Over 13% miss out on their first choice of Wilmslow High School


As reported last month, Cheshire East Council offered first preference places to 94 per cent of secondary school applicants this year.

This is more than 0.5 per cent up on last years figure and 10.86 per cent better than the 2017 national average of 83.5 per cent.

However, of the total number who requested Wilmslow High School as their first choice only 86.7%% were successful, with 50 students losing out.

Wilmslow High School had 330 places to allocate for the academic year beginning September 2018 but the total number of applications for places at the school was 558.

Of the 330 places allocated, 325 went to those who made Wilmslow High their first choice.

A total of 81 second preference requests were made for the school and 60 third choice requests.

The school borders other local authorities and in total there were 97 applications from people living outside of Cheshire East.

Due to the high number of applications in the north of the borough, a decision was taken by Cheshire East Council to request admission to some schools above the Published Admission Number. Wilmslow High School was one of these schools and as a result 330 places have been allocated, rather than the Published Admission Number of 300.

Wilmslow High School


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

Friday 9th March 2018 at 2:26 pm
So a whole form - 30 students - was taken above their allocated number and still 50 students did not get a place. Also this is before Appeals so you can reckon that typically another 6/7 will be taken. Presumably those who didn't get a place will be allocated one at Poynton - again with no bus route there.
Emma Arkelaos
Friday 9th March 2018 at 2:36 pm
It is worth adding the intake for Knutsford High is 262, they had a published PAN of 180
Simon Worthington
Friday 9th March 2018 at 3:36 pm
Simple answer. Length of time living in the catchment area as the main criteria. Should hinder a few sales of "desperately" needed 4/5 bed houses.
A blind man with his head ** *** **** could have seen this coming. But our glorious council didn't. Not fit for purpose. Out May 2019.
Jon Armstrong
Friday 9th March 2018 at 5:58 pm
The statistics as given don't actually show a problem. It is a good school so you would expect it to be over subscribed. That's why nearly 100 of the kids who didn't get in don't even live in Cheshire East, and to be honest I can't get too upset they didn't get in.

They key piece of information missing is how close to WHS do the kids live who didn't get in. Again, if they live a long way away and nearer other schools I'm not too worried about that either.

If kids who live in Wilmslow didn't get in that's a problem. But we don't know that from the information given. The only part that can be supported by the statistics given is that it is attracting a large number of applicants who don't live near it at all.
Lisa Reeves
Friday 9th March 2018 at 6:05 pm
Hi Jon, In my FOI request I did ask - Where did the students who put Wilmslow School as their first preference but were not successful come from ?

In the past I have been provided with a list of where they have come from, i.e. the town or village, but this time the response was "Cheshire East Borough, a number of other UK Local Authorities and overseas".
Fiona Doorbar
Friday 9th March 2018 at 7:11 pm
Jon ...I have friends in Alderley whose child did not get into Wilmslow High a couple of years ago. I got my child in by the skin of our teeth just before our appeal date can up. If you live just outside a mile or so radius and perhaps your child is not in a WHS feeder primary (bear in mind that Wilmslow primary schools are also full to capacity in most instances!) then you have a problem getting a place. This nightmare has been going on for years and needs to be sorted out as all the new housing will only compound it. It is very stressful for both the child and parent/s at a most sensitive time of transitioning schools.
Friday 9th March 2018 at 7:36 pm
Jon- The PAN is the maximum number that the local authority will admit for each year group. There is also an over subscription criteria and it is defined how this is applied.
Emma Arkelaos
Friday 9th March 2018 at 9:11 pm

This shows the allocation of places for all secondary schools. As you can see the distance for Wilmslow is 0.7mikes as crow flies from the schools entrance
Saturday 10th March 2018 at 9:00 am
Distance is only one of the factors. On distance it would rule out anyone at Dean Row, Stanneylands and all those who travel up by train from Handforth and those brought in from Alderley Edge especially if they have not attended a feeder school.

There should clearly be another school being planned for Handforth and Handforth Dean in partnership with Stockport because of its proximity to Heald Green etc.
Roger Bagguley
Saturday 10th March 2018 at 10:22 am
After a very long drawn out and expensive process the Local Plan has provided land for a very ambitious growth in jobs and population for Wilmslow and immediate surrounding areas. The High School has been over subscribed for years. An extra class will be added again this September by shuffling things around. During the Local Plan public hearings sessions and supported by Mr Pratt, Goverment Inspector, RoW asserted an extra 1000 secondary school places are required within the Plan period. CEC planners thought it more like 720. Whatever, an extended Wilmslow High School, or a new school at Handforth is required on land already allocated in the Local Plan.
It is a no brainer so why the delay?

There is allocated land currently owned by Royal London that will afford an extended Wilmslow High School and land owned by CEC in Handforth. If our council aspires to rapid growth it needs to grasp the compulsory purchase nettle and put in the required infrastructure to support its ambitions in advance of need. I would have thought this is what Local Planning is all about.

