More than 79,000 children missed out on a place at their first-choice secondary school, official figures have revealed.
Schools minister Nick Gibb said that too many pupils will be attending a school that is not their preferred option come September.
"These figures expose the fact that there simply aren't enough good schools," he commented.
"Too many parents are forced to choose between schools which don't deliver the academic standards and good behaviour they demand."
Mr Gibb claimed that the government's education reforms, which focus on raising standards of behaviour and encouraging new schools to be established, are designed to deliver higher standards and provide genuine choice for parents.
In total, 84.6 per cent of children received an offer at their first-choice school.
Janette Wallis, an editor at the Good Schools Guide, said it can be extremely upsetting for parents if they do not get their child into a good school.
Posted by Paula Keogh