More children than ever before will find out this week that they have secured a place at their first choice secondary school in Wiltshire.

Around 4,400 children have applied to start secondary school this September – and 96 per cent will be offered their first choice school, compared to 93.5 per cent last year.

Offer letters are being posted out first class by Wiltshire Council on Friday to all Wiltshire residents who applied before the October 31 deadline.

99.1 per cent of applicants have also been given one of their preferred schools, compared to 99.2 percent last year. Of those who applied, more than 56 per cent were completed online.

Every applicant could name up to three preferences and less than one percent of applicants have been allocated a place at a school which was not one of their preferences.

Secondary admissions are co-ordinated across county boundaries and Wiltshire’s admissions team deals with applications not only for all Wiltshire secondary schools, but also with applications from Wiltshire residents to attend schools outside the county.

A total of 305 Wiltshire residents will be offered schools outside the county and about 300 children will come into Wiltshire schools from other areas.

Applicants have until Monday, March 18 to accept the offer and the right to an independent appeal is open to anyone who has been refused a place at one of their preferred schools.

Lionel Grundy, cabinet member for children services said: “This is an important time for children and their parents and to be able to provide so many with their first choice of secondary school is particularly good news.”

For details of how to appeal, contact the council on 01225 713010.