The number of preferences parents can list when applying for school places for Norfolk children is to be increased.

Norfolk County Council's Conservative-controlled cabinet has agreed to change the number of preferences which parents can mark down from three to four.

Councillors agreed to the change at a meeting on Wednesday (January 10), which will come into effect from 2025.

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

Eastern Daily Press: Penny CarpenterPenny Carpenter (Image: Norfolk Conservatives)

Penny Carpenter, cabinet member for children's services at the Conservative-led council, said the change was being made after "difficulties" some parents had experienced.

But opposition councillors claimed the measure would simply serve to boost the council's statistics - rather than benefit parents and pupils.

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

Mike Smith-Clare, deputy leader of the Labour group at County Hall, said: "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."