More than 95% of children will receive an offer from one of their four preferred secondary schools after more families than ever before applied for a place in Kent.
Yet the number of youngsters getting their first choice school slid marginally.
A total of 21,473 applications were received, up 3.58% on last year’s numbers, while the number of Kent applicants rose from 17,442 in 2018 to 17,959 this year, a 2.96% increase.
Cllr Roger Gough talks about the allocation process
Some 14,201 youngsters were offered a first school preference, equivalent to 79.07%, which is down from last year's numbers, which were 13,891 or 79.64%.
From 4pm today thousands of families across the county will be able to check their emails to find out which secondary school their children have been offered a place at for September.
From 5pm, those who applied online will also be able to log into their accounts to view their offer.
Those who submitted their applications on a paper form will receive their offers by post, which will be sent First Class.
Of the applicants, 17,959 were from pupils living within Kent and more than 90% of these will get one of their top two preference schools.
This year there were 3,514 out of county applicants compared to 3,289 the year before.
Of those 818 were offered places at Kent schools, the same amount as last year.
Cllr Roger Gough KCC cabinet member for education, said: "Well this is quite a big transition point for families.
"This is families making their choice of secondary school for their child.
"It is a big day and an important one and clearly what matters is that families do investigate what they believe is the right school for their child and put down as many preferences, ideally we would like to suggest they put down all four of the options they have on the schools and we will do our best to fulfil that.
"We have seen a significant number of children from outside Kent applying.
"We've seen for example a significant number of children from outside Kent taking the Kent Test, that said, if you look at the number of children who are actually offered a place in Kent schools from outside Kent has not really changed.
"The thing that matters to us is we look at the increasing number of Kent children who are coming into our secondary system and that is up by 500 this year and its been climbing over the last few years.
"As far as we are concerned, our big duty, working with our schools is to ensure that there are places available for Kent children, that they can make their applications and secure a place, ideally a place of their choice.
"I think the choice of secondary schools is a big stage in life and I think that it is an important day for families.
"We have to recognise that sadly there will be some who will have what's called an allocation.
"They have not been able to get one of their choices of school so we have to offer them another place.
"We always seek to keep that number as low as possible and clearly there are still stages beyond today, which is important to say, where they may yet be able to secure a school place that they want through the appeals or reallocation process.
"But this is an important day in terms of offering to those families school places that in most cases will match their preferences.
"Nearly 80% have secured a first choice of school and over 95% have secured one of their four choices.
"I think the biggest pressure in terms of school places will be the actual growth of the population within Kent.
"As I say what we have seen is over the last few years, the big increase in the number of children coming into our primary system is now working its way into our secondary system.
"We are up again another 500 this year, nearly 18,000 children applying for Year 7 places and that increase is set to go on.
"We continue to negotiate with government over what we believe is the right level of support for what's called basic needs but we are absolutely committed to ensuring that we deliver on our responsibility to ensure that every child in Kent has a school place and that it is a place in the overwhelming majority of cases, of their and their family's choice."
Cllr Gough also encouraged parents not to write off schools which were not one of their choices.
He added: "I absolutely understand for those families this is a difficult and is some ways quite a distressing time.
"It is something we try to keep to an absolute minimum and I think it is important to say that this is not the end of the process.
This is the beginning of the process, so if you have been allocated a school place that you didn't choose, I would strongly suggest do give that a look (the school), you may be surprised, so do take a look at what the school has to offer.
"I absolutely understand for those families this is a difficult and is some ways quite a distressing time..." - Cllr Roger Gough
"But also there are other options now in terms of both putting in appeals and going on waiting lists on what's called the reallocation places as some children, for whatever reason, won't take up the school place they have been offered and there is a degree of shuffling around.
"So I think its quite important that you realise this is not the end of the process.
"It is also always worth examining very seriously, the place you have been offered and in many cases accepting it, it doesn't actually preclude you then going after other options and taking those up if they become available.
"I think it is very important to ensure that you do secure that school place for your child."
What parents should do now
Parents will have until Friday, March 15 to accept or refuse their offer and return waiting list forms.
Parents must also lodge any appeals for their named schools by Friday, March 29 to be heard as on time.
KCC will reallocate places from schools waiting lists sending out a second round of offers on Wednesday, April 24.
From Wednesday, April 24, schools will maintain their own waiting lists and parents can apply to schools direct via the ‘In Year Common Application Form’ after this date to ask to be placed on the waiting list.
(Note – only children assessed suitable for grammar school can be placed on a grammar school waiting list.)
For further advice please email firstname.lastname@example.org or for more information on how to join a waiting list and/or appeal click here.