THE number of children who got their first preference primary school for when they begin education in September has gone up this year, but the percentage receiving their first choice has dropped slightly.

Of the 7,598 children beginning school later this year, 6,724 will be attending their first choice school, compared with 6,679 in 2018.

However, the number of children starting school has also increased from 7,525, meaning the percentage who will be attending their first choice has slightly dropped from 88.76 per cent to 88.5 per cent.

The percentage of families who have received a place at one of their top three choices of schools has also dropped to 96.67 per cent from 97.11 per cent , but the total number of children getting a place at their first three choices has gone up, from 7,308 to 7,345.

The number of children who did not receive a place at their top three choices also rose, to 253 from 217 but, as in 2018, every child has been allocated a school place for September.

Gladys Rhodes White, interim strategic director of children’s services, said: “We know that finding out where your child will be starting school is a big moment for every family.

“So, it’s good news that this year’s results show that almost 95 per cent of parents across the district received their first or second preference.

“This mirrors last year’s results, despite a slight increase in the number of applications.”

In Kirklees, 92 per cent of families received their first choice school, and 98.2 per cent of families received a place at their one of their top three places.

Jo-Anne Sanders, service director for learning and early support in Kirklees, said: “An important priority for the Council is to give our children the very best start in life by making sure all every child has the same opportunities and access to good-quality learning.

“This is an excellent starting point for a positive, early education experience and a happy, healthy journey to learning.

“Starting school, or moving to a different primary school is a big step for every child and I am delighted to see that almost all families were able to secure a place at one of their top three preferences.”

Nationally, last year around one in ten families missed out on their first choice school, and 98 per cent got a place at one of their first three choices.

The national figure for school admissions in 2019 will not be clear until June.

If parents wish to appeal which school their child has been allocated to, the deadline for appeals is Monday, June 3.

For full appeal information or to download an appeal form visit the Bradford Council website.