School places in Manchester: 15 hardest secondary schools to get into in 2023

With A level and GCSE results days imminent, here are the most oversubscribed secondary schools in Manchester.

A level and GCSE results day are coming up and many parents of younger children will be looking at these to determine where they will apply to in the future. But sometimes, getting the school you want can be harder than expected.

Figures show that last year, three-quarters of pupils in Manchester were admitted to their first-choice secondary school.

The Association of School and College Leaders said the rising number of secondary school pupils is putting pressure on applications, especially in more affluent areas that have schools with good or outstanding Ofsted ratings.

Department for Education figures show 6,846 children applied for a place at a secondary school in Manchester for the 2023-24 academic year.

Of them, 5,234 (76.5%) were admitted to their first choice, while 6,398 (93.5%) received a place from at least one school in their top six choices.

Areas that allow children to select more than three preferred schools generally have a lower first-choice acceptance rate as parents tend to be a little more speculative with their applications.

Nationally, 82.6% of secondary school applicants received an offer from their first choice for 2023-24 – down from 83.3% the year before – while the proportion securing a place from any of their favoured schools fell slightly from 95.8% in 2022-23 to 95.6%.

Geoff Barton, general secretary of the ASCL, said the slight fall in pupils receiving their first offer could be due to the rising number of applications – some 619,991 pupils applied for a secondary school place for 2023-24, the highest number since records began in 2014-15.

In Manchester, the total number of applications rose as well. Meanwhile, the proportion of children receiving their first choice decreased, as would be expected.

Mr Barton said: "The rising number of secondary-age pupils is putting additional pressure on places, particularly in schools located within affluent areas that have an outstanding or good Ofsted rating.

"Conversely, there are other schools in more challenging circumstances in other areas that are stigmatised by negative Ofsted ratings and are struggling to recruit pupils to fill their place numbers.

"It is an absolutely ridiculous situation, and the Government should focus more on investing the money and support that is needed to ensure every community has good school places on their doorstep."

Here are the primary schools in Manchesterwhich were hardest to get into, based on DfE figures showing the proportion of families putting it as their first choice who were successful in getting a place.

Additional reporting by Andrew Dowdeswell, data reporter.

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