Almost 5,000 children will this September go to their first choice County Durham secondary school.

This year 5,162 applications for places were made – up from 5,088 in 2017 – with over 95 per cent (4,916 pupils) being offered a place at their first choice school.

Phil Hodgson, Durham County Council’s head of education, said: “We know that for parents, the decision of where to send their children to secondary school is a big one and so we are delighted to be able to offer so many of them their first choice schools.”

With 150 receiving their second choice school (2.9 per cent up from 2.5 per cent) and 36 their third choice (0.7 per cent up from 0.5 per cent), it means that the number of children not receiving an offer for any of their choices fell, from 84 to 60 (1.7 per cent to 1.1 per cent).

However, every child who applied has been offered a place at a school in the county.

Parents who applied online you will be informed of the school place offered via email. Those who applied in other ways will be informed of the school place offered via a letter by March 2.

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