The long summer holiday may just have finished and children returned to school just last week.

But there’s little time to lose for parents to make their choice for their children’s school next September - those with youngsters going into reception in 2020 and those whose children will be moving into secondary school in a year’s time both need to be deciding soon.

Emily Heaton, who runs the team overseeing the admissions process said: “The deadline for secondary preferences to be in is October 31.

“For new reception children, there’s more time - the deadline is January 15.”

Most parents can feel fairly relaxed that the odd are in their favour for getting children into their first choice, and certainly into one of their three expressed preferences,

Ms Heaton said: “This year 95 per cent got into their first preference and 99 per cent got into one of three at primary level, and at secondary level it was 91 per cent at first choice and again 99 per cent at one of their three choices, we are tenth nationally in Swindon for these success rates.”

She had some useful tips for parents to maximise their chances of being successful.

One was getting in touch with the council early: “We go to open evenings at schools for the next year’s intake and parents can come and talk to us there. Or can get in touch via the website if they’ve got a concern or an unusual issue. We’d rather hear from them earlier before an issue arises after the deadline.”