HAMPSHIRE County Council has been able to offer 99.2 per cent of parents a place for their child at a secondary school of their choice today, with 95.2 per cent being offered their first preference.

This equates to 12,098 offers for a first preference, out of some 12,702 applications for Hampshire schools that have been processed by the county council.

The news comes after county councillors agreed a budget that includes a very substantial investment of almost £150m to create thousands of new school places over the next three years, in response to rising demand.

Councillor Peter Edgar, the council’s executive member for education, said: “Once again we have been able to offer a high number of pupils a place at their preferred secondary school and that’s great news.

“99.2 per cent of pupils will be going to one of their top three choices, and for 95.2 per cent this will be their first choice.

“I understand there will be some disappointment for the few parents who did not secure a place at one of their chosen schools, but this is a very small number, just 107 out of nearly 13,000 pupils across the county.

“There are always individual schools that experience exceptionally high demand, and I see this as a credit to the high standard of teaching at these schools.”

Pupils who did not secure a place at one of their chosen schools will be allocated a place at the nearest school with available places.

Parents have the right to appeal in these situations, and can put their child’s name down on their preferred school’s waiting list.

Places do become available if parents change their mind, or families move home.

The admissions team is now processing primary school applications with offers due to go out on 16 April.

Councillor Edgar said: “Demand for primary school places is growing, along with the rising population, and Hampshire County Council is working hard to increase capacity at primary schools in areas where demand is highest.

“We have already successfully expanded some of our schools in areas including Winchester, Romsey and Andover, and with the recent agreement to invest some £149m in primary school infrastructure by 2017 – one of our largest programmes to date – we can continue to work towards our objective to provide quality education locally where children live, and where their parents want them to go to school.”