JUST over 100 parents failed to get their child into a school of their choice, figures reveal.

Figures released by Bolton Council for National Primary Offer Day show that 96.54 per cent of children were allocated a place at one of the three schools applied for, with the majority receiving their first place.

This year, the local authority received 3,672 applications for children starting primary school.

This was down on last year's 3,913.

Of those 3,230 ­— 87.96 per cent ­— received their parents first preference; 230 children, 6.27 per cent received second choice school and 85, 2.31 per cent, were a place at the third preference.

A total of 127 children were allocated alternative places, this equals 3.46 per cent of all children.

This year's figures were more or less in line with last year's figures.

A spokesperson for Bolton Council said: "We work as hard as possible to offer parents one of their three preferred schools and this year 97 per cent of applicants were awarded one of their choices.

"Where we are unable to offer parents one of their top three preferences, we have been able to offer an alternative.

"Every parent who submitted an application has received an offer of a school place within Bolton."

Nationally, indications are that a lower proportion of children across England are gained places at their first choice school this year.

At least 86 per cent of youngsters are gaining their top preferences, with the figure rising as high as 98 per cent in some areas.

More than 4,000 children, two per cent, missed out on a place at any of their top three schools.

Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders' union NAHT, which represents the majority of primary school leaders in England and Wales, said: "This can be an anxious time for families. Choosing the right primary school and securing a place there can feel like a battle for parents.

"The problem is that in an increasingly fragmented school system we lack a co-ordinated approach to place planning.

Local authorities are responsible for ensuring sufficient school places, but the powers and resources necessary for them to do so have been removed."

Parents have the right to appeal the place their child has received.