Parents of Leeds children who are due to start primary school in September are urged to get their applications in now to avoid the disappointment of not getting into their preferred schools.
The deadline for 2015 new starters is this Thursday, January 15.
Delaying applications reduces the chances of getting in to a preferred school by almost a third, according to the city’s education chiefs.
Councillor Judith Blake, Leeds City Council’s executive board member for children and families, said: “In the last school year, over 400 applications for primary school places were made after the deadline. It’s far more difficult to allocate places in these circumstances and families who do this risk not being able to send their child to their preferred school.
“Unfortunately every year there are disappointed parents and children who we are unable to offer a place to at one of their preferred schools because they apply after the deadline. We want to give everyone a fair opportunity by encouraging everyone to apply on time.
“It’s essential that preferences are made by the deadline on January 15 and that up to five schools are listed - including your nearest school - to ensure every child and young person has the best chance of attending their preferred school.”
Last year 434 applications for reception places were made late. Of those, 158 were unable to be allocated any of their preferences because places had already been filled. Of the later applications, 65 per cent received one of their preferences, compared to 94 per cent of those who applied on time.
The YEP reported that since 2013, 37 investigations have been carried out in Leeds into fraudulent applications for secondary and primary school places, with parents lying about where they were living. Council figures for admissions in September 2014 show the overall percentage of families offered their first preference was 85 per cent.