Severe school shortage of places-what we think?

(109 Posts)
mam29 Tue 03-Sep-13 20:11:54

its all over other news guardian, bbc too .

no surprise?

dident think could get any worse?

media scare mongoring or problem for many.

dd2 starts 2014 and dd3 2015.

was already not feeling confient now a bit less so.

BlackMogul Tue 03-Sep-13 20:38:37

I would go and visit local schools and see what the situation is. Some areas will not have problems at all. I heard Gove on radio 5 today say it was all Labour's fault which makes me wonder what the Government Has been doing for the last 3 years. Predicting school numbers can be notoriously difficult, but thinking the creation of free schools in the wrong places will help is clutching at straws. Education Authorities are so short of money now, it is difficult to see how they can carry out their tasks effectively, and this is just another crack that is appearing.

christinarossetti Tue 03-Sep-13 22:35:43

There will be large disparities between areas so, depending on where you live, it could be a dream or a nightmare.

Governments have known about the drastically increasing need for school places for years now, as the birth rate has been rising. Rather than increase local capacity to enable LAs to plan and build better, LAs have had their funding hammered and there are no requirements that free schools actually meet a local shortage of places.

It's is and will continue to be a serious problem for many that will in no way be resolved by Gove's supply side revolution.

TeamEdward Tue 03-Sep-13 22:46:27

I'm in semi-rural Sussex.
Property prices have a lot to do with the shortage of school places here, IMO.
The village schools have school spaces, but young families cannot afford to live in the villages. So the town schools are overcrowded and places are very hard to come by. DS2 has been waiting for a school place for over a year.

And today I heard that another 220 houses are planned to be built on local playing fields. That's great news for affordable housing, but there is no new infrastructure planned to support this.

alwaysonmymind Tue 03-Sep-13 22:52:13

It's already an issue in areas of Manchester. Younger siblings can't be placed in the same school as older children and schools being asked to up intakes in Reception. I can see how it is hard to predict exact numbers due to population movement and immigration but to this extent? Someone has messed up somewhere

Crumbledwalnuts Tue 03-Sep-13 22:53:05

Labour's fault - migration and resultant baby bulge. Plus they knew it was coming and didn't prepare.

SuffolkNWhat Tue 03-Sep-13 23:33:40

And yet this government are shutting a load of schools in Suffolk.

Crumbledwalnuts Tue 03-Sep-13 23:41:52

Middle schools, going to primary and secondary instead.

Wondering when they will realise that all the children who have found it hard to get places in primary schools over the past few years are growing up and will eventually need secondary school places too. Hard enough to get a place at the moment, will be worse in five years time.

Crumbledwalnuts Tue 03-Sep-13 23:47:48

The Tories have allocated 5 billion. At least they're planning for it. It didn't even occur to the last government.

prh47bridge Wed 04-Sep-13 00:17:28

As Crumbledwalnuts says the schools in Suffolk are being reorganised from a three tier system to a two tier system. The reorganisation is by Suffolk County Council, not the government.

From 2010-15 £5 billion is being spent creating new school places. The figure for 2005-10 was only half of that. I don't know if £5 billion is enough without spending more time analysing the figures in detail.

According to DfE figures 75% of new mainstream free schools are opening in areas where there is a particular need for additional places. Of course, that means 25% of them are in area where there is little or no need for additional places.

Of course the Conservatives will blame Labour and vice versa. In my view a lot of the blame attaches to local authorities. Some planned properly and made sure they had plenty of places, some buried their heads in the sand and hoped the problem would just go away. Most, of course, were somewhere in between. And the political colour of the LA seems to have little or no bearing on how effectively they planned.

mam29 Wed 04-Sep-13 02:11:44

I just wondered if this was new news or recycled news.

anyone know if they have complete breakdown of each council thats short.

I I asked my lea would they admit it?

I do know in bristol case its been series of rubbish councils, increased in housing and migration as good place for jobs lots of welsh people and lots of people I know are not native bristolians either went uni stayed here or moved here for work.

Definatly right about seniors and dont see any new build seniors here yes few changed to acdemies but dont think that would offer huge increased intake.

lots super schools appering 1 primary had extra 12 classrooms built so capcity nearly 900 kids.

I know lots of split siblings

I cant see how free schools will help

bristol only has 2free schools and big city.

it relies on people having get up and go to do it.

my lea seems to have goven go ahead sor silly amount of new houses which reckon could create a strain as already taking slack from neighbouring county.

noramum Wed 04-Sep-13 07:15:14

I am officially a migrant but please don't see us all as school place snatcher. I worked full time, paid high taxes, for 6 years before I fell pregnant and continued working since. My taxes are equally part of all fiuding like the British are.

DD was lucky, she started in 2011 and I have seen the issue in our little Infant school.

I think it is very bad planning. In our area new housing areas were build without any thought that in 3 bedroom terraces people with children may move into. There was no single primary school built since we moved here 12 years ago.

I dread what will happen with secondary schools as the Conservaties closed down all programmes to rebuild old ones.

The Daily Mail had a hair rising article this morning about prospects of part-time school with a 8-6day for 3 days a week. That's more than most adult work. I just hope it is scaring and not based on real facts.

The government has to release urgent more money into the
Education system. What good is it to built extra classes when you loose all the outside space?

This Spring when the applications for the 2013 start came out it was clear that this year London was a nightmare, so doing the talk 5 month later doesn't help anybody, it just shows that the last couple of months nothing was done or thought about it.

VivaLeBeaver Wed 04-Sep-13 07:25:06

Its not just going to be primary places is it?

This problem will follow these cohorts of kids through their early lives - secondary school, college/uni, jobs. There's going to be a lot of competition.

tiggytape Wed 04-Sep-13 07:56:08

It isn't scaremongering but it is not new news either.

* In many areas, there has been house building here but no new schools.

* There has been a baby boom

* There has been record numbers of younger immigrants who have new families.

* Less people are able to afford private schooling.

* Families are forced to stay living in the tiny flats creating dense populations and tiny catchment areas close to schools.

* People used to move after having a baby but now they don't so now the catchments are tinier than ever.

* There's less people moving away generally as nobody can afford to move.

* Bulge classes year after year mean dozens of extra siblings eligible for admission priority and fewer children getting places just on proximity.

It isn't just this government. It is previous governments and councils too. You can read council notes going back 5 years plus predicting this would happen in our area and yet no action was taken. Every year is a sticking plaster approach of bulge classes, temporary classrooms and children waiting months for any allocation.

