Merton Council has provided a secondary school place for every child applying for a place in Merton from September 2016.Although Merton received more secondary school applications this year, more children were offered a high preference school than last year. Over 88.5% of children have been offered a place in one of their top three preferred schools with 65% receiving a place at their first preference.
Demand for secondary school places is forecast to rise further over the next few years as the higher numbers from primary school reach the first year of secondary school. The council is continuing to plan, following its successful £80 million primary school expansion programme.
Harris Merton is providing an additional 30 places this September, and a permanent expansion is being implemented which will enable it to provide 60 extra places in September 2017, totalling 300 places over the next five years.
Following agreement from the Secretary of State, the council is working closely with the Education Funding Agency to build a new secondary school in the Wimbledon area and is waiting on the Education Funding Authority to decide on the location of the new school.
The council continues to monitor the position closely before committing resources to further secondary school expansion, including special school provision.
Merton Council’s cabinet member for education Councillor Martin Whelton said: “I am proud that all our secondary schools are all rated good or Outstanding by Ofsted. That is testament to the hard work and commitment of our teaching staff, pupils and their families. As we see continued improvement in our schools as well as the additional classes that we have accommodated through our primary school expansion programme, we are planning a brand new secondary school in Merton. As the situation is fluid, we continue to review the number of children wanting a secondary school place in the borough so we can ensure there are enough places to meet demand in the future.”