NINE in 10 children will attend their parent’s first choice primary school.

Figures released by Bolton Council on “National Offer Day” show the numbers of children being placed at their top choice school has increased to just over 89 per cent, a rise of nearly four per cent.

For the first time this year, families in every area of the country are finding out at the same time which school their child has been allocated to.

Primary school applicat-ions in Bolton dropped slightly to 3,810, a fall of 32, after a surge in demand for places in recent years.

A breakdown of the figures show that 3,394, or 89.08 per cent, received their first choice primary place; 236, 6.19 per cent, of children were placed at their parent’s second choice with 64, or 1.68 per cent, at their third choice.

The numbers of children who did not receive a place at one of the top three stood at 116, 3.05 per cent, compared to 4.7 per cent last year.

Nationally, it has been predicted one in three could lose out in some areas which are facing a shortage of places.

Cllr Kevin McKeon, Bolton Council's cabinet member for schools, said the authority was working very hard to ensure all schools in Bolton were of a high standard.

He added: “It is true to say we have not had as many good or outstanding schools as we have at the moment.

“Also we have made sure in areas where there is a need for places, schools have been expanded to increase the intake numbers of schools, so perhaps a single form entry has become a double form entry.

“I am sympathetic for those who have not got the place they wanted and am delighted for the vast majority who have.”

He added that the numbers of first choice places awarded would increase through the appeals procedure and added as well as expanding, the council had, “within a limited, budget” managed to improve the learning environment for all children.

A Bolton Council spokesman said: “Those parents who have not been offered a place at their preferred schools will receive the forms and information on how to appeal. The appeals will be heard in the summer term.”