Until crisis point is reached (hundreds as opposed to dozens of children with no school to go to in each part of the borough) nobody has any stomach for diverting vast sums of cash to schools that only benefit a small proportion of voters locals. Nothing is being done to increase secondary places either despite a similar crisis expected soon. Again, there is no appetite to sort that out now that the primary crisis looms every year.

catham Wed 04-Sep-13 07:59:20

The Tories have allocated 5 billion. At least they're planning for it. It didn't even occur to the last government.

hold on the labour goverment were going to re-build and re-modernise tons of schools yet the tories halted the project confused

which is probably where the 5 billion is from hmm

Crumbledwalnuts Wed 04-Sep-13 07:59:31

It's the inevitable result of free movement in a bloc where there are disparities in wealth and state (ie free) provision. There will be an osmosis effect to the wealthier countries and those with better state (free) provision until some kind of balance is reached and everywhere is as crappy as everywhere else. If that balance is never reached, the osmosis effect continues.

This government & previous government knew this was to happen but stuck their heads in the sand.
4 years ago these babies would have been born, the gov chose to ignore the populations stats and now we have a problem.
I seriously do not understand where the gov thought all these children would disappear too....

tiggytape Wed 04-Sep-13 08:33:25

The first real increase in the birth rate boom started in 2008 (although it had been climbing before that) but nobody reacted then or since as quickly as they needed to.

Councils are in denial - they say families don't live in flats, they say at least 10% of people will go private, they say at least 10% more will move out of cities once their children reach 5 and therefore there's no point providing places for 100% of children born in an area. None of these things are true anymore and on top of that the birth rate has continued to climb and has not levelled off as predicted.

Neither government has been great in dealing with this and some councils have been awful. In our area for example, it is all about housing.
The council continually grants permission for new devlopments to be squeezed in.
There's everything from garden grabbing for 2 or 3 extra houses per road to building hundreds of houses on smallish sites to converting big houses and buildings into residential flats. It has created pockets where hundreds and hundreds of school aged children all live well within 0.5 miles of each other with only 1 or 2 local schools serving that community.

They have to allocate places using distances measured to 3 decimal points because things are so tight and some people miss out on a school place by less than 30cm!

tiggytape Wed 04-Sep-13 08:34:42

3 decimal places not points

Crumbledwalnuts Wed 04-Sep-13 09:37:38

The problem is that not only did Labour ensure the need for all these school places, not only did they not plan new school places, they also ensured that the funds for new school places when they eventually left power were not there. There was no money left. The government is doing what it can: it was left a complete pig's ear of a mess with education and funding and is trying to do the right thing.

tiggytape Wed 04-Sep-13 10:26:21

In some areas (starting with East London), they are considering doing split shifts for schooling from 2015.

Half of pupils will be assigned the Monday - Wedneday shift doing 8-6pm. And the other half would attend school Thursday - Saturday 8-6pm.

I don't see that being popular with working parents or any parents really but in places like Barking and Dagenham, they've had 1100 more pupils join in Reception than left Year 6 to go to secondary and they've already expanded all the schools and rented office space to house more children.

The council needs £50million a year for ten years to create the extra places needed for the all the children who will want places but the Department for Education is giving it £28million for the next two years.

That's the worst case scenario but many parts of London, Manchester, Bristol and Sussex aren't far short of this either and pretty drastic solutions are going to be needed. The other suggestion is split day schooling (so half the pupils in a school do 8am-2pm and the other half do 2pm - 8pm).

VivaLeBeaver Wed 04-Sep-13 10:40:06

But don't schools have a legal obligation to school kids for a set number of days per year? Which they won't do on three days a week.

prh47bridge Wed 04-Sep-13 10:41:41

catham - You are referring to Building Schools for the Future. That was primarily to upgrade existing schools, not provide additional places. The figures I gave are accurate - the last government spent £2,5 billion on providing new school places in the five years up to 2010, the current government is spending twice that much over five years. To be fair, the pressure on school places was only really building towards the end of Labour's period in office so it is perhaps not surprising that they didn't feel the need to provide as much funding as the current government.

The government provides regular statistics for each LA showing the number of places currently available and the projected requirement for the next few years. The projections are, of course, just that. Some LAs predicted to have a shortage won't actually have one at all. Some will have a much worse shortage than predicted.

Both this government and the previous government provided funding and projections to allow councils to address the problem. I think this has in the past been more a problem with councils rather than government. Many, like Tiggytape's, have been aware of the problem but have adopted a series of sticking plaster approaches rather than attempting to solve the problem. This government's approach appears to be to deal with local authority inertia by taking the job away from them and encouraging people to set up free schools in areas where more places are needed. It remains to be seen whether this will produce the required places.

admission Wed 04-Sep-13 10:52:20

This has been building up for a good number of years, so is not new news, it is just an inevitable consequence of a lack of thought and planning.
Labour when in government, spent lots on school buildings. Unfortunately they were doing it without having the money, but more importantly were busy building brand new swanky secondary schools whilst ignoring the figures showing that there was a birth explosion and the need was for new primary schools.
The LAs do not and have never really had the funding to build the required level of new schools, it has always been national funding that has built new schools. However, in my opinion, the funding now being put into LAs to put in additional pupil places is being wasted with a lack of planning. The planning has been poor, so there is panic mode to resolve the immediate problem. What is needed is more 2 form or 3 form entry primary schools being built not add on classrooms to existing schools. A couple of add on classrooms do not resolve the problem longer term, they create even more problems, when in a couple of years time there is no more space in the school grounds. There has to be some radical thinking and some brutal decisions made to knock down some buildings to create the space for new schools.
I sat in a planning meeting last week, where someone raised the issue about the need for planning for further secondary school places in the future. The response by many round the table was, why do we need to talk about secondary, the problem is in primary. Just illustrates how short term and short sighted too many of the responsible people are. We will be having the same conversations in 4 or 5 years about the lack of secondary school places.
Schools are also their own worst enemy. If the school is a two form entry primary school, then that is what it must remain unless appropriate new facilities are put in place. Making corridors and cloakrooms into new, very small, classrooms may be the knee jerk reaction to solving the immediate problem but actually the school is just letting the LA off the hook from putting in place proper, planned expansion of the school.
Of course ultimately we are too blame, because we have had too many kids!

dueanamechange Wed 04-Sep-13 10:56:08

Agree old news but not scaremongering. It just coincides nicely for the start of the school year. My son started reception yesterday and I turned up to find there was a last minute bulge and the school has lost the computer room/library.

tiggytape Wed 04-Sep-13 11:32:18

Viva - the Dfe website says maintained schools must educate their pupils "for at least 380 sessions (190 days) in each school year. A maintained school’s year must begin after the end of July. These regulations do not apply to academies and Free Schools – as with the length of the school day the academy trust is responsible for deciding the length of the school year."

So I suppose as long as the children get their 380 sessions, there is flexibility on how that's done.

Admissions - scary how the council doesn't see any correlation between too few primary school places and future pressures at secondary level. In our area the secondary crisis is at the point where it can be juggled (children are bussed out of area and children get a school but not necessarily near home or one that they picked). That's in the low birth rate years too - the 2011-2013 intakes are pretty small compared to the number of children in younger year groups.

Prh - You are right. The school near us that lost funding was never granted the money under Labour to create new school places or expand. It was about adding facilities to existing schools to improve them. Even if the spending hadn't been cut, it wouldn't have helped anyway because, by then, everyone realised tweaking old buildings to add a drama block wasn't going to solve the fact that hundreds of pupils may have no place.

