Just 18 children have failed to win a place at their parents’ first choice primary school, new figures have revealed.
The leader of Hyndburn council, Councillor Miles Parkinson, said he was delighted the vast majority of pupils started school at their parents’ preferred choice this week.
He said the figure – obtained by the Observer through a request under the Freedom of Information Act – meant that Hyndburn was a ‘healthy’ borough when it came to school admissions. In 2010, 64 parents had to send their child to a school which wasn't their first choice – while the figure in 2009 was 46.
Coun Parkinson said a number of factors come into play during the admissions process.
He added: "Some years getting children into their preferred schools can be very good and some years it can turn out bad because one school turns out to be very popular.
"It’s when you get 40 applications and you only get 30 places when it is more of a problem.
"But this year’s admission number of 18 is a healthy one when you address all the factors such as catchment area and whether a sibling is already at that school.
"It’s nice when it looks like everyone is getting that preference.
"Fortunately, this year, compared with previous years, it seems more people are getting their wishes."
In 2008 69 pupils weren’t given a place at the school they applied to go to while in 2007 and 2006 the numbers were 56 and 31 respectively.
A Lancashire County Council spokeswoman said there is now a statutory requirement that all admission authorities operate equal preference admission processes.
She said: "These require that all preferences from each parent are treated equally in allocating places.
"A parent’s priority order of schools as stated on their application is only used as a tie break where more than one school offer would be possible."