PARENTS are being urged to make sure they apply to schools closest to them after hundreds missed out on places this year because they failed to do so.
Figures show 85 per cent of Leeds families were offered their first preference for primary schools starting from September.
This is the same figure as the last academic year but lower than anywhere else in Yorkshire
However there were 550 children who were not allocated places at any of their five choices - five per cent of those who applied.
Families are recommended to always include their nearest school as one of their preferences and to make sure they use all five preferences to get the best chance of being offered a preferred school.
Leeds City Council said that of the 550 who were not allocated any of their preferences 427 did not follow the guidance to include their nearest school.
The council also said the number of applications was especially high, with 500 more applications this year than it dealt with two years ago.
Coun Judith Blake, executive member responsible for children’s services said: “For parents and carers, choosing a school for their children is one of the most important decisions they will make.
“I am pleased we have been able to offer 95 percent of families one of their preferences.
“However, we do understand how disappointing and distressing it is when people aren’t allocated their preferred school. We encourage parents to make sure they include their nearest school and use all five preferences to increase their chances of obtaining a place at a local school. In a very difficult environment we will continue to do everything we can to ensure parents have a full understanding of how the process works so that as many as possible receive their highest possible preference.”
Overall 95 per cent of children starting primary school in September will attend one of their five preferences. A total of 9,854 reception places have been allocated this year, which is 80 more than in 2014.
There has been ongoing controversy over pressure on school places with the Local Government Association warning that cities including Leeds could face shortages by next year. The LGA is calling on the next Government to restore powers to local councils to allow them to open up their own schools in response to demand.
At present all new schools have to be academies.
Have you been offered your first place? Comment here or email firstname.lastname@example.org