MissWimpyDimple Wed 04-Sep-13 11:47:58

Already a big issue here. No new news to us in this city. Currently frantically building anew junior school for 120 intake with nowhere to go...

Tiggles Wed 04-Sep-13 13:00:43

Maybe a dim question, but we don't have free schools in Wales.
If you live near a free school, and all other schools are completely overscribed, can your child be forced to go to a free school? Just thinking I wouldn't be happy if my child had to go to a school with no qualified teachers, and not following the national curriculum.

Lonecatwithkitten Wed 04-Sep-13 13:12:13

I live in one of the South East development plan towns. Over the last ten years over 4,000 family type homes have been built here with another 15,000 planned. We have had no increase in primary places and although one of the senior schools won one of the grants to improve facilities it actually ended up with smaller capacityshock. But it is not just schools doctors surgeries are also under pressure too.
From what I see we are going to need at least three new primaries and a new secondary. Ironically they knocked down a secondary to build 500 of the houses.

tiggytape Wed 04-Sep-13 13:19:37

If you live near a free school, and all other schools are completely overscribed, can your child be forced to go to a free school?

Yes of course. Just as an atheist child could be allocated a Catholic school or a child whose parents only applied to single sex schools could be allocated a mixed one if that's all that was available.

Although technically you aren't forced to go any where. You can decline the place and go private / home ed or find another school in another area but the council is allowed to allocate you any state school at all (including Free Schools and academies) if that's all there is to offer.

crazymum53 Wed 04-Sep-13 13:23:19

This article on the BBC website yesterday shows the areas of the country most affected very clearly.
BBC Primary school Places
Agree with the other posters that LEAs have been working on out of date models for calculating school places needed but that their hands have been tied by a lack of funding from central government. Here in Bristol which is badly affected funding arrangements set by central government that the council could not provide extra places at oversubscribed schools while there were still empty places at other schools in the city. The same reasoning is now being applied to secondary schools i.e. no extra funding until more places at under-subscribed schools are filled.

crazymum53 Wed 04-Sep-13 13:25:08

Sentence should read "Here in Bristol which is badly affected funding arrangements set by central government meant that the council could not provide extra places at oversubscribed schools while there were still empty places at other schools in the city.

dixiechick1975 Wed 04-Sep-13 13:26:18

What criteria do local authorities use when calculating how many children will reside in a new housing development?

I recently looked though the planning docs at the council re a new estate we are thinking of moving to. The calculation of school places required for both primary and secondary seemed very low.

Whereas in reality most 3 or 4 bed new builds will probably have 1 if not 2 school age children there.

School place issue was raised in objections but the development meets the calculation apparently.

I sit on appeals panels, the majority of which are Infant Class Size appeals.
A new school was built on a new build housing estate and yet it has an intake of only 30 pupils so is already full. Every new family who moves in is faced with the likelihood that their children will be allocated to different schools depending on the year group. As if the school run wasn't bad enough.

mam29 Wed 04-Sep-13 13:51:08

I do hate it when read people blame the immigrants yes small part.
But migration of uk nationals to more urban areas and cities puts pressure.

Also people move where housing is.

small town nort somerset portishead has huge problems with school places since all new houses built.

Duaghter school suppost to relocate to new site its only got 132 pupils no room to expand. the school has convenenat on it so coucil can sell it and get money towards new build.

The new proposed site still being argued.

They want to build nearly 500houses when current school already oversubscribed and did my research the housing developers and the council will funa half form intake so 4009 houses extra 15places!

all very well saying empty seats 2.5miles away its gettng the child there.

then if they unlucky enough to have sibling they may not get in as no sibling priority as sibling 1 in school over 2miles away not even down to parent choice its farcical.
bristol few years back reguarly each year had 300 kids with no school plac.

we only get 3options here.

so far im border bristol different la and we were not too bad but they kept buidling new houses now the new build areas schools are bursting I do wonder how much the developers put their hand in their pockets.

no free schools anywhere near me planned.

but gone quiet in local rag lat;y last 2years the admissions crisis not been as bad I know extensions and bulge classes have happened.

so that i guess lulled me into maybe its going to improve.

Plus I dont think leas can build new schools. Theres new primary at the uni but its a sponsored acadaemy I think developers paid some, cabot learning runnig t also says sponsored by royles royce and uwe uni had vision of playground being like football feild with advertising boards all around it!

Unsure about wales but the changes monmouthshire council made in mams home town wouldent surprise me if crisis there soon enough as building yet more luxury family homes.

Reguarly read on this board hopw many dont get any places or unreasonable distance.

I think home education become much more popular.

I did read about part time school but wondered what child do the 2-8 shift one papre quoted. why not even do sat, love to see what teaching unions would think about that.

I think people going to have to make some tough choices in future years myself included.

I dont want to do 2schools.

i hae 3 could not do 3schools.

Im not seding them for sake of sending them to some rubbsh school im not happy with would rather keep them at home.

Eldest starts seniors in 4years time. dreading that one even more as did read brostol senior crisis due to kick on 2017.

mam29 Wed 04-Sep-13 13:52:08

will goe scrap the infant class size rule? wouldent surprise me.

BlueSkySunnyDay Wed 04-Sep-13 13:57:33

There are towns in our area which already have massively over subscribed schools but there still plans to build thousands of houses in the area. I think if I were in this position I would be home schooling rather than trusting another under qualified person to teach them, at least I know I have a vested interest in the success of their education.

Talkinpeace Wed 04-Sep-13 14:00:32

The "baby boom" round here has just reached years 5, 6 and 7
the council would LOVE to open new schools in areas of high demand - where the old schools were sold off for development 18 years ago - but they are not allowed to.
So kids in the centre of the city are travelling miles out to the suburbs to go to school.

And housebuilders are allowed to put up HUGE estates (800 houses plus) in areas with no spare school places
and the council cannot build a school there.
Only a free school can be started from fresh ....

Crumbledwalnuts Wed 04-Sep-13 14:01:01

"I do hate it when read people blame the immigrants yes small part. "

No, not small part at all. hmm You may not like it being pointed out but it's an uncomfortable truth. Other people don't like not having a school place because migration means they aren't available.

mam29 Wed 04-Sep-13 14:12:41

I guess I just should of said another aspect of the problem.

its not the immigrants fault that

councils not opening building new schools
that building new houses and no new schools

thats what i meant its not soley their fault.

They mostly come here work and pay taxes.

I woprry school places will divide communities

they just started building the new plan of 3000 homes near me just off already busy ring rd and no school places. mind boggles.

Its true lot sold off can never be reopemed as houses built on them.

Harder to open schools urban areas with no green space.

My eldest school hs no playing feild just 2yards, has small libary no muisc room or ict but they get by even use the hall for teaching.

Bulge classes just displece famlies and siblinsg few years later down line.

