ACROSS Dorset 180 children have been offered a primary school place that was not one of their three preferences.

While the overwhelming majority of families in both the BCP Council area (97 per cent) and Dorset Council region (99 per cent) received an offer for one of their selections for a reception place, many have been left disappointed following the announcement on Thursday.

Across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole there are sufficient school places for all local children for September 2020, the council said.

Councillor Sandra Moore, BCP Council cabinet member for children and families, said: “We are pleased that we have been able to offer 97 per cent of parents one of their preferred schools for their children to attend from September across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.

"Where families have not been offered a place at their preferred school it is recommended that they contact the school they have been offered and take the opportunity to find out what would be available for their child.”

The overall breakdown for the conurbation's reception places are as follows:

Total number of applications – 3947

First preference – 3437 (87.08 per cent)

Second preference – 273 (6.92 per cent)

Third preference – 108 (2.74 per cent)

Offered none of preferences – 129 (3.27 per cent)

Cllr Andrew Parry, Dorset Council portfolio holder for education, said: “These are unusual and difficult times, but today we are looking forward to September and a new school year.

“Our work to try and offer families their preferred school has been continuing and I am delighted that so many children will be able to attend their first choice of school. It is a great achievement that first preference choices have been offered on this scale. Starting school or joining a new one is an important milestone in a child’s life and I would like to wish all pupils the very best of luck.

“We do not yet know when schools will re-open, but whatever lies ahead, I know Dorset schools will be working with families to make sure the transition and settling in process is as smooth as possible.”

The Dorset Council region's primary school places are as follows:

Total number of applications – 4547

First preference – 4308 (94.74 per cent)

Second preference – 161 (3.54 per cent)

Third preference – 27 (0.59 per cent)

Offered none of preferences – 51 (1.12 per cent)