Half of secondary schools now oversubscribed, new analysis finds

TES is reporting that headteachers are warning of the impact of popularity on schools as half of secondary schools in England are oversubscribed.

At least half of England’s secondaries are now oversubscribed, according to exclusive research seen by TES, causing headteachers to warn of the burden as the problem is set to get worse. 

The proportion of secondaries with more applications than pupil places rose to 50 per cent this year for the first time in a generation, figures from the FindASchool website show.

And the rate – which stood at just 43 per cent two years ago – is expected to get higher still, because of the bulge in secondary pupil numbers over the next five years. The research comes as thousands of parents are choosing their preferred secondary school choices ahead of the deadline on October 31. 

Headteachers are complaining of the “struggle” that schools are facing because of oversubscription. Ed Rushton, founder of FindASchool – a school-checking service run with 192.com – said: “Our figures, which, incidentally, the government does not collect, suggest the problem is getting worse.

“Given the large bulge in primary school numbers, this trend is likely to continue unless lots of extra schools are opened and more school places are added where they are most needed.”

More at: Half of secondary schools now oversubscribed, new analysis finds

How do you think the problem of oversubscribed schools should be solved? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or via Twitter. ~Meena

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  1. The West Bridgford School head told TES,   “What’s crippling me is funding the pupil expansion.’.
    But The West Bridgford School is an academy and isn’t obliged to accept more pupils than its Planned Admission Number (216 for 2016 and 2017).  In 2012 the school had actually reduced its PAN from 226 to
    210 (https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/432828/ADA2838_2839_and_2840_The_West_Bridgford_School_Nottinghamshire_5_June_2015.pdf)  
    It’s not expansion that’s ‘crippling’ the academy – it’s inadequate funding.

  2. Academies can refuse to increase their Pupil Admission Number.  (They can even reduce it – see comment below).  This cushions them from having to cope with extra demand.  This is one of the downsides of academisation.
    Not helped, of course, by the DfE throwing money at further academization and free schools where there are already surplus places.  Not to mention their vote-seeking policy of introducing new grammars.

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