Figures show that this year 91% of parents have been allocated their first choice secondary school for their children. In total, 312 parents chose Christ the King College as their first choice school, whilst Carisbrooke College – located only minutes away – saw just 79 first choice applications, revealing a significant difference in popularity.
The data, included below, shows that 100% of applications to Carisbrooke College, Cowes Enterprise College, Medina College, Ryde Academy and Sandown Bay Academy as first choice schools were successful.
The popularity of Medina College is showing to remain strong, despite talk of closing the Fairlee Road site to join with Carisbrooke College.
Christ the King College and the Island Free School were both over-subscribed, with 79% allocated their first choice at Christ the King and 76% at the Island Free School.
Commenting on the substantial over-subscription for places at Christ the King College, its Chairman of Governors, David Lisseter, has today said:
“It is clear that demand for places at Christ the King is growing year, by year. We want to be able to accommodate that demand using the funding we have already been promised for a rebuilding of the College, but we cannot do it overnight.
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“Governors have already discussed and are committed to the wish of raising our admissions number to 300 each year when accommodation permits. That is our vision for the future as the College continues to thrive.”
Conservative Education Spokesman, Cllr Chris Whitehouse (Cons. Newport West), has today said:
“These statistics confirm not only the massive over-capacity in our high schools, but also that the capacity is inappropriately distributed, thwarting the principle of parental choice.
“Christ the King College is massively over-subscribed and should, according to the policies of successive governments, expand to meet that demand; a demand which is hardly surprising given the College’s pre-eminent position on the Island for quality of education and ethos.
“It’s shocking that only 79 parents want Carisbrooke College as first choice for their children. Numbers will be higher than that as some parents haven’t bothered completing the application forms; but it’s wrong not to seek to deliver real parental choice by having the necessary capacity in other popular, over-subscribed schools.”
Cllr Whitehouse, whose Newport West ward includes both Carisbrooke College and Christ the King, added:
“As I’ve been saying for over two years, parents are voting with their children’s feet. Talk of an 11 form entry school on the Carisbrooke site is frankly delusional. I’ve told the Education Funding Agency and the Minister it would be a white elephant and would struggle to achieve planning consent. Wellington Road simply cannot cope with two full size high schools and the parental demand is not there.”
Cllr Whitehouse will be addressing Newport Parish Council this evening (Monday) on the current consultation on surplus capacity in high schools.
The figures exclude late applications and children with statements of special needs, who are allocated a named school.