MORE children in Worcestershire gained a place at their first preference primary or second school this year than any of the previous four years.

But hundreds of youngsters were still left without a preferred offer.

92.3 per cent of the county’s children gained a place in their first-choice secondary school – higher than the 80.3 per cent regional average and 83.5 per cent national figure.

And a further 91.6 per cent were also offered their first-preference primary school – higher than the regional figure of 90.1 per cent and national average of 90 per cent.

Worcestershire also fares better for top three preference offers than the regional and national average, according to new figures released by the Department for Education last week.

Cllr Marcus Hart, Worcestershire County Council cabinet member with responsibility for education and skills, said: "We are pleased that once again Worcestershire has recorded a higher percentage of first preference offers and of top three preference offers nominated by parents than both the national average and the regional West Midlands area average.

“This reflects the hard work in the planning provision carried out beforehand, and follows on from similar results in previous years.

"Improvements in the online applications procedures provide greater security for parents in making their applications, ensuring that applications do not get lost or delayed in the post or forgotten by parents.”

A total of 79 11-year-olds missed out on all three of their secondary school choices this year, with a further 10 left with no offer at all.

In primary schools, 123 four-year-olds failed to get a place on a preferred school, with 24 children left without an offer.

Cllr Hart added: "In all of these cases, an alternative school was offered on the national offer date."