Nearly 200 pupils in Hertfordshire have been left without a secondary school place in September.
Hertfordshire County Council has been unable to offer a place to 189 children and more than 1,000 others have been given a place, but not at any of their four selected options.
The authority said a "bulge year" for births between September 2007 and August 2008 means it had 460 more applications this year than last year.
It is the first year since statistics have been published that the council has failed to allocate all children with any school at this first stage. The authority said the main issue was the funding allocation from the government for the new Katherine Warington School, being built in Harpenden, which came in too late for the school to be included in the council's coordinated application process.