The process for applying to primary, junior and middle schools in Hertfordshire is closing soon.

Hertfordshire County Council says it is vital that parents and carers make their applications before the deadline of Sunday 15 January.

The easiest way to apply for a school place for September 2017 is to visit and complete the online application form. Last year 99 per cent of parents applied online.

Online applications can be amended at any time up to the closing date and the school offer can be viewed and responded to before allocation letters are received.

Before making an application, parents and carers are strongly advised to visit schools to help decide their preferences. Parents should contact schools directly to find out more.

Councillor David Williams, responsible for education, enterprise and skills, said: “We want to make sure young people get a good start in life, and we have some of the best facilities for education in the UK.

“I understand that parents and carers want their children to attend the school they most prefer. Hertfordshire has a good track record and last year 95 per cent of applicants were offered a place at one of their four ranked primary, junior or middle schools.

“However we are not able to meet everyone’s preferences, despite working very hard to achieve this. I would urge parents to carefully consider the preferences they make, to make realistic choices and to visit local schools before applying - and please make sure you meet the deadline for applications.”

In line with Department for Education guidance, parents of summer-born children (born between April 1 and August 31 2013) who do not believe their child will be ready to start Reception in September 2017 may instead apply for a place in September 2018 when that process begins next November.

The council encourages all families with summer-born children to discuss their child’s readiness for Reception with their nursery provider before making a decision, and confirm before Easter 2017 whether they wish their child to remain in nursery for 2017/18 rather than move on to a Reception class.