This compares well with many parts of the country especially in London for instance where as many as one third of all children will start at a schools that were not their first preference. The final figure for Cambridgeshire will not be known until any appeals are heard nationally around a quarter of appeals succeed. This year Cambridgeshire County Council received nearly 6700 applications for secondary school places - an increase of more than 300 compared to the last academic year. A total of 6691 applications were received by the deadline of October 31, 2018. Of these more than 5990 (89.5 per cent) resulted in children being offered a place at their first preference school compared to 5561 last year. A further 449 (6.7 per cent) children have received the offer of a place at their second or third preference school. Jonathan Lewis, service director for education for Cambridgeshire County Council said: We dealt with significantly more applications for secondary school places in the county this year. We expect this trend to continue for the coming years and are planning for this by working with existing schools to increase their capacity. He said the county council also plans for new secondary schools in the areas where demand is greatest with a planned investment in secondary school places of £200 million between 2019-20 and 2023-24. Mr Lewis added: We advise all applicants to use all three of their preferences when applying for a secondary school place. He said it was essential parents included their catchment school as one of their preferences to give themselves the best chance of securing a place. In Cambridgeshire, the county council administer admissions appeals on behalf of all maintained schools, including academies. All appeals are held in accordance with the Department for Educations School Admissions Code and the School Admissions Appeal Code. The purpose of these codes is to ensure that the admission appeal panel is independent and that appeals are conducted in a fair, transparent and lawful way. A council spokesman said: You are legally entitled to appeal against the admission authoritys decision to refuse a place at your preferred school(s). Accepting a place at an alternative school does not affect your childs place on the reserve list for your preferred school(s), or your right of appeal. Your appeal will be heard by an independent school admission appeals panel. The panels decision is binding on all parties: the school, the admission authority and you.