Applications for next year’s school applications are now closed and new data has revealed which schools are the ‘most oversubscribed’ in Blackburn with Darwen.

The Government data, for 2023/2024, suggests that around 25 per cent of primary and secondary schools were oversubscribed this year.

According to the data the most oversubscribed school in the borough, where the number of parents who chose it as a first preference exceeded the sum of total places offered, was Tauheedul Islam Girls' High School.

Lancashire Telegraph: Tauheedul Islam Girls' High School is the most oversubscribed in Blackburn with DarwenTauheedul Islam Girls' High School is the most oversubscribed in Blackburn with Darwen (Image: Star Academies)

In the 2023/24 academic year, 260 parents chose this secondary school as their first preference but only 118 places were offered, meaning 142 parents did not get their first choice school.

In December, 2023, it was named best in the north west for academic performance.

Tauheedul Islam Boys' High School came a close second. A total of 249 parents chose this secondary school as their first preference but only 117 places were offered. A total of 132 parents who put this as their first choice, did not secure the school.

The Olive School, on Meins Road in Blackburn, was the most sought after primary school, with 155 parents wanting their child to attend this school. But only 90 spaces were on offer.

St Wilfrid's Church of England Academy, on Duckworth Street in Blackburn, was also oversubscribed in 2023/24.

A total of 40 parents missed out on sending their child to this school, despite putting it as their first preference.

On the other end of the scale, only 91 parents put Witton Park Academy, on Buncer Lane in Blackburn, as first choice despite 256 spaces being, made available.  

Other oversubscribed schools include St Bede's Roman Catholic High School (excess of 41 parents), Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School ( excess of 31 parents) and Darwen Vale High School (excess of 16 parents).

Blackburn with Darwen's most oversubscribed schools


Last year it was announced that council bosses in Lancashire are set to carry out a public consultation on a proposed change to the criteria for how it allocates places to pupils when a school has received more applications than capacity.

The suggested tweak for dealing with oversubscribed schools would also see a level of priority being given to the children of armed forces personnel.

It is hoped prioritising the children of school staff would help in the recruitment and retention of teachers. The county council's cabinet heard representations had been received from several primary and secondary headteachers requesting the move.

The changes would affect the 235 so-called 'community schools' operated by the authority – maintained establishments or voluntary controlled schools.

 Witton Park Academy has been approached for comment.