Nearly 20% miss out on their first choice primary school

Earlier this month children were allocated a primary school place and figures obtained via a Freedom of Information Request show that nearly 20% of local children did not receive their first choice.

Across Cheshire East there were 4110 applications this year, of which 90.17% (3706) received first preference offers. This is slightly down on last year when 90.49% were successful in their first choice.

129 Cheshire East residents (3.14%) did not receive one of their three preferences, compared with 122 (3.05%) in 2014.

I requested the figures for just Wilmslow and Alderley Edge but apparently the Council does not record this information at a local level.

However, using the Wilmslow High School catchment area, which includes Alderley Edge, they confirmed that 404 primary applications are recorded from residents living in this area and 325 were offered their first choice.

Meaning that 80.4% of parents in the local area received their first choice of primary school.

Cheshire East Council


Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Toni Fox
Wednesday 29th April 2015 at 1:53 pm
I recall this article from March 2014:

"Wilmslow High School has filled all 315 Year 7 places, for pupils starting in September 2014, and has had to reject 152 applicants. This is the highest number of unsuccessful applicants across the whole borough, followed by Poynton High School and Performing Arts College who received 310 applications for 246 places."

Despite the proposals in Conservative Cheshire East Councils Local Plan for literally thousands of new houses in Handforth, Wilmslow and Alderley Edge there is no mention of the provision of new schools, either primary or secondary - not even for the North Cheshire Growth Village!

If local schools are already oversubscribed where do the incumbent Conservative councillors who voted for this Local Plan suggest they go for their education?
Manuel Golding
Wednesday 29th April 2015 at 3:37 pm
I trust all our Conservative Cheshire East councillors now standing for re-election, including Councillors Menlove, Whiteley and Barton, and who voted to a man & woman to the Conservative Party "whip" in February 2014 (to approve the Council's Local Plan) took the then obvious lack of school places into account? It would appear not!
It should have been this very shortage of primary and secondary school places that was so glaringly obvious that would tell them they were doing the wrong thing!!!
But no, they blindly and so meekly kept to the party line, all voting in line with the Leadership's wishes, no one daring to say the emperor had no clothes.
Shame on them! Thus is the sort of representation Wilmslow and indeed Cheshire East, does not need.
This one action alone must be proof that these people do not represent their voters, only representing their party.
Unfortunately it is local youngsters and their families who are the victims of the Conservative councillors' myopia and sycophancy, following their leader like lemmings over the cliff.
Why did not even one of our Conservative councillor stand up at the vote and say "No"? Why did not even one councillor question the so glaringly obvious lack of school places
to cope with this situation?
Residents of Wilmslow has been questioning the council's lack of concern for our infrastructure, schools, medical & emergency services, roads etc. All it has focused on, aided by councillors, is inappropriate development - at any and all cost.
RoW puts People Before Party, always.
Here is yet just one more example to show these councillors are no longer the right people to represent the voters of Wilmslow. It is time for a change - VOTE for Residents of Wilmslow's Independent candidates at next week's Cheshire East elections, Toni FOX (Dean Row) and David JEFFERAY (East ward).
Mark Goldsmith
Wednesday 29th April 2015 at 4:02 pm
How long before Cheshire East claims we need more houses so all the extra teachers needed for our schools have somewhere to live?
Nick Jones
Wednesday 29th April 2015 at 4:03 pm
@ Toni and Manuel...... Well voiced..... I note a distinct absence of meaningful comment from current councillors..... maybe this would change if the were allowed to build further housing developments on the school playing fields ( as per their previous flawed whip decision)....... Their silence over that subject, Lyme Green and this issue says it all really.
I have spoken to teachers at the school who are very concerned at the over subscription and inability to now regularly accept siblings. Some resolution is required.
Martin Duguid
Wednesday 29th April 2015 at 10:25 pm
The lack of school places in Wilmslow is an outrage. My daughter and husband have decided not to buy in Wilmslow (much to our disappointment) because NOT ONE of their 3 young daughters could be guaranteed a place in ANY of the primary schools. How many other families are put off by this problem? I will certainly not be voting for ANY political party in the local elections - bring on the independents with no axe to grind.
Terry Roeves
Thursday 30th April 2015 at 8:59 am
I obtained figure for oversubscribed places from CEC, for Wilmslow High School for Sept 2014 entry. From memory it was 153.
I submitted the information as an objection to the planning application for 200+ houses on Adlington Rd.
A conservative chairman of the planning committee, when presented with 450 + objections cast his vote in favour.
So much for local democracy, the big society and common sense.
We now have houses being built for commuters into Manchester, Stockport and Trafford boroughs.
Today, empty housing figures were released for Manchester and Liverpool.
There are thousands in Manchester. Thousands can also be built on brown field sites in Manchester. It's NOT CEC's job to provide housing for adjacent boroughs.
Manchester etc should provide the funds to expand our schools, such as Oakdene. Oh, I forgot, the council sold off the land for housing.
David Nelson
Thursday 30th April 2015 at 9:14 am
Yes, yet another strong reason to ignore the conservative lemmings and go with Residents of Wilmslow. RoW needs its voice to be heard to make a difference; not just a difference, but a meaningful one.
Thursday 30th April 2015 at 9:58 am
"I requested the figures for just Wilmslow and Alderley Edge but apparently the Council does not record this information at a local level"

