More than 94 per cent of children in Shropshire have been offered a place at their first choice primary school.

Families were told on Tuesday (April 16) whether they had been successful in getting a reception place at  their preferred school.

And in Shropshire, 94.2 per cent of children got their number one choice school. Last year the figure was 95.4 per cent.

But it is still above the 90 per cent national average for successful first choice places.

Karen Bradshaw, Shropshire Council’s director of children’s services, said: “We are really pleased that such a high percentage of pupils will be going to their first preference of primary school in 2019.

“Although there is pressure for primary school places across the country, this has not been experienced to the same degree in Shropshire, where there are only a few pressure points.

“We work hard to ensure that as many children as possible are able to attend their preferred school.

“Although it is not possible in every case, more than 98 per cent of applicants will attend one of their top three preferred schools and all applicants have been offered a place.”

The figures show there were 2,758 applications in Shropshire to start primary school next year.

Of these, 2,598 got their first choice and 2,706 (98.1 per cent) got on of their first three choices.

A total of 52 pupils (1.9 per cent) missed out altogether on one of their three choices.

Last year, 95.4 per cent got their first choice, 98.7 got one of their three and 1.3 per cent missed out.

There are big regional variations each year – with authorities such as the East Riding of Yorkshire, Northumberland and Rutland having more than 97 per cent of families getting their first preferences.

But the lowest success rates tend to be in London, with only 68 per cent of families in Kensington and Chelsea and 77 per cent in Camden getting their first choice last year.

Government school standards minister Nick Gibb said standards had risen and the primary school sector was “unrecognisable from a generation ago”.

He said 87 per cent of primary schools were now judged good or outstanding, and the use of phonics lessons had improved children’s reading.

“What this means in practice is that even in instances where parents aren’t getting the news they hoped for today, the likelihood is that their child will be attending a school which will provide a first-class education,” he said.