FEWER Cumbria pupils are starting at their first-choice secondary school this September, new figures show.

In April, pupils starting at primary and secondary state schools this year found out which school they would be attending.

Parents can put between three and six preferences down for a state school of choice, with the exact number varying between local authorities.

Schools are ranked by order of preference, with pupils allocated to the highest school on the list for which they meet the eligibility criteria.

New figures from the Department for Education show there were 4,897 applicants to secondary schools in Cumbria this year.

Of these, 94.3% were given a place at their first choice for the 2022-23 school year – down from 94.7% the year before.

Meanwhile, 98.9% were allocated to one of the schools on their list – also down from the year before, when the same figure stood at 99.3%.

If pupils do not receive an offer from any of their preferences, they are given a place at another school by the local council.

The figures show 98.7% of Cumbria children were given their first primary school of choice, a rise from the 97% in the 2021-22 school year, and the greatest proportion since 2014.

Almost every child was given a primary school place on their list, with 99.8% being allocated to one of their preferences.