Extra places could push schools to breaking point
Council leaders have warned that the cost of creating places for the 880,000 extra pupils expected in England’s schools over the next decade could push schools to breaking point.
The Local Government Association fears the crunch on school places could soon reach a tipping point with no more space or money to extend schools. The LGA wants the government to fully fund the cost of all school places. Official government figures, published last year, project that by 2023 there will be a total of 8,022,000 pupils in England’s schools – up from 7,143,000 in the current academic year. The LGA calculates the cost of creating places for all these pupils could be £12bn. It says the government’s commitment of £7.35bn for extra school places leaves a shortfall. As well as more central government funding it wants councils to be given the powers to open new schools to meet local needs without bureaucratic burdens.
The Labour party have also put out figures showing almost one -in-five schools are over capacity. They warned that in more than half of the education authority areas in Yorkshire at least a quarter of primary schools were either full or over capacity.
The seven areas were Barnsley, Calderdale, the East Riding – where more than two thirds of primary schools are said to be over capacity, North Yorkshire, Rotherham, Sheffield and York. In York 46 per cent of primaries were said to be above capacity and in North Yorkshire the figure was 44.5 per cent.
Yorkshire Post, Tues 13 January 2015
Overcrowding in primary schools
Almost one in five primary schools across England do not have enough space for pupils, according to a Labour party study. According to responses to Labour’s freedom of information requests to local authorities, 18% of schools are over capacity, with another 9% at capacity. The party argues that this is partly down to the coalition policy of diverting money to new free schools, even though a number of these are seemingly in areas without sufficient demand. Several schools have come up with innovative, if temporary, solutions to the space problem. One primary in Northumberland has converted an old double-decker bus into extra teaching space, while another in Barking, east London, has eight portable classrooms occupying a car park.
The Guardian, Tues 13 January 2015
BBC 13 Jan 15
Barnsley expects the school population to grow by almost 500 pupils over the next 5 years. 42 Barnsley Primary Schools were oversubscribed last year.
Elements Primary responds to the need for additional school places
Elements Primary School will provide 60 much needed additional Primary School places in Barnsley for the next seven years until it reaches its’ capacity of 420 pupils in 2021. Built under the government’s Free Schools programme, Elements is being built in response to local need and has pledged to provide a bus service for families living over a mile away from the school.
Anne Kaye, Elements newly-appointed Principal, said “We are committed to being innovative to help children and families in Barnsley. A bus service is one of the many Value Added extras that Elements will provide for its’ community.”
Primary School admission applications deadline
The deadline for applications for Primary School places is Thursday 15th January.