PARENTS and children in Dorset have today been finding out whether they have bagged their secondary school of choice.

Places have been allocated to secondary schools across the county, with families finding out where their children will go to school from September.

In Bournemouth, the council said that 1,439 applications had been received and 88 per cent had been offered their first preference.

Eight per cent had their second choice and two per cent had their third.

A total of 23 applications missed out on their top three, 20 of whom were offer an alternative and three will continue at a middle school.

Jane Portman, Executive Director for Adults and Children, said: “We are pleased that 98 per cent of parents with children starting secondary school in September 2014 will get one of their preferences.

“It is great news that there has been an increase compared to last year in the number of children being offered their first choice.

“This year over 88 percent of children in Bournemouth will receive an offer of the highest preferred school that they requested; this is an increase from 86 percent in 2013.”

In Poole, the council said that almost everyone got one of their preferred schools, with 88 per cent getting their first preference, up from 86 per cent last year.

Vicky Wales, head of children, young people and learning at Borough of Poole, said: “Letters informing parents of the outcome of their application for a secondary school place will be posted first class on Monday, March 3.

“In addition, parents who applied online were able to log on to their account and view the result of their application from 10am on March 3.

“The percentage of Poole pupils getting one of their preferences for September 2014 is 98 per cent.”

Places have also been allocated to secondary and upper schools in the Dorset County Council area.

For secondary schools, 94 per cent secured their first preference, four per cent secured their second preference and one per cent secured their third preference, meaning one per cent missed out on their preferred schools.

For upper schools, 97 per cent secured their first preference, one per cent secured their second preference and one per cent secured their third preference, again with one per cent missing out on a preferred choice.

A spokesman added: “Dorset also had a significant number of parents using the new on-line system this year, 73 per cent of applicants for secondary schools and 85 per cent of applicants for upper schools used this system.

“In the first hour, over 300 parents have accepted their school place online. We are constantly monitoring our website and are not aware of any particular problems, although understand that some parents may have forgotten their log-in details.”