The anxious wait for news of secondary school places is almost over for pupils and parents.

On Monday 1st March, parents of pupils transferring to secondary school in September 2010 will receive an allocation letter from Gloucestershire County Council. All parents throughout the county will be offered one school place on the same day. Gloucestershire parents will have until 15th March to return their reply form.

Every letter will be specific for each pupil and will contain an explanation for the decision made. Further clarification about general issues can be found on the county council's website Charlotte Jones, Interim Senior Access Manager, said; "This is always a stressful time for pupils and parents but the Access to Education Team have worked very hard to try to ensure that as many pupils as possible get one of their preferences. This year, at this stage, 91% have received one of their preferred places, and 81% have been offered their first preference. This has been a huge exercise with 7326 pupils having been allocated a secondary school within Gloucestershire or neighbouring authorities. This includes 482 who are coming into Gloucestershire from other authorities."

"I would encourage parents to complete and return their reply forms as soon as possible, but definitely by 15th March. We anticipate that most parents will be happy with the place offered to them. For those who aren't happy, I would urge them to keep their allocated place as this will ensure that, whatever the outcome, their child will have a place at a school."

If parents ask for their child's allocation to be reconsidered, the parent can request for their child to be placed on the waiting list for the school(s). If places then become available, they will be allocated in strict accordance with the published admissions criteria for the school. The admission criteria and more information about waiting lists for every school in Gloucestershire is available on the county council’s website or within booklets that are available at all schools, children’s centres and libraries. Individual copies of the booklets can be obtained by ringing the Access to Education Team on 01452 425407.

The Access to Education Team will write to parents with the result of the reconsideration after 31st March 2010. Parents who are still not satisfied with their allocated school will be advised of the appeals procedure.