As I have no sibling policy for no 2 or 3 im a 1st aplicant.

this year just gone 2 very well sough after infant schools near me.

1 has intake of 60- 30spaces went siblings.
other has 75 and 55 were siblings.

so they had 30places in one and 20 in the other which made catchment extremly small.

Eldest school think was 66 applictions for 20places.

siblings not got in last 3years running.

people in areas with no shortage just dont seem to understand or if they have 1 in then as lomg as they live 2miles they ok getting other kids in.

Crumbledwalnuts Wed 04-Sep-13 14:19:50

It is not another aspect of the problem. It is the main driver of the problem, combined with a baby boom among migrant communities.

No one is blaming the children. These are facts. It doesn't matter if you don't like them.

I live in one of the areas being mentioned here.

According to a local head teacher a particular problem here has been multiple occupation of houses that would once have housed one family. So where once you might have anticipated two kids from each house, now there are four or more.

Clearly not the fault of the families that are doing the occupying but it has meant that population density has changed very quickly and unpredictably.

Talkinpeace Wed 04-Sep-13 14:29:14

Please stop being xenophobic.
In Southampton, the Chantry school was sold for development in the 1980s when the docks were shutting and the town hollowed out.
They built lots of yuppie flats, those yuppies have had kids, they need a school.
The numbers of immigrant children are significant,
but not as significant as the number of city schools that were shut in the 1980s and converted into tasteful accommodation like this

Cerisier Wed 04-Sep-13 14:43:02

I can't believe the lack of forward planning in the UK. This is the result of the government changing (or not) every four years. Nobody looks further than four years ahead

Surely education should not be subject to this short term behaviour when it takes nearly 20 years to get a child through to the end of school?

How can this be a good way to run a country? I despair.

Talkinpeace Wed 04-Sep-13 14:53:40

where does it better?

mam29 Wed 04-Sep-13 15:05:11

Crumbles the baby boom not just been migrants though.

during 80s growing up 2 was common number.

maybe just round here but we have 3 kids and 3 is common number.

I have freinds live in other areas of country who also have 3.

not sure if birth rates for multiples increased too?
seem to see lots of twins.
also people leave kids having later and chances of mulltiples increased after 35.

Its true some cultures live as an extended family buts that irrelevent to number of kids as even if they lived in separate houses in same street rather than same house demand still be the same.

The polish people who come her seem surprised there are faith schools as in poland there are not and they predominatly catholic country at daughters last school their was high %of eastern europenas but not tipped balanec was maybe 1-2 per year so school was hardly inundated by immigrants.

I guess if you took london then that skews ssue as everyone who moved over tends to flock southeast but thats more do do with geographically unbalaanced economy in uk surly.

If the jobs were spread out over uk better.

then maybe london wouldent seem as bad,

Also house prices had huge factor so mant people extending rather than moving or living i flats as that all they can afford kids or no kids they seem to be burying their head in sand in issue.

I have no doubt the recession has made demand for school places worse.But they not considered that as relevent factor.

The drip feeding on funds i sticky plaster needs drastic action but guess they fear when birt rates fall they have empty schools again.

but a mass school building programme needs to happen by coucils to ensure the schools are where the places are needed until that happen cant see gettng any better. wonder if they report this news outside of uk as other countries must think we well and truly nuts yes the british education system envy of world scotland only ones who got it sensible but imagine in tehir urban areas demands high as well.

A couple of independent schools have shut down in bristol over the years or converted to state academies. Latest one to get go ahead is the steiner free school for 2016.have no idea location, small amount of places.

friday16 Wed 04-Sep-13 15:09:40

"The numbers of immigrant children are significant,
but not as significant as the number of city schools that were shut in the 1980s"

Unfortunately, that looked like a pretty sound move at the time, and a move that was the only alternative to schools looking like ghost towns.

If you want real numbers rather than Daily Mail glosses on them, turn to Page 2 of the ONS "Fertility, 2010-based NPP Reference Volume" and look at Figure 3.1.

Look at the massive spike in the assumed total fertility rate (the number of children, on average, each woman is assumed to have) in the 1950s and the 1960s. There was some basis to it (1964 is still the largest year for births on record) but of course, while planning was being done based on these predictions, the Pill, legalised abortion, changing attitudes to education and the rest meant that in reality a lot fewer children were born. A lot fewer. The cohort of women born 1934-ish were assumed to be going to average nearly 3 children and that huge estate of primary and secondary schools from the 1960s was to cope with that (and, to a lesser extent, the raising of the school leaving age to 16). Actual completed family size peaked at about 2.4, for the cohort born in 1934, and then dropped until 2001 (ie, women born in 1971) who on average only had about 1.9 children.

Everyone expected the birthrate to continue to fall, and for UK-born mothers it has. But from 2000 onwards you see the effect of demographic changes caused by immigration, both EU and non-EU, with the average family size pushing back up again (and, of course, immigrants more likely to have children because immigrant communities tend to be disproportionately of child-bearing age). School planning in the 1980s couldn't predict that immigration policy might change radically in 20 years' time, and keeping a huge number of surplus places open would be extraordinarily expensive. Even with all the rises today, there are still a lot fewer 5 year olds than there were in 1971.

Crumbledwalnuts Wed 04-Sep-13 15:28:33

I'm not being the least bit xenophobic. Facts is facts.

Talkinpeace Wed 04-Sep-13 15:34:04

indeed, but they do not support your opinion

Crumbledwalnuts Wed 04-Sep-13 15:35:13
Cerisier Wed 04-Sep-13 15:35:40

Talkinpeace Singapore does it miles better. The forward planning is awesome. Education, transport, health, land use- all is planned meticulously 20 years ahead.

I know Singapore isn't to everyone's taste, but you can't fault the organisation. One thing amazed me- our local secondary school needed a refit and extension, so the whole school was moved into an empty school less than a mile away for 12 months while all the work was done. They have empty schools around for this purpose. Wow.

Crumbledwalnuts Wed 04-Sep-13 15:36:37

Eight years to 2009 - the number of births to foreign born mothers increases by 64 per cent
In the same period, birthrates among UK families rose by six per cent

musicalfamily Wed 04-Sep-13 15:38:12

In the village where I live, there is only me and another family who are immigrants, and the whole area is one of very low immigration, yet the problem of school places is huge.

This is due to the fact that they have built enormous estates and did not allow for any expansion of schools or building of new ones. I am sure the council could have struck a deal with the developers to put some money aside for a school expansion or a new school. Especially where they have 700 houses x 2 different developers in a short period of time.

Our children are crammed, there are 32-35 children in infant classes at the moment and with more building projects in the pipeline, when schools are mentioned this is still not considered "a valid planning point". I am selfishly glad that my children are (nearly) all in primary now, although I envisage this will spiral for secondary too very soon.

I have been involved in many planning meetings and schools are never on the agenda. I have raised it every time and being met with shoulder shrugging - not our problem. The problem is that planning and the education LEA do not communicate - in our area they are completely different entities.

