A BABY boom means more than 1,000 extra children applied for secondary school places in Lancashire this year, compared with 12 months ago.

But education bosses at Lancashire County Council said they had managed to place 96 per cent of 11-year-olds starting secondary school in September at one of their preferred schools, or academies.

Provisional figures for allocations show that 89 per cent will get their first choice, seven per cent will go to schools which were their second or third preference, while four per cent will initially be allocated places at other schools.

County Coun Matthew Tomlinson, cabinet member for children, young people and schools, said: “This can be a nail-biting time of year for parents and children as they wait to hear which secondary school they have been alloc-ated. It heartens me to know that more than 95 per cent will be gett-ing one of their three preferences.

“Numbers of applicants fluctuate year on year and this, along with some schools being very popular, can affect allocations. However, it is a fair and objective process, and every application is decided upon using the criteria which have been agreed for that school.”

Those whose initial offer is not for their preferred school, or academy, will automatically receive a form with information about waiting lists and appeals.

The Lancashire Telegraph reported in 2012 that provision was having to be made in primary schools because of a baby boom. Headteachers at secondary sch-ools have said they are also start-ing to feel the pressure.

A report by the National Audit Office last year found more than 250,000 extra primary and sec-ondary school places would be needed in England by 2014.

One-off increases were recom-mended for St Andrew’s and St Paul’s CE Primary Schools, in Oswaldtwistle, Woodnook, Hyndburn Park and Peel Park Primaries, in Accrington, and Padiham St Leonard’s CE Primary.