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26 October 2017, 07:39 | Updated: 26 October 2017, 07:43
Parents are being reminded to apply for their children's secondary school places as the deadline for applications looms.
Parents and carers of children due to start at secondary school (Year 7) in September next year have up until 31 October 2017 to make an application.
It is vital an application is received by the closing date, with any applications made after the deadline only considered once all on-time applications have been determined.
Applications can be made at www.essex.gov.uk/admissions and, if not completed already, the October half term is the ideal time to do so.
The website also enables parents to search for school information and check admissions criteria.
Cllr Ray Gooding, Essex County Council's Cabinet Member for Education, said: "It is crucially important that applications for secondary school places are submitted on time and I would urge all parents to ensure they have applied before the October 31 deadline.
"If they haven't already done so, the October half term is the perfect time to complete an application.
"I would also encourage parents to use all six of the preferences and to carefully consider the admissions criteria for each school they wish to apply for."
A record 87.58 per cent of children in Essex who started secondary school for the first time this September were offered their parents' top preference of school in the 2017 admission round following Essex County Council's continued investment in new school places.
The council spent £74million creating more than 2,500 school places for the new academic year, including secondary places at Joyce Frankland Academy, Newport, The Stanway School, Colchester, and Philip Morant School, Colchester.
The authority plans to spend about £230million on creating further school places over the next three years to meet the rising demand.