The BBC is reporting that there are enough spare places at London’s secondary schools to house the equivalent of 84 primary schools.
There are 42,500 spare places at secondary schools across the capital, BBC analysis of Department for Education figures found.
Some of the secondary schools have enough free capacity to accommodate one or more entire primary schools.
Educating younger pupils on secondary school sites is known as “co-locating”.
Fifty-eight secondary schools in London have enough space to house an average-sized primary school with 263 pupils.
A further thirteen schools could fit two primaries on their site.
“Co-locating” already happens in big US cities such as New York and Chicago, which face a struggle for space similar to that in London.
Of the 1,800 public schools in New York, 63% are co-locating…
The New Schools Network, which helps set up free schools across England, believes co-locating could help address what they see as a lack of suitable sites in London.
Sarah Pearson, NSN’s director, commented: ”For free schools it’s not uncommon for them to have a very small first couple of years, with just a few year groups.
“This could offer them a home for the first two or three years while their permanent building is being created.”
London Councils points out that much of the spare capacity will most likely be needed to cope with a huge growing demand for secondary places…
Do you see any potential in the idea of more schools ‘co-locating’ where a current surplus of places in secondary schools could help ease the burden on primary schools?
Seems to me it would require a significant amount of planning and modelling to get it right – especially as the population bubble moves through to secondary – but an option that should be looked at?
Do let us know what you think…
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