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16,000 new secondary school places needed

23/06/2016 Joanna

With an influx of primary school pupils this year, it's become clear that secondary schools will need significantly increased capacity in seven years' time when these students move schools.

Official figures from the Department for Education (DfE) show that this number could be as much as 16,000, with Surrey County Council and Birmingham City Council due to face the biggest shortfalls.

In order to combat this, the DfE has committed £7 billion in funding for new school places, while local authorities have plans in place to create 52,000 more secondary school places by 2018.

A spokesperson for Birmingham City Council stated: "The increasing popularity of Birmingham as a place for young families to move to means each year group at primary level has increased annually over recent years.

"Although we do not need secondary places yet in most parts of the city, we are confident we will be able to work with the many schools that may wish to expand where and when places are needed, following the success of the primary school expansion programme."

The DfE confirmed that it has plans in place, which have worked to accommodate the recent influx of primary school pupils. It intends to deliver as many as 600,000 new places in 500 free schools by 2021.

In addition, a spokesperson for the body said: "Our reforms and our academy programme are raising standards for all children with 1.4 million more pupils in good or outstanding schools than in 2010. We will continue to invest and work hard to ensure every child has an excellent education that allows them to reach their full potential."

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