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Pupil numbers continue to swell

13 Apr

On 2 March 2015, pupils transferring from primary to secondary state schools in September 2015 were offered places at the schools of their choice. Where there was a shortage, they were offered places at the nearest schools to where they live provided that there were vacancies.  The parents of pupils who were not offered places of their choice have a right to appeal to independent panels and many are exercising this right.

Those children eligible to begin school in September 2015 will know of their fate on 16 April 2015 and offered reception places.  The Local Government Association (LGA) has projected that nationally, we will need an additional 450,000 school places in the next five years and 900,000 in the next decade.   The government recognises this and has set aside £7.35 billion for the purpose of building new schools and expanding existing ones.

There are four main reasons for the increase in pupil numbers.

(1)        A rise in birth-rates.

(2)        An influx of refugee and asylum seekers from the troubled areas of the world.

(3)        The opening of the European Union (EU) borders.

(4)        Demographic shifts and population movements caused by a change of housing benefits. Continue reading

Research reveals that Free Schools cherry-pick pupils

25 Aug

According to recent research carried out by the Institute of Education (IOE) University of London, free schools are not well serving the neediest children in their areas. It shows that schools in this flagship-Government programme are opening in disadvantaged neighbourhoods, but are taking fewer poor children (those receiving free meals) than the other local schools.

Only 17.5% of secondary pupils were entitled to free school meals and 13.5% of primary pupils – compared to averages of 22% and 18% in the neighbourhoods in which they have been established. Continue reading