THE number of Somerset 11-year-olds starting at the preferred secondary school in September has hit a record level.

A total of 4,612 pupils woke up today (Tuesday, March 1) to discover they have got into their first choice school for the next academic year.

That represents 94.8 per cent of all applications - a three per cent increase on last year.

Of those who failed to win a place at their top choice, 156 (3.2 per cent) have been allocated a place at their second choice.

And 17 children (0.35 per cent) will be attending their third choice secondary school.

The means less than two per cent will be taking up a place at a school outside their top three choices.

This year marked the largest number of secondary school applications ever received by the local education authority, Somerset County Council.

Parents and carers who applied for places online are being informed of their outcomes by e-mail today, while those who applied via paper forms will receive their offer by post in the coming days.

Cllr Clare Paul, cabinet member for education at County Hall, said: “We’re committed to ensuring the best education for our school-aged children and always aim to offer a place at one of their top three chosen schools.

“We’re delighted that after processing a record number of 4,866 applications, there is a 3 per cent increase in the number of young people receiving their first school choice.

"From this September, these young people will start their new adventure as a Year 7 in one our many fantastic secondary schools.

"I wish them all the very best on the next chapter of their school life.”

Parents and carers of children not offered one of their top three secondary school preferences can appeal the decision.

More information about the appeal process can be found HERE.

Parents who have applied for places for children starting school in September 2022 or moving from infant to junior or first to middle school will receive their outcomes in April.