Ultimately is the children and their families who end up suffering, so nobody seems to really care. I spent some time (2 years) in a school doing shifts as described on here and it was a truly miserable experience, I hated every minute of it, so much so that we moved house to escape it (different country).

Crumbledwalnuts Wed 04-Sep-13 15:39:29

You have to pay for most things in Singapore, and it has the highest per capita execution rate of any country in the world (Amnesty). It also has tighter border and employment controls, not all of them savoury, and does not give nationality at birth.

crazymum53 Wed 04-Sep-13 15:41:18

Bristol does have a sibling policy so that families living there are guaranteed places at the same Bristol school (even if it is 2 miles away).
The problem arises for families who live in Bristol near the border with neighbouring LEAs e.g. South Gloucestershire. Parents can choose a South Glos. school in this area for their first child but as this LEA puts catchment before siblings, families could end up with dcs at different schools.

mam29 Wed 04-Sep-13 15:46:04

Thanks crazy mum dident realise bristol had diffrent policy.

I thourght as they so close they be same.

problem is under new system im sg and apply bristol school I still have to apply through sg which rules are applied sg or bristol admissions?

south glos does have local sibling policy ie if further than 2 miles or not in an area with area of prime responsabilty then eldest not a local sibling so no link we 1.2miles but outside flipping map boundry.

I know lots bristol familes apply for sg schools.
vice versa but mainly at secondry level as no faith seniors in south glos or new acedemies ex public schools.

I know lots angry roman catholics who cant get catholic senior place.

mam29 Wed 04-Sep-13 16:08:46

Also sg dont give priority for military yet the huge mod at filton is in sg and many families choose or are placed in mod housing in south glos! Spoken to few cross mod mums, 1 who home educated.

if each la inconsistant and dont plan.

or live close to border and admissions dont match up

can get very tricky.

tiggytape Wed 04-Sep-13 16:55:38

The other reason for lack of planning and solutions is that this is an issue many people just don't care about no matter how bad it gets,

People may briefly be very angry / write to MPs and complain to the council when their own child or grandchild doesn't get a place but the problem isn't on most people's radar generally.

Every year lots of people are stunned when they find out they cannot have a local school yet the people in the year group below still continue to happily assume they will get a place at their nearest school and the people in the year groups above assume this is true too (because their year groups were all OK)

People with older children don't have to worry once their last child is in secondary. People with very young children don't know how much of a problem it will be until their child is 4. Which leaves very few people vocally challenging councils and getting things moving.

BlueSkySunnyDay Wed 04-Sep-13 20:38:12

I don't know talkin what Friday said seems to at least partially support that opinion, even if it is an unpopular one.

Talkinpeace Wed 04-Sep-13 21:06:21

What Friday said is quite true
Even with all the rises today, there are still a lot fewer 5 year olds than there were in 1971.
the cities were hollowed out in the 1980s and lots and lots of schools were sold off.
The assumption was that population growth would mirror economic growth.
Instead the Poles (in particular because they are Catholic) brought their girlfriends over and started a baby boom.
The lack of school places in city centres has been exacerbated by the immigration, not caused by it.
That at the Poles work hard, pay taxes, tend not to claim benefits and have a much better work ethic for themselves and their children than the British.

Another big group of children born overseas are those of service people returning from Germany in their tens of thousands ....

Crumbledwalnuts Wed 04-Sep-13 21:13:25

Why are you talking about Poland as if it's the only European country concerned? Was it you who used the word xenophobic earlier? And the servicepeople? Compared to the hundreds of thousands involved in migration you are really stretching it there.

muminlondon Wed 04-Sep-13 21:21:22

Apparently the pressure was on to reduce places from 2000 to about 2007 because roll numbers were falling then. Nationally the number of 5 year-olds last peaked around 1999 and was way higher in the 1970s (see page 2 of this report). But there are big regional variations.

The Labour government therefore concentrated on rebuilding existing schools although the Conservatives put a stop to that. Gove's free school policy is not targeting basic need - it was not designed to do that - and the policy on all new schools facilitated by councils are that they have to be sponsored academies. So that's a fiasco - it can't deliver places quickly enough, there are problems approving sponsors and planning issues (see Wokingham example) and councils still can't control admission policies or numbers.

Crumbledwalnuts Wed 04-Sep-13 21:25:00

Refurbishing existing schools. And they left no money for the Tories to carry on the project.

The Labour government knew they had created the demand for hundreds of thousands of new school places. They were irresponsible in the extreme.

Talkinpeace Wed 04-Sep-13 21:30:52

Because Poland was the first of the former Soviet bloc countries to be allowed free movement of labour and tens of thousands of young Polish men arrived to fill gaps in the UK labour market.
They are still the largest group of recent arrival migrants

Long standing immigrants like myself are much more invisible because we have English Accents and English sounding names.

Non caucasian immigrants have been relatively stable in number for many years - despite what the rabid headlines purport.

The Government has absolutely no idea how many people are in the country.
When 10 year visas for permanent residents were introduced to replace ILR stamps, they estimated that 250,000 would be issued
until the US Embassy pointed out that it had more than that number registered as voters in this country.

On average, those of us who have/had ILR status pay more tax than British born.

Crumbledwalnuts Wed 04-Sep-13 21:38:53

Did you see the birth rates I posted above? How does that not have an impact on the demand for school places? You must remember, when talking about stability of immigrant rates, that we are not just talking about people entering the country, but births to people who have entered the country.
As for Caucasian and non Caucasian: I don't know why you brought this up: it doesn't interest me: the colour of the people who need school places is irrelevant. But since you do bring it up I assume you will also find this interesting. The stability or otherwise of net migration is overtaken by the fact for example that ,in what the Joseph Rowntree Foundation calls "ethnic minorities", large families are more common. (That assessment from the JRT)

friday16 Wed 04-Sep-13 21:48:23

Talkinpeace, it's more complex than that (and not at all about Catholic women having lots of babies).

Poland has a staggeringly low birthrate per woman. See here. Like the other post-Catholic countries (Italy, Spain, to an extent Portugal) the birthrate collapsed as soon as the church's influence ended. There's no particular reason to believe that Polish women in the UK are any more enthusiastic about having children their stay-at-home sisters.

No, the reason why immigrants groups have high rates of children is not just about how many babies each woman has. It's also about the demographics of the immigrant group. In the case of A8 states that joined the EU in 2004, the people that emigrated (particularly to the UK, as it did not impose transitional controls) were almost exclusively of child-bearing age. Those that stayed home were disproportionately older.

So if you take 1000 people born in the UK, they will cover the whole spectrum of ages, with the largest single subgroup being those born in 1964, a slow ramp up to that from 1945 and down to 1995, etc. But if you take 1000 people born in Poland who are now living in the UK, very few will be over forty. The fertile women aren't having any more women than the locals of the same age, and probably fewer; but there are more fertile women in any 1000 people.

