Education bosses in Hertfordshire are expected to allocate primary school places for next year as planned, councillors have heard.

Parents across the county had until March 4 to apply for places at the county’s primary, junior or middle schools for September.

And on April 16 they are due to be notified whether their applications have been successful – or whether they have been allocated places at other schools.

At a cabinet meeting on Monday (March 23), deputy executive member for education, libraries and localism Cllr Mark Mills-Bishop confirmed parents should still be contacted on April 16, as planned.

And, he said, the ongoing process for parents of children due to start secondary school in September should continue as planned too.

Those parents are at the stage where they have been allocated a secondary school place, and should by now have decided whether to accept or decline.

The ‘continuing interest’ process – where children may be allocated a place at a preferred school – is ongoing.

However, as part of a discussion on the council’s response to coronavirus, Cllr Mills-Bishop said the processes could be subject to change.

And he said there were “likely” to be delays in the appeals process.

He told councillors: “The admission team have advised that the continuing interest rounds for parents will take place as planned – as will primary,  junior and middle school allocation day on the April 16.

“This could be subject to change and there is likely to be delays in handling any appeals.

“However when the picture does become clearer we will update.”

Meanwhile, at the meeting, Cllr Mills-Bishop said 95 per cent of schools had remained open for the children of key workers this week – with special schools open and transport running.

And he said the way that schools, teachers and headteachers had responded had been “nothing short of magnificent”.

He also reported that guidance on free school meals was currently being developed by the Department for Education.

Following the meeting, a spokesperson for Hertfordshire County Council confirmed that admissions processes for this year were “on track”.

She said: “We can confirm that all admissions processes are currently on track for the scheduled allocation dates.

“We are working closely with all coordinating neighbouring local authorities to ensure that primary allocations will not be affected.

“All staff involved in this process are fully able to work remotely and are doing so.”

Meanwhile at the meeting of the cabinet, Cllr Mills-Bishop stressed that library users could still use the website, online and e-book facilities.

And he said there would be no penalties for ‘late’ books that could not be returned.