BBC News are reporting that an extra 750,000 school places will be needed in England by 2025 to keep up with a population bulge, says an official forecast from the Department for Education.
The pressure on creating new schools and extra classrooms will be one of the challenges for incoming Education Secretary Justine Greening.
From 2016 to 2025, the projection says there will be another 10% of pupils in the state school system, up from about 7.4 million to about 8.1 million.
The projection shows that the population bulge is moving through the secondary years – but that the increase in primary numbers is slowing.
It means that within the next decade secondary schools will have to create an extra 570,000 places – and these figures do not include post-16 education or sixth forms.
Russell Hobby, leader of the National Association of Head Teachers, said there needed to be much better integrated planning for extra places, including the involvement of local authorities.
“We are looking at over 750,000 more young people in school education by 2025. The government’s only clear plan for increasing capacity is to open 500 free schools. Whilst good, new free schools are fine, they are not sufficient.”
Is an increase in the number of free schools the only way to manage this tricky situation? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or on Twitter. ~ Nellie
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