I doubt there are enough service personnel to make a significant difference, but the same argument would apply: most servicewomen, and wives of serviceman, are of child-bearing age, and therefore they will have more children than the same number of people drawn from the general population.

There are immigrant groups who have a markedly higher TFR, such as the Pakistani and Bangladeshi community, although their age profile is broader (a lot of older people). But that is not the case with Polish, or (so far as I recall) any of the other A8 countries.

Talkinpeace Wed 04-Sep-13 21:50:34

We are where we are.
What would you do about it?
Or are you one of those fragrant types who want to send us all "home"?
As an empty Britain will have no shortage of school places, but also no economic clout.

friday16 Wed 04-Sep-13 21:51:04

"The stability or otherwise of net migration is overtaken by the fact for example that ,in what the Joseph Rowntree Foundation calls "ethnic minorities", large families are more common. "

The assumption is that over a couple of generations, birthrates within ethnic groups tend towards the national average.

Talkinpeace Wed 04-Sep-13 21:52:43

that was to Crumbled BTW
but its all academic : the kids are here,
What policy needs to change to get schooling that turns them into taxpayers?

Crumbledwalnuts Wed 04-Sep-13 21:56:38

Excuse me talkinpeace - are you accusing me of saying I want to send people home? Why? I have said nothing of the sort. It may suit you to make these accusations as a way to discredit what I've said. But they are facts. I've made no judgement, except on Labour who created this shortage.

I've only given you these facts because you sought to deny them. They are facts. You cannot deny them.

Crumbledwalnuts Wed 04-Sep-13 21:57:15

Friday16: we are not a couple of generations away.

Talkinpeace Wed 04-Sep-13 22:01:03

except on Labour who created this shortage
but the old school buildings in the city centres and the depopulation of the city centres happened long before 1997 ....

and the single market started before 1997 - which is why the EU migrants are here

and the abolition of proper exit controls at the UKs borders was in the early 1990's

and blaming a past Government will not cure the problem ...

Crumbledwalnuts Wed 04-Sep-13 22:06:33

the old school buildings in the city centres and the depopulation of the city centres happened long before 1997
That's been explained to you by Friday.

As regards EU migrants, even Labour have admitted they should have used stronger transitional controls. As you know, it's not just about the single market. You know that - I am teaching a grandmother about egg-sucking here.

It may not cure it but blaming the Tories means you haven't even found the source of the problem, let alone start to address it.

muminlondon Wed 04-Sep-13 22:17:47

It's irresponsible for Gove to blame Labour when he's wasted £1 billion on academy privatisation conversion, £60 million on start up costs for free schools, paying off £4 million of the debt of a failing private school in the NE. He's c

Talkinpeace Wed 04-Sep-13 22:22:45

Free schools are not the answer
Abolishing LEAs is not the answer
Academy chains are not the answer
what IS needed is
-a statutory requirement on local authorities to provide enough school places for the number of new houses in their area
- a statutory requirement to ensure that no houses are outside all catchments

freeing councils to open schools where they are needed would deal with it
both political parties are so in hock to the management consultants that they have fallen for the Academy model

muminlondon Wed 04-Sep-13 22:23:15

Didn't finish that but maybe just three letters and an indefinite article will do.

Crumbledwalnuts Wed 04-Sep-13 22:28:02

Labour is to blame muminLondon. Move on.

Talkinpeace Wed 04-Sep-13 22:30:06

But Labour are no longer in power. so what are you going to DO now?

cantdoalgebra Wed 04-Sep-13 22:39:52

For those suggesting that the Army heavily contributes to the significant lack of school places in some areas, it should be noted that a certain well known supermarket chain employs 3x the number of active army personnel.

muminlondon Wed 04-Sep-13 22:44:52

You got that right talkin. LAs should have some control over admission policies and pupil numbers too. It's impossible for them to fulfil their duty to deliver places when the system is so fragmented.

Talkinpeace Wed 04-Sep-13 22:44:58

Indeed, but when regiments change and move back from overseas bases - with their families and kids and support staff and ancilliary services - it can have a significant impact.
Bases in Germany have 1000 pupil secondary schools that are closing as the families come home

Talkinpeace Wed 04-Sep-13 22:47:02

I also think there should be a new version of ILEA : an integrated school application system for all of the schools in central London (as there are in other large cities) so that parents fill out one form with one set of criteria and get allocated a place on the basis of the admissions code looked at holistically across the whole city

Crumbledwalnuts Wed 04-Sep-13 22:49:37

Me? It's up to the local authorities. As far as central policy goes, I trust Gove.

I don't like seeing the Conservatives blamed for something which is clearly Labour's fault. I don't think it's fair that pointing out the facts is considered xenophobic and borderline racist. Until you acknowledge the facts you can't possibly understand the problem.

Glad you all get whose fault it is now. Because it's not Michael Gove's.

Changebagsandgladrags Wed 04-Sep-13 22:54:14

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

muminlondon Wed 04-Sep-13 22:57:59

Yes, there has to be coordination over London. Gove shouldn't keep ignoring all the advice from the NAO, Academies Commssion, LGA, Ofsted, council leaders of all political parties. I didn't even vote Labour last time but Gove is such an irresponsible c

Crumbledwalnuts Wed 04-Sep-13 23:00:56

Why would he take advice from the LGA and council leaders when the LG's and councils have helped to f everything up? Ofsted likewise. They probably all just want more money.

nancy75 Wed 04-Sep-13 23:08:51

I am going to disagree with immigration being the cause of everything. I live in a London borough that is seeing more and more oversubscribed schools. The cathchment in my Dds school has gone from 1.5 miles to 0.2 miles in the last couple of years. I know for a fact there is not one eastern European child in my daughters year. We live in a very middle class 'white' area, the problem here is that people just seem to be having more children. Families with 4 or 5 children are not unusual.

BlackMogul Wed 04-Sep-13 23:18:24

I think posters need to be aware that many housing developers had to agree to pay for new schools if large housing schemes were given planning permission. Housing developers stopped developing when the credit crunch hit, and the projected schools were not built. In my area, a school that was originally due to be rebuilt and nearly doubled in size failed to get the govt funding required, and the developers renegotiated their contribution because they never built a single house. They have now built and the school is now on its way. Quite a lot of rebuilt schools under Labour's scheme were increased in size.

ClayDavis Wed 04-Sep-13 23:23:47

I agree, nancy. Our council very much puts the problem down to migration, not immigration. There has been an increase in Eastern European immigrants into the area, but what has put most pressure on school places seems to be an influx of white British families into the area.

Tanith Thu 05-Sep-13 00:41:08

Rather surprised that the infamous "foreign-born" mothers report from 2009 is still being bandied about.

I was one of those "foreign-born" mothers. My father was serving in the British Army and I was born in a British Military hospital in West Germany.

friday16 Thu 05-Sep-13 07:05:22

"I am going to disagree with immigration being the cause of everything. I live in a London borough that is seeing more and more oversubscribed schools. The cathchment in my Dds school has gone from 1.5 miles to 0.2 miles in the last couple of years. I know for a fact there is not one eastern European child in my daughters year."

