DfE predicts continuation in growth of pupil numbers over next decade

forecast from the DfE predicts that an increase in pupil numbers will continue for the next decade, with 750,000 new places needed by 2025. By then, schools will have faced 16 consecutive years of rising pupil numbers with many having to expand buildings or squeeze more children into classrooms. Between 2009 and 2016, the school system already expanded to take in an extra 470,000 pupils. And from 2016 to 2025, the projection says there will be another 10% of pupils in the state school system, up from about 7.4m to about 8.1m. The increase has been driven by a rising birth rate – and the analysis suggests this reflects an increasing number of non-UK born mothers, who tend to have bigger families. The forecast says “direct immigration of pupils” has, however, had only a very small effect. Headteachers’ leaders have warned that the rising pupil numbers will make it even harder for parents to get their preferred choice of school, though the DfE says it has committed £7bn to extra places, with a spokesman commenting: “Fewer children are being taught in large infant classes, the average primary school class sizes remain stable at 27.1 pupils and the vast majority of parents get places in their preferred schools.”

Daily Mail   Daily Telegraph, Page: 14   BBC News