PARENTS are not ensuring their children have the biggest choice of secondary school because they aren’t following the admissions process correctly, according to Thurrock Council leader John Kent.

When applying, parents are asked to list their top six schools in order of preference, but many are only filling in two places.

If both options are refused, a school is allocated to the child by the council.

Figures released by the council show that 697 admissions for September only named one school, and 409 only picked two.

Mr Kent said: “Parents should always fill in as many of the preference options as possible.

“Thurrock Council co-ordinates the admissions process, so if your first or second choices are refused by the schools, the staff can refer you to the next.

“If there’s no third choice, you will have no say whatsoever.”

Parents who have had an offer of a school they did not apply for will be written to with details on how to appeal. However, the council’s advice is that they should not reject it because they would risk having no place for their child.

Parents can contact the admissions team to see what is available on 01375 652883 or visit