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What do you say to people who blame immigration for the fact school places are in short supply?

(145 Posts)
Lottielou7 Sun 10-Jul-16 22:15:17

Of the few people I know who voted for Brexit, they are adamant that school places are difficult to get because of immigration. The one who says it the most has 6 children! I can't stand this scapegoating. Personally, I think birth rates have risen generally. My friends and I all mostly have 3 children. I'm an only and as a child of the 80s people had mostly one or two.

So what do you say in response when people come out with this old chestnut.

BlueEyeshadow Sun 10-Jul-16 22:18:02

There are some answers in this article:

from the TES - to do with austerity and government policy deliberately preventing local authorities from opening new schools.

evelynj Sun 10-Jul-16 22:29:42

Well for some people that is their experience as they see foreigners 'getting' places in local schools etc easier.

My dd is going to a playgroup in sep & at the open day more than half the children were Eastern European-this is in a small town, not a thriving city. The nursery had their funding cut & a family I know had their child moved to another school unit. You can't dismiss other people's experiences as scapegoating. What's the issue that they've got 6 children & you've got 3. It sounds that you think you're more entitled as you've got less dc?

tiggytape Sun 10-Jul-16 22:52:44

I don't know if people do - London is in absolute crisis over school places (hundreds don't get a school place at all initially let alone a local one and black holes exist whereby you can live in a road knowing that your address does not qualify you for a single school within 7+ miles of home) ... but London voted remain so if it is part of the picture, it isn't reflected in the votes of those hardest hit by lack of places.

The truth behind the school place crisis is a bit of everything and most people suffering because of it can see for themselves it is down to a lot of things:
- previous governments closing schools the minute demand dipped
- a priority for house building not matched by infrastructure concerns
- sudden areas of enormous population density due to the highest birth rate in decades (birth rate increase highest since 50's or 70's depending how you measure it)
- families in flats who cannot afford to move after baby number 2 so don't free up places in cities
- people moving to already very crowded areas for work
- some of these are people who come to live in GB from abroad but a lot are people already in GB flocking to cities for jobs from other regions
- the trend for people choosing to have 3 children or have a second family with a new partner or have a 20 year gap and raise babies at two different life stages etc.
- less LA control over building schools (government preference for Free Schools)
- no money to build schools and a legacy of letting this issue slide for well over a decade now
- huge local opposition to building or expanding schools (opposition both from locals without children who don't want more traffic and opposition from existing parents who want small community schools not super-sized 6-class-intake schools of the kind needed to accommodate everybody and who resist expansions).
- mixed admissions policies that allow siblings to get priority in some areas but gives locals priority in others leaving some children with no priority for any local school at all

evelynj Sun 10-Jul-16 23:13:57

I agree the infrastructure hasn't been supported by government. To allow for our own population increase but am fed up with the shifty attitude towards anyone who voted leave

GiddyOnZackHunt Sun 10-Jul-16 23:22:26

Government policy has forbidden Local Authorities to open new state schools. Any new schools should be free schools opened up where there is need. Schools can expand too.
This more than anything else has led to a shortage of places as the population grows. Immigration has undoubtedly contributed to increased demand but the ideological refusal to increase LA schools is the reason demand is outstripping supply. State schools will become poorer in terms of funding and face further pressure on class sizes because of dogma.

Lottielou7 Sun 10-Jul-16 23:25:15

. 'It sounds that you think you're more entitled as you've got less dc?'

Fewer, not less. What am I saying I am more entitled to exactly? What bolleaux. I am merely saying the birth rate has risen, that I understand that as someone who has 3 DC (so do all my friends) and that someone with 6 children should understand this and really shouldn't be pointing the finger at other people and blaming anyone but them them for not having enough school places.

Comingfoccacia Sun 10-Jul-16 23:27:32

Baby boom coupled with lack of new schools

smallfox2002 Sun 10-Jul-16 23:29:31

I'd be a geek and use data and say that 87% of children get their first choice primary school place.

