Claims school application system 'not working' as half a million 11-year-olds find out their future

Pupil in a chemistry lesson Credit: PA

Tens of thousands of 11-year-olds across the East Midlands found out where they'd be going to secondary school today.

So-called 'National Offer Day' is a tense time for pupils and parents, with children often wanting to go to the same school as their friends, while their parents want the best education possible.

Parents and pupils awaiting their fate at Linchfield Community Primary School in Market Deeping in Lincolnshire this morning, described the whole experience as 'nerve wracking'.

Please parents and pupils at Linchfield Community Primary School in Market Deeping Credit: ITV News

The Bentley family were one of those there to find out where their son Jacob would be going, and although it was good news for his parents, he couldn't hide his disappointment.

His father said:

Local councils in the East Midlands say the vast majority of parents today will be pleased, with most getting their first choice offer for their child's secondary education. Figures from county councils show:

One eager Year 6 pupil learns which secondary he'll attend next year Credit: ITV News

However there is growing concern that too many are missing out on their first choice, and calls for the system to be overhauled.

Official figures show that in 2014, about one in seven 11-year-olds did not get a place at their favoured school.

That equates to about 77,100 youngsters, compared with around 66,500 (13.3%) the year before.

It has "never been harder" for parents to get their children into a favoured school, according to Rachel Burrows, editor of the Netmums website.

Ms Burrows said:

General view of primary school children in a maths lesson Credit: ITV News

A Department for Education spokesman said the Government wants to give every family the choice of a good local school.

For those on the wrong side of the school place numbers game, what option they take next could mean weeks of worrying to come.

Experts advise not to act too hastily, like send angry letters to the school which didn't have room for your child.

Instead there's still a chance you could get your first choice by joining a waiting list, or appeal the decision with your local authority if that fails.

Read more: What to do if your child missed out on their school place