PARENTS have only weeks left to have the best chance of getting their children into their first choice secondary school in a year's time.

Applications for pupils moving from primary or middle schools secondary or upper schools in September 2019 should be made via Somerset County Council's website by Wednesday, October 31.

'Chaser’ texts and letters will be sent to parents on the council’s database who have not yet applied, the responsibility for getting applications in on time lies with parents and guardians.

Cllr Frances Nicholson, cabinet member for children and families, said: "At this time of year parents and their children will be visiting schools to find out more about them and help them decide on their three preferred schools.

"It’s an important decision and once they’ve made it, it’s very important they submit their applications before the deadline with their three preferences.

"If they don’t, they risk missing out on a place they would like and it’s always best to include their local school as one of the preferences, too.

“October 31 is the deadline for secondary age children transferring school next year, and I’d encourage all parents and guardians to start looking at what’s involved now."

All schools have been reminded of the application deadlines and asked to send information to parents in school newsletters.

As well as linking to an online application form, the webpage holds plenty of related information, including a directory of schools, catchment areas and school admissions policy.

Last year, 93.8 per cent of 5,665 children starting school in 2018 received their first choice primary school, a slight increase on previous years, while 98.4 per cent of children were given one of their top three choices.

And 97.5 per cent of children were offered a place at one of their top three secondary school preferences, up from last year’s 97.17, while 93.5 per cent received their first preference, an increase on the previous year’s figure of 92.32.

*For primary school admissions - which includes children starting school for the first time or moving from infant to junior and first to middle schools – the deadline is January 15.