A HIGHER percentage of children in Bournemouth gained places at their families’ first-choice primary schools this year.

On Tuesday, anxious parents found out which of their top three preferred schools their child will be attending in September, on what is commonly known as National Offer Day.

In Bournemouth, 87 per cent of primary pupils were offered their first choice, compared to 85.9 per cent last year.

Nearly 1,900 pupils (97%) were allocated one of their preferred schools, although 95 received the disappointing news that they were not offered a place at any of their top three choices.

In Poole, 98 per cent (1,502) of pupils were offered a place at one of their preferred schools, one per cent more than last year.

A higher percentage than Bournemouth received their first choice (88%) – the same figure as last year.

Only 31 pupils were not offered any of their preferred choices.

Neil Goddard, service director of community learning and commissioning at BCP Council, said: “Finding out which primary school your child will be starting their education is an important time for families and it is encouraging to see that over 97 per cent of children have been offered a place at one of their preferred schools. I wish them the best of luck as they start school.”

Parents making late applications have been advised that there are available school places across the area.

In the rest of Dorset 95 per cent of applications were successful, four per cent fewer than last year.

The school admissions team at Dorset Council processed a total of 5,095 primary and first school applications, including those for children living in Christchurch, which is now part of the new BCP Council.

Ed Denham, school place sufficiency manager at Dorset Council, said: “Starting school is an important milestone in a child’s life. We’ll continue to work with schools to make sure there are enough places in the areas where we need them.”

Government ministers said the number of children nationally being offered their first choice of primary school had been improving since 2014.