Parents hoping to send their children to a popular Keighley secondary school face an anxious wait after it was revealed the level of applications far exceeds the number of available places.

Holy Family Catholic School has confirmed it is facing what it terms as the “nice problem” of receiving a huge number of applications for places in its year seven.

The school announced it has been snowed under with 470 applications for the 150 places available for the new academic year starting in September.

Admissions officer Sue Keenan explained applications must be processed against the criteria for admission laid out in the school’s own policy, which ‘bands’ children into various priorities.

“It is always difficult , especially with the children who are between 150th and 170th on the list once they are prioritised,” she said.

“Where the bar comes down depends on children higher in the list not taking up their place, but wherever it comes down you are always aware it is a significant upset for children and their families.”

Holy Family headteacher Lawrence Bentley said: “From our side, it is a nice problem to have – it is a sign of the high regard in which the school is held by the community at large.

“We know we have a very good overall provision for the students, and in an ideal world, we would like to be able to take many more than we are allowed.”

A Bradford Council education spokesman said despite Holy Family being oversubscribed, this should not mean that local youngsters in this age group will be forced to travel out of the Keighley catchment area for their secondary school education.

“Some Keighley secondary schools are oversubscribed and others are not,” he added.

“This means that currently, Keighley area year six pupils can be accommodated in Keighley area secondary schools.”