The number of Wigan children who will enrol at their first choice primary school later this year has increased.
As many as 93.7 per cent of pupils were allocated their first choice school, an increase from 91.4 per cent last year.
And more than 98 per cent will be starting reception at one of their preferred options, rising from 97.8 per cent last year to 98.8 this year.
The number of children admitted to their second choice of school was 147 - a percentage of 4.1, while one per cent of youngsters (36) will go to their third choice.
There were 42 pupils (1.2 per cent) who did not get a place at any of their preferred choices of school.
A total of 3,558 children have applied for a primary school place in September 2019, and Pupils will be having the best possible start to life at school as the borough’s primary schools are consistently rated among the best in the North West.
Cath Pealing, interim assistant director for education, said: “We are so pleased that more than 98 per cent of children will be starting their school life in reception class this September at one of their preferred schools.
“We have a brilliant track record in Wigan Borough for enabling children to get into the school of their choice and this is down to early planning and working with our school leaders to help meet demand.”
Nationally, Department for Education figures showed 91 per cent of primary pupils were offered their first choice in 2018, while 97.7 per cent were offered one of their top three choices.
Ministers said the number of children being offered their first choice of primary school had been improving since 2014.
However, heads warned that the offers system was not working properly in some areas.
National Association of Head Teachers’ general secretary, Paul Whiteman, said: “Local authorities are responsible for ensuring sufficient school places, but the powers and resources necessary for them to do so have been removed.
“Instead, planning is haphazard; decisions are being made in isolation and new schools and new school places are not always being commissioned in the areas they are most needed.”
School standards minister Nick Gibb said 87 per cent of primary schools are now being judged as good or outstanding, compared to 67 per cent in 2010.
“Any school place offer day is a big event for families, but parents should be reassured that the improvement in the school system means that they would probably find the schools themselves unrecognisable from a generation ago,” he said.
“The curriculum has been revitalised, the phonics check is helping thousands of six-year-olds become fluent readers, the Teaching for Mastery programme means many pupils are being taught maths using world leading techniques and the gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers is falling.
“What this means in practice is that even in instances where parents aren’t getting the news they hoped for today, the likelihood is that their child will be attending a school which will provide a first-class education.”