Clearly CEC is hedging on how to provide
for secondary education. Out of the blue the idea of creating a Federated Academy has been brought forward bringing under one management the
High School and all feed primaries. How this resolves the numbers issue is a bit of a mystery but what it does do is pass on the problem from CEC to an Academy provider.
Manuel Golding
Monday 12th March 2018 at 1:31 pm
Agree totally with Roger above.
Residents of Wilmslow (RoW) has for the past five (5) years or more, since the advent of the
so called Wilmslow Vision (more like a nightmare, as we see clearly illustrated above allied to the car parking chaos around Wlm), repeatedly asked Cheshire East;s leadership & planners to address the mounting problem of infrastructure. The areas we were and still are very concerned about are inadequate school places, both primary & senior, medical services, road congestion, parking facilities and other areas and all BEFORE the many hundreds of new houses around the town are even under construction. The current situation can only get worse with time and further development.
CECs answer to our often expressed concerns has ALWAYS been the same - we, CEC, will look at these areas when or as they occur. Well they have occurred, they are with us now long before the new developments. With CEC not really addressing the problems the infrastructure or what there is of it, can and will get decidedly worse.
We have to bear in mind that WHS caters not only for Wlm's children (or some of them) but it also is the school for Alderley's and Handforth's children.
Our council is betraying our children and yet we do bot hear a peep from the town's CE Conservative councillors on this issue. We know that RoWs Cllr Toni Fox has sought to address the issue but without a magic wand she is a lone Wilmslow voice.
Emma Ferguson
Monday 12th March 2018 at 2:44 pm
My son didn’t get a place at Wilmslow High School. We live 1 mile from the school , as the crow flies and have done for 14 years. He is a pupil at Mottram St Andrew Primary Academy because he didn’t get a place at his catchment Primary school which is Alderley Edge , and was our 1st choice and our 2nd was Ashdene which we also didn’t get....so this schooling issue is historic for us. My son has friends who live further from the school who have been awarded a place and another in rented accommodation, who have also gained a place. This situation is unbelievably stressful for us . It seems incredibly unfair and we have a younger daughter whom will also ultimately be penalised for not attending a feeder school through no fault of our own.
Roger Bagguley
Monday 12th March 2018 at 6:17 pm
Emma. Thank you for witnessing your first hand experience re WHS. Fiona too who wrote about her problems last year. Failure to achieve WHS as first choice is indeed historic and can only get worse unless decisions are made and the required infrastructure put on place.

Be assured RoW independents will continue to push and probe to get to the bottom of why Wilmslow people have to put up with so many infrastructure related problems. It has to change and this will only happen if next year Indepenent candidates get the peoples' vote.
Fiona Doorbar
Monday 12th March 2018 at 7:37 pm
Emma , you are one of the many,many unfortunate families that go through this every year. We were one of the lucky few that got in at the 11th hour! I do hope that you received the transport grant for your rejected son as you really need to push to get that offered. I totally empathise with the trauma you will have gone through and have to endure again. Places do come up mid year at WHS if you are prepared to move your eldest in order for the youngest to gain an automatic place (just a thought) ...keep trying if you want that local school place. My heart goes out to you n urs x
Tony Haluradivth
Monday 12th March 2018 at 7:40 pm
And yet we are told that we are nimbies by loudmouthed (professional) activists & politicians and we are called selfish if we oppose badly thought out planning decisions foisted upon us.....
Pete Taylor
Monday 12th March 2018 at 9:31 pm
Only last week CEC were telling us how good they were at getting kids into their local schools:
Manuel Golding
Tuesday 13th March 2018 at 11:23 am
Tony, may I correct your assumption that CE actually "thinks through its planning decisions". It doesn't "think through" as far as the consequences of its decision making goes. My heart goes out to Emma and her son and to all the other parents who live locally but are denied places at WHS. All due to lack of care & planning by CEC.

Infrastructure planning is ALWAYS a very late afterthought with CEC - see its lack of planning for Adlington Road & Stanneylands Road, and then we get the disgraceful lack of uncoordinated forethought re school places, medical services etc.

As for school places, all councils should know at least 5 years from a child's birth (all births are recorded as a public record) that a place needs to be provided (and that's before incomers arrive). Therefore the lack of places is not an unseen event, simply a woeful lack of fore-planning and worse of all, unconcern for our children's future well-being.

This lack of concerned planning is yet another reason CEC needs a massive shake out and this is why the borough's voters need to seriously consider voting for independent candidates in 2019 - Residents of Wilmslow (independent) is planning to field a number of our candidates at that time, a free, independent voice for Wilmslow and the borough.

If you would care to join us please call 07930 377778 or 07846 082660 for more info.
Christine Miri
Thursday 15th March 2018 at 9:29 pm
My daughter has not got a place, Wilmslow is her 1st choice, we live in catchment but not in a feeder school. 1.8 miles as the crow flies. There are so many plans for new homes in Handforth and yet no provisions for School. It’s very stressful at a time when children should be looking forward to going to High school.
Fiona Doorbar
Friday 16th March 2018 at 8:52 am
Christine , I was in the exact same position a few years ago. There is lots of info online that will help you in putting together your appeal. Don't panic, find out what number you are on the list of places and check in with them regularly.....try and stay focused and don't get too emotional (which is hard , I know , but try).....and finally, be honest with your daughter. My heart goes out to you.. Good luck