MORE THAN 450 schoolchildren in Brighton and Hove will not be going to their first choice in September as the city continues to lag behind the rest of the county.

One in five year six pupils will be heading to their second or third choice school or even directed to the school nearest to them which has available places in the city.

With 1,957 students applying for places, 454 missed out on their first choice school – up from 413 last year.

Although more students (1,957) than last year (1,931) made it into their preferred school, the percentage has dropped from 82.38% in 2014 to 81.19% this year.

Councillor Sue Shanks, chairwoman of Brighton and Hove City Council’s children and young people committee, said: “Above all I’m really pleased that more than 95% of the people applying have been offered one of their (three) preferred schools.”

Meanwhile in East Sussex, 90.49% (4,701) of pupils will start year seven at their first choice school and in West Sussex the figure is 87.5% (8,537).

An East Sussex County Council spokesman said: “Admissions policies are designed to be fair to all and try to meet the wishes of as many parents as possible.

“We are pleased that more than 95% of parents got a place for their child at one of their three preferred schools, despite an increase in applications this year, and that in the vast majority of these, a place at the parents’ first choice school was offered.”