Primary school appeals rise by 10%
The number of parents appealing against primary school places has rocketed, official figures show.
Tens of thousands of families lodged appeals last year after their children were refused places at their favoured school.
Statistics published by the Department for Education show that 42,070 appeals were lodged against primary school admissions in 2009/10, a 10.5% rise on the 38,080 appeals in 2008/09.
The figures also show the number of appeals against primary places has almost doubled since 2005/06, when it stood at 21,995.
It is thought that intense pressure on primary school places due to the rising birth rate is fuelling the hike in appeals.
The statistics show that 85,165 appeals were lodged by parents against primary and secondary school allocations in 2009/10, slightly down from 88,275 the previous year.
Of these, 60,855 were heard by independent panels, with 18,110 cases decided in favour of the parents.
Schools minister Nick Gibb said: "It is clear that rising birth rates are increasing demand and pressure on primary places, with more parents unhappy with the lack of choice open to them.
"The education system has rationed places in good schools for too long, which is why our reforms are designed both to drive up standards in the weakest performers and allow more children to go to the best."
The Government is encouraging more groups to set up free schools, and 200 of the worst primaries are to be turned into academies, he added.