• Devon has the highest number of over-subscribed schools in four council areas

    7th January 2015 | News | Claire
  • BBC Spotlight ran a feature in its programme last night, on the strain that many schools are facing due to large amounts of house-building.

    The programme focused on the difficulties that a Cornwall primary school had. Both teachers and parents expressed concern.

    The figures for oversubscribed schools were:  Cornwall – 47, Plymouth – 38, Torbay – 4 and Devon – 50. 

    A statement from Devon County Council suggested that most people got their children into the school of their choice and problems were largely down to parents opting for more popular schools.

    Over-subscribed schools are very much a feature of the Ottery learning community, which includes:  King’s School, and primary schools – West Hill, Ottery St Mary, Tipton St John, Payhembury and Feniton.

    Local heads are being forced to turn children away and some parents are opting to formally appeal those decisions. 

    The problem is too much housing locally. Ottery St Mary Town has had well over 400 houses approved to be built, while the draft local plan allocated 300.  This is having a significant impact on King’s and Ottery Primary School. Feniton of course, has had its own problems with over-development and even before the approved developments have been built out, the school is being forced to turn down applications because there is simply no room.

    All the local schools are on constrained sites and King’s in particular, which all the primaries feed into, could have a real problem in a year to two, when all the approved applications are built and the houses occupied.

    Anyone with children considering moving to the area should research the local schools’ ability to take their children. There are certainly no guarantees of being able to get your child in.