Potters Bar is Hertfordshire’s worst town for primary school allocations

Darkes Lane, Potters Bar.

Darkes Lane, Potters Bar. - Credit: Archant

Potters Bar had the worst rate in Hertfordshire for ranked primary school allocations after last week’s placements were revealed, sparking fears that the town is facing a crisis.

It has emerged that of 130 areas in Hertfordshire, Potters Bar had the worst record, with only 85.77 per cent of 246 applicants being allocated a preferred school.

The only area with a worse figure was Aspenden (66.67 per cent), which had just three applicants, while the number county-wide was 96 per cent.

A Southgate Road resident said he was furious with the situation, after unsuccessfully applying to get his son into Cranborne, Ladbrooke JMI, Little Heath and Hadley Wood.

He said: “Within Potters Bar there is a significant allocation issue for primary school places and I want to know why this is, and how and when the county council will address it.

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“Potters Bar stands out remarkably with only 85 per cent in Potters Bar getting a ranked school – 31 parents not being offered any ranked school at all.”

Another frustrated parent, from South Mimms, said: “I feel that by staying in my little cottage in a village I have failed my children.

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“I am angry too that we have not been able to get into our nearest school.

“I feel sad there is such a disparity in performance of schools, that it means I have very strong feelings about my exceptionally bright four-year-old attending a school with below average literacy rates.”

Hertsmere as a whole also had the worst ranked allocation rate of the county’s boroughs, with 93.4 per cent.

Another Potters Bar parent claimed she moved to the town to ensure her child would get into certain schools, and would relocate if her appeal was unsuccessful.

“There is a complete lack of planning in terms of what the demand will be on the schools,” she added.

However, a council spokesman attributed a low ranked allocation rate to parental preference, claiming large numbers picked the same few schools and avoided others.

He added: “The county council’s forecast analysis of actual applications received were correct, with Potters Bar primary schools offering 255 reception places, and receiving 246 applications from children living within Potters Bar.

“The issue is reflective of parental preference and not school place capacity, which meets the demand.”

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