On national offer day (18th April) when parents find out which primary school their child will be attending in September, new analysis published by the Labour Party reveals the strain on the system caused by the Government’s failed approach to planning for school places:
· New figures reveal that one in four primary schools is now full or over capacity – and this figure is rising. At the same time, forecasts show there will be 295,000 more primary-age pupils in the system by 2020.
· New analysis also shows there are now almost 100 ‘titan’ primary schools with more than 800 pupils – up from just 16 five years ago.
· Councils can’t direct academies to expand to take more pupils. With the Tories’ plan to force every school to become an academy, the already broken system for school places will implode.
Lucy Powell MP, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary, said:
“This Government’s broken school places system means that children are being crammed into ever larger class sizes and many schools are already at or over capacity. On the day that parents will find out if their child has a place at their school of choice, it is increasingly clear that the Government has no answer to the crisis in school places they have created. Indeed, their plan to force every primary and secondary school to become an academy is a costly, top-down reorganisation of the schools system that schools don’t need and parents don’t want.
“Ministers have already tied the hands of local areas to adequately plan for school places. The Tories’ new forced academisation policy will make the school places system implode, as councils lose completely the levers they have to ensure there are enough school places for children.”