PUPIL numbers look like falling at the majority of Herefordshire secondary schools.

Figures obtained by the Hereford Times show that the clear majority of the county’s schools have spare places available for the new year groups starting in September.

Aylestone High School has the most with 63 vacancies while there are 53 spare places at Earl Mortimer College in Leominster, 51 at Kingstone and 39 at the Bishop of Hereford’s Bluecoat School.

The Hereford Academy has 38 vacancies, Whitecross has 37 and there are 21 at Lady Hawkins in Kington.

Queen Elizabeth Humanities College in Bromyard has 19 vacancies and there are six spare places at both John Kyrle in Ross-on-Wye and Weobley.

John Masefield High School in Ledbury and Wigmore High School are both full but the most popular schools with parents and children appear to be in Lugwardine and Peterchurch.

St Mary’s RC High School has a waiting list of six students while Fairfield High received nine more requests for places than it can offer.

Carla Preston, spokesman for Herefordshire Council, said vacancies have occurred because of a yearon- year fall in the number of pupils.

“We are now at the lowest ebb,” she said. “Next year the numbers will go up and there will be about 100 more pupils in the secondary school system.”

But the decrease in numbers has had at least had one positive impact – with 98.8 per cent of parents securing their first choice of school.

Sue Gaston, headteacher of Fairfield High School in Peterchurch, said she was pleased there was parental demand for places at her school.

“It shows that parents have confidence in the school and in the future of the school and that is very important,” she said.

“We are very lucky in Herefordshire in that all of the secondary schools are excellent. So no matter where you live you have got a good school near you.”