HUNDREDS of children starting their education in September have missed out on their first choice primary school – although 97% of parents got one of their top three choices.

Admission figures released today (April 16) show around 500 youngsters across the county will not be attending their parents’ preferred choice school.

Somerset County Council said 91.45% of 5,755 children did get accepted into their first choice school, while 97.12% were given one of their top three choices.

The authority said this is an improvement on last year, where 90.67% of children received their first choice, and 96.68% secured one of their top three choices.

It also said 21 fewer children applied for school places than in 2013.

Cllr Frances Nicholson, cabinet member for children and families, said: “It is great news that in almost all cases we have been able to meet parents and carers’ preferences. “This year is an improvement on last year and that was an improvement on the year before, even though the task gets ever more challenging.

“For those children who haven't got one of their top three choices, we will work with the families to make sure we meet that child’s educational needs.”

Mum Emma Comer, of Taunton, was one of those who got good news yesterday.

She said: “I got my first choice at Wellsprings Primary School. I can relax now knowing my son can join his older brother at school in September.”

Due to a rise in applications last year, the county council announced it was working with schools to increase the number of places for pupils.

It also said it planned to spend £6.4million between 2013-14 and 2014-15 to ease the strain but was unable to say how the money had been spent as we went to press.

Last October, it was announced Holy Trinity Primary School in Taunton is to build four new classrooms to take an extra 120 pupils.