National Offer Day 2023: the Hackney picture
101 fewer Hackney children to start primary school next year
According to the numbers released as part of National Offer Day 2023, 1,993 Hackney families applied for a place in primary school in September 2023, a decrease of almost 5% compared to April 2022, when there were 2,094 such applications.
The majority of families in Hackney (1,868 of applicants) were offered a local primary school. 276 applicants from other boroughs have also received an offer of a Hackney school. More than 97% of the local families have been offered a place at one of their first three preferred schools.
We are glad to see that the outstanding results of our Hackney family of schools are recognised widely not just by our own communities, but also by families living outside the borough. We are proud of the achievements of our pupils, their families who support them and the hard work and dedication of our staff, who do everything in their power each year to make children feel welcome and happy in their new schools.
At this stage in the process, there are still 606 (22%) vacant places in primary schools in Hackney that remain unfilled. This continues the trend of falling rolls observed in the last few years - in April 2022, there were 657 vacancies out of the published 2,900 places.
According to the National Primary Offer Day 2023 numbers for London, the decrease in demand for reception places continues to affect many London boroughs, with 2.67% fewer applications received by London primary schools compared to last year. This trend is expected to continue until at least 2028, as shown in a report released by London Councils in January last year.
Unfortunately, the National Offer Day numbers confirm once again that the decrease in the number of school aged children is a very serious issue , not just in Hackney, but also in the inner London area.
Because school funding is based on how many pupils are on roll, in recent years, many inner London Councils have been confronted with mounting financial pressures that make it very difficult to maintain the quality of education. Without more support from central government, there is no other option left for some - including Hackney - than to consider closing or merging schools that do not have a sufficient number of children.