Schools to face surge in pupil numbers

Today we take a look at the next challenge to our education system; the rapid surge in pupil numbers over the coming years.

It is estimated that between now and the 2020 election, schools in England will need to be offering an extra 900,000 places. The question is where are they going to come from? There is no concrete answer.  More than likely is the rapid increase in class sizes and the emergence of aptly named 15-16 form entry titan schools.

One UK council is having to consider creating one such school to educate more than 2,500 pupils.

This ballooning intake at existing schools will bring increased funding which may seem an attractive prospect at a time when budgets are being squeezed.

This all comes as councils across the UK are facing a huge bulge in pupil numbers moving up to the secondary education sector.

Academies who own excess land are also at risk of being swallowed up in the building of new schools.

Changes to funding agreements mean the Department for Education now has the power to insist academies release parts of their grounds.

This is likely to be a major concern for academy head teachers across London, the South East and other big cities, where pressure on places is unprecedented.

Primary schools are facing a similar situation with pupil numbers reaching the highest levels since the 1970s.

Annual figures show that like ‘titan’ secondary schools, ‘super-sized’ primary schools with up to 800 pupils are on the increase.

100,800 infants are learning in oversized classes of 30 or above, a number which has more than doubled in the last 3 years.

The effects of this issue are being felt all over the UK appearing in local newspapers on a regular basis.


Emma Williams