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The Telegraph reports: Nearly half of pupils in some parts of the country have missed out on their first choice of secondary schools as competition for places reached record levels, according to official figures.

Councils across England reported that fewer 11-year-olds gained places at their preferred secondary schools, with many being forced to make do with their second, third or even sixth choice.

Experts warned that the pressures on schools are intensifying and that there will "clearly" come a time when they can no longer cope with demand.

The figures suggest that for the first time the pressure on primary schools caused by high levels of immigration and a baby boom is feeding through to secondary schools.

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What to do if you do not get your choice of school