Appeals over primary school places

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Appeals against places allocated for primary schools have risen from 33,000 to 38,000, according to new government statistics.

The figures show that an increasing number of parents are unhappy with the school choices which are available.

Appeals have risen dramatically in the past few years - almost doubling since 2004.

A rise in the number of school-age children has increased pressure on school places, particularly in hot spots such as London and Birmingham.

Schools Minister Nick Gibb said: "The figures show that an increasing number of parents are unhappy with the school choices open to them.

"The level of dissatisfaction underlines why it is so important we change the schools system so providers like teacher groups and charities can open new state schools wherever parents want them; and give outstanding schools the freedoms they need to help improve those in more challenging circumstances."

The statistics relate to appeals lodged in 2008-09. They show that while appeals against primary places rose, parents were less likely to be successful in them than in the previous year and secure a place for their child at their chosen school.

One quarter of parents whose primary school cases were heard by an appeals panel were successful - down from 27.8% in the previous year.

The chances of success were higher at secondary level, with 33% of parents winning their case, up slightly on last year.

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