NINE out of ten Hampshire children will begin their education at their parents’ first choice primary school from September.

Despite a rise in the number of applications, Hampshire County Council has increased slightly the proportion being given reception class spots at first preference schools – up by 0.3 percentage points on last year to 89.9 per cent.

But the authority, which dealt with more than 20,000 applications for places at primary, infant and junior schools, has had to allocate schools that were not in the parents’ three choices to 2.8 per cent of those who applied.

More than 200 more applications were submitted on time than last year, in line with rising pressure on school places. The county council was last week given £9.7m to help in its bid to create 10,000 more places in the next five years to cope with extra pupil numbers.

Parents who have missed out have been told they have the right of appeal, and can place their youngsters on waiting lists.