Popular schools forced to turn away hundreds
THREE city schools have received hundreds more applications than available places for the second year running.
Trinity School, in Aspley, Bluecoat Academy, in Aspley, and Fernwood School, in Wollaton, are the most popular secondary schools in Nottingham, according to figures released by the city council.
Trinity, a Catholic school, received 548 applications for Year 7 places from September – but had only 165 available.
Bluecoat Academy received 922 applications for its 330 places, while Fernwood School had to turn down 342 of its 542 applicants.
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Trinity head teacher Mike McKeever says it demonstrates how his school's reputation is so important to prospective parents, but that he is always disappointed to turn down Catholic children.
He said: "We always get far more applications than we have spaces, which is down to our good reputation for discipline, uniform and attainment levels.
"But also this year we have seen a marked increase in the number of parents wanting places for their children based on our provision of music and sport.
"Our extra-curricular activities are appealing to parents and you can see this by how many of them want their children to come to Trinity."
Trinity missed out on a £16 million revamp under the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme, before it was scrapped by the Government.
Mr McKeever said: "We cannot increase our planned admission number because we just have not got the space. If we had got the BSF money, we would have been able to increase our intake to 200 a year, but that didn't happen.
"It is an insolvable problem in some ways. Our ideal situation would be to admit all children from our feeder primary schools."
He added that the school's governors had recently purchased land on Beechdale Road from the city council and were "looking into the possibility of using the land".
Parents were told at the beginning of this month whether or not they had been successful in getting their child into their preferred school.
Parents write down four schools on application forms. Across the city, 279 children did not get a place at any of their preferred schools but were given either a mandatory offer or asked to submit a new application.
The city council says it is looking into creating extra school spaces for children, with forecasts suggesting demand will increase.