Top Catholic secondary schools received record levels of over-subscription this year, with hundreds of pupils competing for the institutions as figures across the country reveal that tens of thousands of children have missed out on their first choices.
Competition at Catholic schools was most acute in London, with the Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School in Shepherds Bush receiving almost 900 applications for 120 places.
At the Coloma Convent School for Girls in southeast London, some 745 pupils applied for 150 places.
Meanwhile the London Oratory in west London confirmed that applications had increased at all three levels of entry: at Junior House for age seven-year-olds, there were 64 applicants for 20 places for the choir school, compared to around 40 applications last year. At the Senior School for 11-year-olds, there was a slight increase from around 850 applications last year to around 950 this year, for 160 places. And in the sixth form there were over 400 applications for 40 places, compared to around 240 applications last year.
At St Mark’s Catholic School in Hounslow, west London, 878 pupils applied for 186 places, up from last year when there were 781 applications for 186 places.
According to national figures released this week, almost half of all pupils in the capital failed to gain places at their first choice of secondary school.