Nine out of ten parents have been offered their first or second choice of primary school by Essex County Council.

Of the 16,000 parents receiving notification of places, 86.72 per cent have been given their top choice while 6.83 per cent got their second.

Just 2.45 per cent of parents were offered their third preference school and 1.1 per cent given their fourth choice.

Ray Gooding, the council’s cabinet member for education and lifelong learning, said: “This is great news for parents across the county.

“I am fully aware that many parents will have been waiting nervously ahead of primary offer day and I am sure many parents will be delighted with the outcome and will now look forward to September.

“The fact that despite pressures on primary school places we have maintained high numbers of parents being offered their first preference school, highlights the council’s work to create the necessary places. To respond to the challenge of population increases we have commissioned almost 600 more reception places for September 2014 and are committed to delivering another 300 primary places by September 2015.

“Our commitment to creating these primary places enables us to ensure parents continue to secure places at their preferred schools.”