Council bosses have revealed plans to change the number of preferences parents can list when applying for school places.  

Norfolk County Council is proposing to increase the number to four from the existing three.

If it goes ahead, it will be available for school applications made from 2025.  

It comes after more than 300 families missed out on one of their top three preferences for the current academic year.

Penny Carpenter, cabinet member for children's services at the Conservative-led council, said: "Following concerns raised throughout the transfer to secondary school process in 2023, we have decided to consult on an increase of the number of preferences parents can make to ensure more children are placed at one of their preferred schools."

Eastern Daily Press: Conservative councillor Penny Carpenter

But opposition councillors have claimed the measure would simply serve to boost statistics - rather than benefit parents.

John Crofts, Liberal Democrats spokesman for education in Norfolk, said: "The only people who will benefit is Norfolk County Council, who could claim they have met close to 100pc of parental choices.

"Certainly, in west Norfolk, being allocated your fourth choice would be no real choice at all."

Eastern Daily Press:

Mike Smith-Clare, deputy leader of the Labour group at County Hall, added: "Whether it be three or four options, the real need is to identify how many actually gain their first choice.

"If the vast number receive their second or third - now possibly fourth - then there is an obvious problem.

Eastern Daily Press:

"Surely we need to be addressing the underlying issues and striving to make all schools academically equal and accessible, rather than providing additional confusing options guided by even more confused statistics."

The council's cabinet will consider the measure on Wednesday, January 10.