MOST Hampshire pupils got one of their preferred school places, it has been revealed.

More than 97% of parents in Hampshire have been offered a place for their child at one of their preferred choices for a secondary school.

According to official data, of those who applied for a Year 7 place for September 2020 more than 92 per cent have been offered a place at their first-choice school.

Meanwhile in Southampton, the number of pupils who have received a place at their first, second or third preference school from September is 2,398. This is 91.6% of the 2,616 who applied for a school place this year, according to Southampton City Council.

The authority said there has been an increase of 0.6 per cent in the proportion of children receiving a place at one of their preferred schools when compared with 2019.

The news comes as decisions on secondary school places in England were released yesterday. Hampshire County Council, which offers school places to children across the county not including Southampton, said it received 14,417 on-time applications this year.

This is an increase of 66 applications compared to the number received for places in September 2019.

The authority said it is great to hear that “a very high number of pupils” has been given a place at their preferred school.

Cllr Roz Chadd, the county council’s executive member for education and skills, said: “This is no small achievement when you consider the size of the Hampshire local authority area, and the rising demand for school places . Hampshire parents should be reassured that with our continued investment in schools to provide the additional places, we are keeping pace with the growth in pupil numbers. I do understand that there will be some disappointment for those who did not secure a place at one of their chosen schools.”

In the event that parents were not offered the place they were hoping for their child, in most cases pupils’ name will be maintained on a waiting list for that school until the end of December 2020.

But parents will also have the right of appeal by contacting the local authority where the school is located.

Southampton City Council said nine in every ten pupils in the city will be heading to one of their preferred secondary schools in September. Cllr Darren Paffey, cabinet member for aspiration, children and lifelong learning at the city council, said: “ Our secondary school population is growing and demand for school places is rising. We’re meeting this challenge by making a massive investment in creating Southampton’s first ‘All Through’ School which will mean 900 new secondary school places. I’m confident all of our schools will be making everyone welcome.”