A third of Birmingham ten-year-olds have missed out on their first choice secondary school, according to council figures, but teaching unions have said parents had no need to complain.
Around 4,700 of the 14,000 city children who applied for secondary places were finding out on Monday and Tuesday that they would not be going to their preferred school.
But more than 85 per cent of pupils in the city were offered a place at one of their top three preferences and more than 94 per cent landed an offer from one of their top six choices.
A total of 762 children, or 5.4 per cent, were not offered any one of their preferred schools.
There were also 1,870 applicants to Birmingham schools from outside the city, with only 21.3 per cent offered their first choice.
Teaching unions said parents who were not offered their first choice should not moan.
NASUWT teaching union chief Chris Keates said: “Parents express preferences not choices. The hand-wringing of commentators about the very small percentage of those who don’t get their first preference has an underlying message that somehow these parents are being short-changed and will have to settle for ‘second best’.
“Standards of education in all secondary schools across the country have never been higher and are continually improving.”
Although no details have yet been issued of which schools were the most in-demand this year, grammar and faith schools have traditionally been the most popular, with about ten pupils applying for every place.
This was also the first year that parents could be informed by text, with more than 100 opting to do so, while others were being informed by more conventional letter, email or telephone call.
Many more than last year used the internet to apply with online applications from 2,896 sets of parents, up from 618 in 2008-09.
According to official statistics there were a total of 13,986 applications from Birmingham children, up 34 on last year.
9,300 (66.5 per cent) were offered their first preferred school, second choice offers went to 1,715 (12.3 per cent) pupils, third preferences to 917 (6.6 per cent), 587 (4.2 per cent) fourth choices, 412 (2.9 per cent) offered fifth preference and 293 (2.1 per cent) the sixth preferred school.
A total of 1,383 were offered school places outside Birmingham.
In recent years there have been an average 1,000 appeals made but only 3.6 per cent were successful.