The secondary school place allocation system came under fire yesterday after some students with excellent academic results failed to be assigned to schools of their choice. Hundreds of primary pupils who failed to be admitted to Band One schools waited in lines with their parents trying to secure places at English-medium schools immediately after learning their fate. Their complaints came a day after the government hailed the system, saying it would place 80 per cent of Primary Six pupils in one of their three preferred schools. Andrew Lam and his mother were among 300 lining up outside St Paul's College yesterday. 'My son was allocated to a Chinese-medium school. I'm not satisfied with the allocation so I am taking this chance to see if he can be admitted to an English secondary school,' Mrs Lam said. But competition was keen. More than 200 children were fighting for 20 places at Diocesan Boys' School, while 300 were after 20 places left at St Paul's. Fresh Fish Traders' School principal Leung Kee-cheong criticised the allocation system for being unfair to the school's top pupils, who should have been allocated to English secondary schools. 'I feel disappointed after reading the results of the secondary school places allocation,' Mr Leung said. 'I know my students have worked very hard, but they are not allocated to Band One schools. This is because the allocation system is unfair.' Only about 10 per cent of the school's graduates qualified as Band One students under the mechanism, which uses the school's academic aptitude test results between 1997 and 2000 to moderate their performance in internal assessments. A working group of the Education Commission has recently proposed a new scheme to be introduced in time for children starting secondary school in 2007. 'My students have achieved good academic performances in the last three years, but their efforts are not recognised,' Mr Leung said. 'The system still relies on the test results which cannot reflect the excellent quality of my top students, who should study at English-medium schools.' Chung Shuk-fan, one of the top 10 pupils in her grade, was allocated the school she put as her 29th choice. 'Some of my classmates were allocated to better schools though their academic performance is worse than mine. This is so unfair,' said the 12-year-old, who was assigned to Hong Kong and Kowloon Chiu Chow Public Association Secondary School. Her class teacher, Liu Ming-tak, said that he was shocked some of the top pupils were not able to study at schools of their first three choices. 'This is totally out of my expectation. They have always done well in examinations and some are in fact the top five students in the whole year,' he said. Of the 79,899 Primary Six pupils who will begin their new term at secondary schools in September, 80 per cent were allocated to schools from their first three choices and 60 per cent were given their first choice. About 19 per cent secured their placements through discretionary allocations.