Have to say that this would be extremely unusual. All schools are told how many places, and for the council to arrive at an overall figure for the borough the statistics for all places and all applicants from each school have to be fed into the database. What we do know from Cheshire East's own documents is that in the south of the borough the schools were undersubscribed - hence most of the unhappy parents are likely to be in the North. Perhaps Cheshire East work on the assumption that parents living in the North of the borough can afford to send privately!
Sandra Cox
Thursday 30th April 2015 at 9:58 am
All the proposed new houses not only contribute to a crisis in school places but in medical facilities locally. How will Macclesfield and Stepping Hill Hospitals cope with the increased population from this area and our GP facilities will be dramatically overstretched? As Terry says all these issues were raised over and over again as objections to the 204 houses on Adlington Road, but were completely ignored by the conservatives when they voted in favour of the planning application. This lack of facilities may cause difficulties in selling these houses to people from outside this area as Martin Duguid has illustrated with his family's decision to live elsewhere.

The only hope Wilmslow and Handforth have is to vote for independent candidates who will listen to the electorate and care about this area.
Pete Taylor
Thursday 30th April 2015 at 10:09 am
From Stockport Metro Borough Council's objections to the (failed) CEC Local plan:

"SMBC also raises concern about CEC's commitment to deliver 500 homes during the plan period for High Peak Borough. Given that CEC cannot meet their own housing needs without releasing land from the Green Belt they question how CEC can justify accepting additional development on behalf of a neighbouring district."

This one seems to have been swept under the CEC carpet- another of Michael (no houses on these adlington Rd fields) Jones's big ideas. 500 houses allegedly needed by people in High Peak- what possible use could a house in Handforth be to someone in Chapel or Buxton?
Nick Jones
Thursday 30th April 2015 at 11:08 am
I dont believe there is any proposal to build 2ndry school at the Woodford development...More pressure on Schools..
Manuel Golding
Thursday 30th April 2015 at 2:08 pm
The more closely one looks at this outrageous disregard for the borough's youngsters, and their families, the worse it becomes.
Yesterday's Daily Telegraph suggests the national average of Year 7 intake is between 85% to 90% of children getting a place. Once again, Cheshire East has beaten the national average with just 80% of children managing to get their first choice in the Alderley/Wilmslow area.
What an indictment of both Cllr Michael Jones & his weak, cowardly, unthinking, unconcerned for their voters, vote-fodder Conservatives at CEC. They frighteningly believe that development of any & all kinds is the answer to all their prayers.
RoW has repeatedly made the point to the CEC leadership that future infrastructure is just not spelt out in any detail, including schools, in the Local Plan, just being a passing phrase or two.
The results are that the leadership and Conservative councillors move on to their utopian ideal, to the detriment of their constituents.
It is time for a fundamental change at CEC. Enough is enough!
Conservative councillors have clearly shown by their voting record on the discredited Local Plan, they are not fit for purpose, they are no longer fit to represent their constituents.
Wilmslow needs that change for the betterment of Wilmslow's residents and children.
VOTE for RoWs Independent candidates, Toni FOX (Dean Row) and David JEFFERAY (East ward), vote for independent thinking.
Dave Cash
Thursday 30th April 2015 at 6:46 pm
Other Independent candidates are available in other Wards!
Jack Pink
Thursday 30th April 2015 at 8:26 pm
We need more growth to support additional infrastructure and new schools
Pete Taylor
Thursday 30th April 2015 at 9:57 pm
"We need more growth to support additional infrastructure and new schools"


Or we could scrap HS2 and Trident... or simply instigate a fair tax system: the richest FIVE families in the UK have more wealth than the poorest 12 MILLION!
Manuel Golding
Friday 1st May 2015 at 11:43 am
Reference to Jack Pink's "We need more growth to support additional infrastructure and new schools."

The problem CEC has and particularly the Alderley/Wilmslow area is that the S106 monies are in the Council's coffers but it has failed to use them for schools and other infrastructure needs.
The infrastructure, including schools, need to be in place prior to any planned development, thus ensuring our children have a school to go to. Currently through lack of seeing birth rates. this gives the Council a 5 year period in which to act. Cllr Michael Jones preferrs to falsely blame "independents" and the council's own planners. There is no getting away from the recorded facts that it was the Conservative councillors who voted to a man/woman through the now discredited LP.

No point in having and or waiting for "the planned" growth before implementing infrastructure. Too late for the 5 year olds who cannot get their first choice school place.

Should the voters of both Dean Row and East wards elect RoWs candidates, they will see both Toni FOX and David JEFFERAY requiring the new council makes use of the S106 monies within this area.
Pamela Mack
Wednesday 6th May 2015 at 9:24 am
Its time we used our Vote if we want change and a candidate who cares about the Residents of Wilmslows views.
Simon Worthington
Friday 8th May 2015 at 8:26 am
This situation has been coming since our bright rulers decided to knock down a perfectly good school at Dean Row many years ago just as the "cookie cutter" estate at Summerfields got underway.
It seems beyond their imagination that, if you build houses, people with children may then buy them. All our schools are full to bursting and our high school has expanded from the 1500 it was intended for to well over 2000 with no intention to build another, yet plans are afoot to build in excess of 3000 homes in the vicinity. As our council/government is legally required to provide education is there anyone competent enough to address the issue before those homes are built.