Six in seven parents applying for reception places for their son or daughter in Surrey were offered their first choice school, exceeding the national average, figures show.

In Mole Valley 89.5 per cent of parents secured their first choice of reception – slightly ahead of mothers and fathers in Reigate and Banstead (89.5 per cent), Elmbridge (88.6 per cent), and Epsom and Ewell (85.3 per cent).

County-wide, 11,325 out of 12,608 (89.8 per cent) parents were offered their first choice – just ahead of the provisional national average of 88.4 per cent.

From April: New wave of free schools approved, Education Secretary Justine Greening announces

Liz Mills, Surrey County Council’s assistant director for schools and learning, said: “We’re pleased we were able to offer the vast majority of Surrey children the primary school place they wanted this year with six in seven applicants getting their first preference.

“While the number of applicants to Surrey primary schools fell this year in the wake of the birth rate dropping in 2013, we know we still need to create an extra 11,000 school places over the next five years to cater for demand in many parts of the county at both primary and secondary level.”

From April: Teachers threaten to boycott primary school tests

Hundreds of thousands of children found out on Tuesday (April 18) whether they had got into their first-choice school.

Nationally, the proportion of children getting a place at their first-choice primary school rose 0.2 percentage points, according to provisional analysis of 82 local authorities by the Press Association.

Kevin Courtney, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers' union, said: "The NUT hopes that families receive good news about the primary school place they have been allocated for their children.

"For many, however, it will be a day of huge anxiety because their child is placed in a school which means long journeys on a daily basis, missing out on going to the same school as siblings or not getting a place at all."

From March: Surrey headteachers write joint letter to Chancellor saying funding cuts could mean 'very real possibility of a four-day school week'

Councillor Richard Watts, chairman of the Local Government Association's children and young people board, added: "Over recent years councils have created an extra 600,000 primary places.

"This is a demonstrable record that they are doing everything they can to rise to the challenge of ensuring no child goes without a place.

"Every child should have a fair chance of getting into their parents' preferred school and councils and schools work extremely hard to try and ensure that as many pupils as possible are allocated their first preference."

Got a story? Get in touch at