The  number of children who have been granted their first choice primary school in Wiltshire from September is slightly down on last year.

Of the 5,211 applications 91 per cent have got into their first choice school, down from 92 per cent last year, while 4.9 per cent got their second choice (five per cent last year) and 1.4 per cent got their third choice or lower (one per cent last year).

It means that 2.4 per cent of children have been allocated a place other than their preferences, compared to two per cent last year.

Wiltshire Council says it prepares forward plans by looking at birth rates and new housing developments to assess how they will affect school figures in the future.

Expected parental preference and other circumstances are also factored into the equations. If needed, additional classes or extensions are created at schools where forward planning predicts a rise in numbers.

Councillor Richard Gamble, portfolio holder for education, said: “Starting school is an important milestone in every young child’s life and we have a good track record in helping children attend the school of their choice.

"There are pressures on places nationally but here in Wiltshire over 97 per cent of children will be attending one of their preferred primary school choices this September.”