Higher number of children offered first preference secondary school places in West Sussex


Released: 1 March 2023

More children in West Sussex are today being offered their first preference secondary school than last year, with the total number of applicants slightly higher.

This year 8,161 of the 9,444 total number of applicants will be given their first preference school for September, an increase from last year’s 8,110 first preference offer.
The percentage of young people in West Sussex being offered their first preference school is again high this year at 86.4%, though slightly down on last year as a percentage (87.4%).

West Sussex County Council has worked together with schools to once again this year ensure that every child who applied has been offered a secondary school place.

In West Sussex:
• There were a total of 9,444 secondary school applications, a slight increase from 9,280 last year, with every child offered a secondary place
• 8,161 applicants (86.4%) will be offered their first preference school, a slightly higher number than last year’s 8,110, although as a percentage slightly lower (87.4%)
• 96.1 per cent (9,072) of all applicants this year will be offered one of their three preferences, very slightly down on last year’s percentage (97.4%) and number (9,038)

If you are still waiting for your offer, you shouldn’t be concerned as emails should be received no later than 5pm today.

Nigel Jupp, Cabinet Member for Learning & Skills, said: “Helping children to fulfil their potential is a key priority for the County Council, so I am very happy that once again the vast majority of children have been offered one of their three preference schools. I would like to thank our schools for working with our admissions team to ensure every child has once again been offered a place at secondary school this September. I wish these children an enjoyable final term at their primary school before they make the important move to secondary school later this year.”

As is the case every year, a very small number of pupils have not been offered a place at one of their preference schools. This may be for specific reasons; in the Horsham district, for example, the allocation of secondary school places has been impacted by a significant increase in the number of children seeking a place at a co-educational school this year.

West Sussex County Council admissions officers are on hand to speak to parents, carers and pupils should they want to discuss their offer and the options available to them, by calling 03330 142903.

Some children may be feeling nervous or worried about starting secondary school. Our Your Mind Matters website has lots of resources to support the wellbeing of children and young people along with advice to help parents and carers.

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