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Local authorities tackle shortage of school places

25/09/2015 Joanna
As the population continues to grow, so too does the demand for school places. With just over eight million students due to fill England's schools by 2023, local authorities are now putting plans in place to cope with this surge in demand.

Schools across England must cater for almost 880,000 additional pupils within the next eight years, and ensure that by doing so the education of these students is not affected. This is a rise from 7,143,000 pupils in the current academic year to approximately 8,022,000 in 2023.

Local authorities which are already seeing a large demand for school places are expanding current institutions, with councils across the nation considering major expansions to cope with increasing student intakes. 

One east London secondary school could see student numbers increase to 2,500, making it Britain's largest secondary school according to the Time Education Supplement.

Milton Keynes is one of many areas expanding their offering for school places, with a multi-million pound programme underway which will see three new primary schools opening by September 2016. 

Emma Leaman, the assistant director for education infrastructure at Birmingham City Council, said: “The numbers starting secondary school this year are higher than ever, and they will keep rising for at least the next ten years. There is a substantial appetite among secondaries to expand on their current sites and make more use of existing space."

Education experts across Britain are keen to not only expand current schools, but to build new schools. This would avoid too many students in just one school, and create more infrastructure to deal with future demand.

Posted by Theo Foulds

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