondary // Bristol City of // 133 // 298 // 37.2 // 2.2 // 732 // 5.5

Cathedral Primary School // Primary // Bristol City of // 58 // 107 // 50.5 // 1.8 // 237 // 4.1

Whitehall Primary School // Primary // Bristol City of // 88 // 159 // 54.7 // 1.8 // 313 // 3.6

Brentry Primary School // Primary // Bristol City of // 30 // 54 // 55.6 // 1.8 // 135 // 4.5

Victoria Park Primary School // Primary // Bristol City of // 58 // 96 // 58.3 // 1.7 // 247 // 4.3

St Mary Redcliffe and Temple School // Secondary // Bristol City of // 207 // 297 // 61.6 // 1.4 // 687 // 3.3

Redland Green School // Secondary // Bristol City of // 223 // 344 // 61.6 // 1.5 // 859 // 3.9

Hillcrest Primary School // Primary // Bristol City of // 59 // 92 // 63 // 1.6 // 165 // 2.8

Bristol Free School // Secondary // Bristol City of // 223 // 257 // 65.4 // 1.2 // 567 // 2.5

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