A drop of last admitted from 1.5 miles to 0.2 miles must be something more than a shift in birthrate: that is a 56-fold decrease in area, so unless your local birthrate has increase by five thousand percent and the average woman is having a hundred children (which seems a little unlikely) there must be more to it than that. Has another local school gone into special measures?

celticclan Thu 05-Sep-13 07:22:34

It's a huge problem where we live every year they are needing to find another 50 places and are running out of room.

In my area the rising number of children has nothing to do with immigration. Less families are choosing private schools and more families are moving into the area. Our pleasant family orientated town has become a victim of its own success.

nancy75 Thu 05-Sep-13 07:49:18

Friday16, no schools in special measures.
There are 3 schools within walking distance to me all are given the highest oversted ratings.
The problem this year was siblings, 63 of the 90 places in the year were taken by siblings, of course it is right that siblings get in but it does make the catchment of the school very small if you are trying to get in on distance.
In my daughters year there are 9 sets of twins in one school year, when I was at school twins were rare!
The type of families people are having are changing in this area, there is more ivf so more multiple births and people here are simply having more children.
I'm not against people doing any of these things by the way, I just don't think we should blame everything on immigration

Lampshadeofdoom Thu 05-Sep-13 07:55:30

My mums area has this problem.

Last two years primary children didn't get a place anywhere in the borough. In the end they stuck ports cabins on spare land.

Yet there are building 500 houses.

friday16 Thu 05-Sep-13 09:05:08

"The type of families people are having are changing in this area, there is more ivf so more multiple births and people here are simply having more children. "

Hmm, that's interesting. Presumably London means more expensive housing which means older parents which means more chance of multiple births. 100 000 more people were born in 1980 than in 1976, and people born 1980-ish are probably the parents of children starting primary school now, and are the generation that moved to London (and the south east) for work. People born 1980-ish are also the beneficiaries of massive expansion in higher education starting 1997-ish, so will be more likely to move to cities (actually, London) for graduate-level work. Very different to this city.

One thing that's been a disaster for school planning (and which makes it hard to blame anyone too much) is that it is impossible to predict, or control, movement of UK citizens within the UK, so if you get a clustering of 30-ish people in one area you have a problem, potentially at short notice. I'd not thought of the siblings problem: if you get a spike in the number of children in an area then the following few years are going to be a nightmare for planners if the sibling rule is adhered to. My children are now at a school which doesn't have sibling priority (selective, so my younger had no extra priority just because my elder was there) so it's not something I encounter.

nancy75 Thu 05-Sep-13 11:16:08

not just older parents because of income, but also because of second families. There are quite a few parents that had their first lot of children young, those children are now in their late teens, the parents have divorced and remarried and also have young children that are going to school now.
It must be impossible to plan.
As I mentioned above my dd's school has 9 sets of twins in 1 year - yes there would be a record that so many twins were born in that year, but who could predict they would all live half a mile from the same school at the same time?

I don't have any answers to what went wrong, my initial response on this thread was really to a very nasty post that was written about Eastern European migration, which I am pleased to see has been deleted.
Going forward blaming is not going to get us anywhere, some areas need more schools, we need to stop moaning about certain groups stealing all our school places and start looking for fast effective ways to deal with the situation.

friday16 Thu 05-Sep-13 11:31:18

"Going forward blaming is not going to get us anywhere, some areas need more schools,"

Well, we need to know why the numbers are up in order to know where the bulge will be and how long it will last for. Three or four miles away in this city there is massive demand with temporary classrooms in playgrounds; near me, several primaries are on life support and there are upwards of a thousand spare places. Ageing local population, more streets becoming de facto exclusively student housing, etc. But is that pattern going to persist for the lifetime of a new school?

Some countries would solve the problem with bussing: then you only need sufficient places at a larger scale, so 1000 spare places here and a 1000 place shortage five miles away is OK. That's not going to be popular in primary in England. But building schools with fifty-year lifespans is very tricky.

Slapping a school in the middle of a new-build estate of houses is superficially sensible, but what happens in twenty years' time when all the children of the initial purchasers of the houses have moved on? People often buy houses near good schools, but they are much less likely to move out just because their children have finished at that school. In my city, there are a lot of 1960s-build schools with falling numbers surrounded by a collar of elderly residents whose children were the pupils at those schools in the 1970s. A generation or two ago, couples in perfect health living in their own houses thirty or forty years after their children finished school, with none of their children (and therefore grandchildren) living with them, would be unusual; not so much today.

BlackeyedSusan Thu 05-Sep-13 12:23:08

there is an estate, nearish where I used to live. built mid 70's with 5 primary schools. when i was leaving one school 1994iish (temporary contract teacher) they were struggling to stay open and there was talk of amalgamation. just checked and there are now 3 schools, some closed in 2005 to amalgamate. I have no idea if they are all full or need extra places. there was definitely talk of falling birth rates.. it took 10 years for them to close though... followed by increasing birth rates..

i am off to look for other schools I taught at.

MillionPramMiles Thu 05-Sep-13 12:35:48

Is the situation as bad as the media present it?
I'm genuinely concerned, my dd would be starting school in 2016.

I'd welcome views from those with children in schools around Epsom/Ewell, Sutton/Cheam, Streatham. All were named in recent articles as struggling areas but has that been people's experience in reality on the whole?

tiggytape Thu 05-Sep-13 13:07:45

MillionPramMiles - it depends not just which town you live but which part of town too. I know families living in the areas you mention and there is no getting away from it - they are really short of school places already. There are already definite black holes. That means that there are certain roads where you would not be close enough to any school to be sure of a place.

On the flip side, the primary schools in those areas are all big - normally at least 60 children in reception with up to 150 (5 reception classes) planned at some schools. So if you lived within 200m of the school that has 5 classes for reception you probably don't need to worry whereas if your closest school only takes 60 and you are 0.9 miles away, you would potentially have a problem.

You can log on to your council's website and click on the primary admissions booklet to view last year's "last distance offered"
This is the furthest distance a child lived last year who got an offer at each school. It is wise to assume those distance will shrink a bit each year unless the school is one undergoing massive expansion.

friday16 Thu 05-Sep-13 13:29:24

"built mid 70's with 5 primary schools. when i was leaving one school 1994iish (temporary contract teacher) they were struggling to stay open"

Precisely. The cycle for schools is about twenty years. People arrive on a new estate aged around 30, either with or intending to have children. Few of them are initially of school age but rapidly they are, so the schools start to fill, mostly from the bottom with composite classes higher up. After seven years the school's full and running. About fifteen years after the school opened, the people who bought the houses initially have mostly stopped having children, but have put down roots (and perhaps still have children in secondary schools nearby) so stay put. As their children leave home they perhaps do look at moving, and houses become available for a new cohort. But if the area is pleasant, a lot stay. Either way, the number of houses available to buy in year 20 is nothing like the number that were available when the place was being built.

