Fewer than 60 per cent of parents in Southwark were able to send their children to their first-choice high school, new figures reveal.
The number of families in the borough who had to settle for second best, as far as they were concerned, was only 59.7 per cent, according to Camberwell and Peckham MP Harriet Harman.
That compares to 82.1 per cent of parents nationally who managed to get their offspring into their first preference secondary school this year, the stats show.
Harman issued a report into the national figures in her role as Mother of the House – the longest-serving MP at Westminster – this week and said: “That is the eighth lowest of all the local authorities in the country and means 1,180 children in Southwark were left without their first-choice school. In comparison 98.1 per cent of parents in Northumberland got their first preference.
“The Government must ensure the right steps are taken to make every school a good school that parents want to choose.
“They cannot continue to cut back on school funding in London and expect schools to be able to continue to improve.
“I have written to the Secretary of State for Education, Damian Hinds, with a copy of my report to raise parents’ concerns and to propose that Ofsted’s terms of reference are changed so that when they are inspecting a school they look at the views of parents who don’t want to send their child to that local school as well as the view of parents who do have children in the school. This would enable government and councils to act on the concerns of local parents.”