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5 March 2012, 11:47 | Updated: 5 March 2012, 12:30
More children in Hertfordshire have missed out on a place at their first choice secondary school this year.
More than six hundred and sixty children (666) have been left disappointed, compared to just over five hundred (536) who missed out on a place at their preferred school in 2011.
Hertfordshire County Council are putting the increase in the number of children missing out down to an increase in the number of children applying for school places.
The total number of applicants for school places in Hertfordshire rose from 16,053 in 2011 to 16,168 in 2012.
Overall, there was a slight increase in the number of children in Hertfordshire getting a place at either their first, second or third secondary schools (11,859 to 11,901) but against the backdrop of rising applications, this means the proportion of children getting a place at their top three schools actually fell (95.7% to 94.7%).
Frances Button, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills at Hertfordshire County Council, said: "Moving on to secondary school is an important step and we work extremely hard to make the applications and allocation process smooth and straightforward. We want to ensure that as many children as possible get a place at one of their ranked schools.
"We all want the best possible education for children in Hertfordshire and the county has excellent schools. I do appreciate that some parents may be disappointed with the school they have been allocated, but would encourage them to visit the school and speak to the headteacher before dismissing the offered place. They may be pleasantly surprised by what they see.
"I would advise all parents to accept the place they have been offered. Accepting the school place will not affect a continuing interest application of appeal result.”
School places in Hertfordshire have to be accepted by 16 March.