THE families of 22 children in Somerset have been unable to find a primary school for their youngsters to attend in September.

The county council says the children, who will be four at the start of the next school year "could not be offered a place" as it announced its initial allocation of places.

A council spokesman said the reason could be the parents or carers had not applied to their catchment school, had been refused all their preferences and the catchment schools is full.

There would then be no other school place to offer with the two-mile statutory walking distance from their home.

The spokesman said: "In this scenario we would expect the parent to apply for their catchment school in the second round of allocations, the child will be on a waiting list for any school they are refused and the parent has the right of appeal against the decision.

"Ultimately, however, no child will be left without a school place for the start of the school year."

He added: "If there is a shortage in any specific area, we will ensure that extra places are allocated at a particular school and/or school transport provided."

County Hall said 93.8 per cent of children starting school in five months' time have won a place at their first choice school.

And 98.4 per cent of the 5,665 children have secured one of their top three choices.

Cllr Frances Nicholson, Somerset County Council cabinet member for children and families, said: "It is great news that, thanks to the hard work of our teams, we have been able to meet the majority of parents’ and carers’ preferences.

"For those children who haven't been offered a place at one of their top three choices, we will work with the families to make sure we meet their child’s educational needs.”

  • From 5,665 applications received this year, figures show:
  • First preference met – 93.8 per cent (5,313 applications);
  • Second preference – 3.6 per cent (202;
  • Third preference – 1 per cent (59).

Parents or carers of children not offered a preferred school can appeal.

For details of what you can do if your child hasn't been successful in getting into the school of your choice, click here.