MORE than 1,100 children across the Bradford district will not be going to their first-choice primary school this September.

And almost 270 youngsters will be going to a school which was not even in their top five preferences.

But the figures are an improvement on last year. About 8,000 families have just been informed of their school place allocation, with 1,131 children – or 14 per cent – missing out on their first choice. In 2014, the number was 1,196 – or 14.7 per cent.

Councillor Ralph Berry, the council’s executive member for children’s services, said he had expected the figures to be worse this year so was pleased.

“Due to the pressure on places I expected the number of children being allocated their first preference to go down,” he said.

“We will do our best to work with those parents who have not got a school they applied for, but the system is very full.

“To improve on last year is quite remarkable. I would imagine that is largely down to people working out how to use the preference system better.”

In Leeds, 85 per cent of children will attend their first preference primary school, which is the same as last year - while 95 per cent will attend one of their five preferences. A total of 9854 reception places have been allocated this year, which is 80 more than in 2014.

Alternative places have been offered to 550 children who did not get any of their five preferences (5.5 per cent).

Councillor Judith Blake, an executive member responsible for children’s services said: “For parents and carers, choosing a school is one of the most important decisions they will make. I am pleased we have been able to offer 95 percent of families one of their preferences.

“However, we do understand how disappointing and distressing it is when people aren’t allocated their preferred school. We encourage parents to make sure they include their nearest school and use all five preferences to increase their chances of obtaining a place at a local school.

“In a very difficult environment we will continue to do everything we can to ensure parents have a full understanding of how the process works so that as many as possible receive their highest possible preference.”