New data has revealed that almost 70 per cent of children in London due to start secondary school this September have been offered a place at their first preference.

The Pan London Admissions Board published its findings today - March 1 - on National Secondary Offer Day.

According to the data, 92,672 applications were made for the next academic year - 1pc fewer than last year.

Significantly, 94pc of applicants have been accepted into one of their six preferred schools - much to the delight of Cllr Damian White, the chair of London Councils schools and children’s services.

“With 93pc of the capital’s schools rated good or outstanding by Ofsted, it is no surprise that parents are keen to send their children to school in London," commented the leader of Havering Council.

However, the figures vary considerably by borough.

In Barking and Dagenham, 81.69pc of applicants were offered a space at their first preference school, compared to 65.51pc in Redbridge.

Havering - with 81.21pc - also had a high percentage of pupils receiving a place at their first preference school, compared to the likes of Newham where the number was 69.19pc.

In Hackney, 67.09pc of children got into their first preference school; similar figure were seen in Islington (66.32pc) and Tower Hamlets (69.55pc).

For pupils in Brent, 69.80pc were offered their first preference, with 13.21pc of applicants receiving a place at their second preference school.

Cllr White said councils have also seen a growing demand in services for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).

"We remain keen to work with the government, boroughs and schools to support the development of specialist provision at a local level, to ensure that all pupils have access to a high-quality education in London," he added.

The chair of the Association of London Directors of Children’s Services believes this system guarantees school places are distributed by local authorities in an "open and fair way".

Of the Pan-London Admissions Scheme, Martin Pratt said: "The scheme ensures that parents receive a school place offer at the school which is highest in their list of preferences for which they are eligible under the admissions criteria."