PARENTS in St Helens found out this morning whether their child got into their top choice of primary school to begin reception class in September.

On what has become known as national offer day for primary schools, hundreds of parents received emails confirming whether they have been offered a place at their first-choice school.

St Helens Council says there has been "a steady increase" in the number of parents and guardians securing their first preference primary school for their child ahead of the 2018 academic year.

This year, 92.74 per cent of applicants were given their first choice primary school compared to 88.99 per cent the previous year, says the local authority. This is an increase of 3.75 per cent.

Overall, 98.24 per cent of applicants were given one of their preferred schools.

Commenting on the news, Jo Davies, senior assistant director for schools' services said: “Every year we work exceptionally hard to ensure that parents and guardians are allocated one of their preferred school places primary schools –and I’m delighted to see that this is the case for September 2018.

“If any parent or guardian has any questions about their application, or if their child will be 4 years old before 1 September, 2018, and have not yet applied - I would ask them to contact the School Admissions Team on 01744 671035/1029.”

Last year, 97.2% of four-year-olds in England were offered a place at one of their top three primary schools.

In 2017 St Helens Council data showed 1,842 school starters secured their top preference, while 228 children got second, third or alternative choice.

Nationally, some parents go on to lodge appeals in a last-ditch attempt to secure a place at their first choice of school.