A school large enough for the initial cohort on a new-build estate will almost always be too big twenty or thirty years later. And estates tend to have small roads and no bus connections, so the school is not well situated for people coming from other places.

We didn't see this in the past because the war had disrupted things and there wasn't a hell of a lot of choice given the massive population boom 1950 to 1965. The same went double for secondary schools: there had been no large-scale state secondary education prior to the 1944 Act, so not only did you need to cope with rising numbers, you needed to educate them to successively 14, 15 and 16 when previously it had been 12. But now, unless you're willing to write schools off after 20 years, or bus, or something, deciding where to put schools is really, really hard.

The secondary school I went to in the 1970s had a capacity, at its peak, of over 2000 (13 form, ie 390 per year intake). It was recently demolished and replaced with a bijou academy with an intake of 180, which it isn't managing to get. There are some other factors (it went into special measures, in part because of collapsing numbers, although it's now very good) but the basic problem is no 11 year olds. Other local schools haven't expanded. There's massive pressure on secondary places predicted elsewhere in the city, but realistically, keeping 1400 places "on ice" in an empty building for twenty years wasn't going to help anyone.

Talkinpeace Thu 05-Sep-13 14:31:04

Cycles of population.

DCs primary is surrounded by an estate that was built in the mid 90s and filled up with young families.
When DD started at the school in 2002, 2/3 of the parents lived on the estate and walked to school.
The families still live there, but their children are now at college and Uni so the school is full of out of catchment parents who drive.
In three to four years, many of the original families will move (as their last child leaves home)
and young families will move in and the school will be walking distance children again

friday16 Thu 05-Sep-13 14:36:01

"In three to four years, many of the original families will move (as their last child leaves home) and young families will move in and the school will be walking distance children again"

That would be the plan, yes.

However, how likely is it that houses that were affordable for young marrieds in 1995 will be affordable for people in the same position in 2015? And that's assuming that a significant number of the residents do, in fact, move when the last child leaves home rather than staying in a house they like with neighbours they like, keeping spare rooms for the grandchildren, etc. If they're in their fifties, say, aren't they more likely to wait for ten years and move when they retire?

Talkinpeace Thu 05-Sep-13 14:40:46

Not in that particular estate wink : rather too close to motorway noise for those who do not NEED to be near bus routes!
Many of those who are starting to move do not go far but they do go.

pyrrah Thu 05-Sep-13 17:19:12

Councils do receive Section 106 money from developers which is ring-fenced for providing new doctor's surgeries, new schools and new public realm (playgrounds etc). The amount of money is based on the number of units, type of units and size of development.

Recently building halted due to the recession. A development near me which incorporated a new doctor's surgery was halted for 4 years with half the foundations dug and has only just got going again.

A big issue in London is actually finding the space to put the schools on - although I am astounded at how many primaries are single-storey which seems ludicrous given the value of the land footprint.

Round here, immigration has made a huge difference - well over half the children in DD's class are recent immigrants. In my mind they are a very positive thing for the schools (the immigrant parents tend to be more focused on education than many indigenous parents). However it cannot be denied that Labour vastly underestimated the scale of immigration and didn't take account of the demographic who were choosing to move here - ie young fertile people.

Another government policy that is not helping - especially in the SE and London - is stamp duty. By the time you factor in legal fees, estate agents fees, moving costs and stamp duty, moving house is a very expensive business besides the actual cost of a house. Many people are therefore opting to stay where they are and not move out to areas with larger properties even if those properties are cheaper than the small more centrally situated ones.

The difficulties in finding school places also encourages people to stay put - if you've got a place in a good school in London and have more than one child, staying in a smaller property looks more attractive than moving to a larger one further out and risking no place at all. It becomes a catch-22.

mam29 Fri 06-Sep-13 10:37:56

Its true we are where are with economy and immigration.

What worries me is they still have no swift action plan to deal with it and its new academic year 2013/204 already and problems expected 2015/2016 in this article just 2years for them to identift site, get planning and build a school or convert a building, as well as emplye staff,buy all the resources, shiny new prospectus to get parents to apply for the school seems big job just one school and uk Iguess needs 100,s as bulge classes cant be theanswer or current schools get very cramped wth hardly any new places for 1st time applicants.

The article says national but the shortage with be regaaional guessing focussed on cities like london, birmingham, manchester and bristol but shortages elsewhere too .

Essex struggling as people moving out london for cheaper housing.

All the southeast counties i guess under pressure as people move where the work is most of us cant afford to be sentimental about where we ant to live and lots have no family nearby to help on school runs/holidays ect.

Im bit baffled by new build estates as most executive and are not cheap. what makes a person buying one not consider ohh it has no school?

its affected few new build estates near me.They outrages they live in these expensive houses yet cant get their kids into local well performing infants and juniors less than half mile away.

you hear about people in same road as school not getting in.

read about schools in libaries or on primary board split sites and new parents have no idea whats gong on before their child starts .
Thres few new schools opening this sepetmebr here but they not been overly popular yet as parents like to see a proven record or at least a bulding to look around and staff to meet i have no doubt they be oversubscribed next year.

1is a free school in city centre in temporary building
other is new build academy in middle of new housing estate.

blondieminx Sat 07-Sep-13 00:36:46

I read somewhere on here ages ago that one of the problems councils have in planning spaces is knowing where the kids are all actually living and where pinch points are likely to be.

In other words, councils are aware of the birthrate increases but what doesn't happen is any sensible collation of information from doctors surgeries or whatever as to where those 4 year olds live. Add in multiple births (like the anecdote upthread of the 9 sets of twins in one year all living close enough to be in that school year shock) and it must be very tricky to plan based on the current system. The poster above who noted that the councils are all in thrall to management consultants was spot on.

I agree that there should be a statutory duty on councils to provide places in-area ... the sad thing is that so far this government is reducing statutory obligations (ref: the NHS and social care acts, which is (several) whole other threads!) so I fear it's unlikely. Guess it's yet another parenting issue MN will have to MAKE politicians realise we care about wink. Any chance of getting Gove in for a webchat MNHQ? Bet he hasn't got the balls..!

Really worried about this schools places issue in my area (Essex) as we've seen a 20% rise in the birthrate over the last decade coupled with increased migration into the area as people seek to move out of London. Schools, roads, health services all at/above capacity but no money anywhere in the system to really sort it out, so everyone just tinkers around the edges to muddle through.

With the Universal Credit shambles, I suspect the coalition's appetite for a transformational education policy is ahem... limited.

What a blardy mess. How do we fix it?

mam29 Sat 07-Sep-13 18:40:38

Im not sure even with it in the news last week.

no new news anyone on education board as read frequently kids not getting schools places.

fear lots outraged surprised parents next 3years needs a significant volume to be outraged.

also wales scotland no issue.

only issue in england and specific parts of england.

We have couple local pressure groups in bristol.

but they been very quiet recent years which is why i wondered if probem had eased but could be lull before the storm.

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