AROUND 1,500 prospective secondary school students in Hampshire missed out on their first choice school this year. 

Since 2014/15, the number of students achieving a place at their first choice has fallen from 95 per cent to 90 per cent in 2024/25. This now means out of 14,567 applicants, 1,457 students are missing out. 

However, in comparison to surrounding areas, Hampshire is outperforming acceptance in secondary schools by a wide margin.

For example, in Reading, the percentage of students being accepted to their first choice is 71 per cent. In Southampton and Portsmouth, the percentage stands around 81 per cent and 84 per cent respectively. 

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Primary schools have maintained a level of acceptance at 93 per cent (15,000) since 2021, which is similar to the rates in Reading, Southampton and Portsmouth. 

Hampshire County Council commented on this downward trend: “The success rates for Hampshire parents gaining a place at their preferred school remains high with just over 98 per cent of children going to one of their three preferred secondary schools in September 2024, and 90.71 per cent of parents receiving an offer at their first-choice school - which continues to be above the national average.

“Between 2013 and 2023, we’ve delivered 14,677 new school places across Hampshire, with plans for a further 5,132 by 2026/27."

"With over 43,000 new homes expected in Hampshire by the end of 2029, we continue to deliver new schools and expand local schools in areas with high demand.”