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Paucity of places

Nearly 700 parents in the London borough of Bromley this week discovered their children had not been offered a place in a secondary school for admission this September. One in five of the secondary pupils come from outside the borough.

Bromley Education Authority's figures show that out of 3,000 or so places available, nearly 800 have been offered to pupils who live outside Bromley, effectively denying local pupils a place.

According to the Audit Commission report Trading Places on the supply and allocation of places, twice as many parents were failing to get their first choice as previous official estimates had suggested. Figures released by the Labour party show that in 1994-95, of the 38,000 appeals for secondary school transfer, only 14,800 were successful.

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