AROUND one in 12 children across the BCP Council area have not been offered a secondary school place at any of their preferred choices.

Hundreds of youngsters missed out on all four of the schools in the conurbation that had been chosen by their parent or carer.

BCP Council said there was a national drop in the percentage of families securing a place at their first preference due to the rising number of primary pupils transferring to secondary school.

The local authority said the same was true in BCP and there were sufficient places for the 3,791 applications for all local children to go to a secondary school in September 2021. However, just 91.5 per cent have been offered a place at one of their preferred schools.

Councillor Nicola Greene, portfolio holder for education, said: “The percentage of residents in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole who have been successful in obtaining a place at one of their preferred schools is 91.5 per cent.

"We understand that moving up to secondary school is an exciting experience for children, parents and carers, but can also be an anxious time for some. 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.”

Any parents or carers living in BCP who would like to talk to someone about the options available to them should call the council on 01202 456222 or 01202 127963.

Meanwhile, more than 97 per cent of children have been offered their first choice of secondary or upper school in the Dorset Council area.

A total of 97.36 per cent of pupils due to start secondary school (Year 7) have been offered their first choice. For those starting upper school (Year 9), 97.41 per cent have been given a place at their preferred school.

Cllr Andrew Parry, Dorset Council portfolio holder for children, education and early years, said: “It is brilliant news that more than 97 per cent of young people in Dorset have been offered their first choice of senior school.

“Today is an important day for young people, as well as their parents and carers, as they find out which school they will be joining in the autumn.

"I’d like to wish all Dorset students the very best of luck as they get ready to join their new schools in September.”

Dorset Council said it processed a total of 3,477 applications from Dorset residents, with more 95 per cent of parents and carers opting to complete their applications online.