The most challenged areas in London the figure is 70%, and there are NO cases of children not being offered education provision within their borough.

I'd go further and say 80% of secondary school children get their first choice too.

The issues with school places have been magnified by the fact that since 2010, when people started warning of a need for increased places, there has been little or no movement by the government to increase the number of places available, magnified by the cutting of places as demand dropped between 2000 and 2008.

Now, immigration is going to be a factor, but only 4 % of the UK population are EU immigrants, and a smaller number than that. If you look at CB claims for 900,000 children ( many of these will be the children of UK nationals too) and there are 8.56 million school children in the UK then a little over 10% of children in UK schools are going to be the child of one EU national, which is a generalisation a good number of these children won't yet be of school age.

The number of children in primary schools increased by 105,000 between jan 2015 and Jan 2016, as was in line with expectations. However the proportion of childen in infant classes has fallen very slightly since last year but is still higher than in previous years.

Over all, the admissions policies to schools (and if you've ever seen any of the loopiness about school "choices" on here and some of the stuff people do) are strict, they don't favour anyone British or non.

What I'd say to someone complaining about immigration is:

"If an immigrant child/child of immigrants has got a place at the school you want it can be down to a myriad of factors, and without that child there it doesn't mean that your child would get the place anyway. "

Its not fair to blame immigration, its a cop out.

Lottielou7 Sun 10-Jul-16 23:31:04

'but am fed up with the shifty attitude towards anyone who voted leave'

So now that we have voted Leave, you think that a right wing Tory government who thinks anyone that matters uses independent schools is going to suddenly invest in Local Authority schools and address the problem of lack of school places being taken by all he forriners?

Just5minswithDacre Sun 10-Jul-16 23:33:42

Fewer, not less

Fwoof. Not a good look OP.

smallfox2002 Sun 10-Jul-16 23:35:14

Also, looking at the ethnic origin tables from the Government:

75% of primary school children are White British or non white British.

10.6% are Asian.

10.4% are black or "mixed" (their terms not mine)

1.8% are "other" which would be the ones from the EU.

1.2% are "unclassified" (again their terms, not mine)

Snog Sun 10-Jul-16 23:35:57

I view this issue as a failure of the government to plan properly.

Lottielou7 Sun 10-Jul-16 23:38:00

Just - I don't care. I've just been accused of thinking I'm more entitled to...what exactly?! Because I object to racism, xenophobia and scapegoating. It makes me irritable I'm afraid...

Just5minswithDacre Sun 10-Jul-16 23:39:52

The thing is, immigration undoubtedly is one contributing factor of several, but - along with the general baby boom - it feeds into the issue that numbers have been known and should have been planned for.

The government wants/needs the labour force that it wants/needs, and it needs a young generation of future taxpayers too.

But the labour force inevitably have children and the future taxpayers are children. So clearly school places are needed in sufficient numbers.

Lottielou7 Sun 10-Jul-16 23:41:13

We need more school places, but a right wing Tory government won't give a shit about that will they?

Just5minswithDacre Sun 10-Jul-16 23:42:08

Children starting school now, or in school now, weren't even born under this hellish govt, were they?

Just5minswithDacre Sun 10-Jul-16 23:42:42

There's been a long lead-in to this current crisis.

smallfox2002 Sun 10-Jul-16 23:49:20

Children starting school now, were mostly born in 2011 Dacre.

We knew in 2010/2011 that there was a baby boom (25% of births are to a mother that is non UK btw) but there has been an increase in British Nationals and immigrants giving birth.

Its lack of planning, the academy policy is especially poor for this because LEAs can't open new schools, academy's can, but many of them and the free schools have opened in places with surplus spaces already!

Just5minswithDacre Sun 10-Jul-16 23:49:59


Lottielou7 Sun 10-Jul-16 23:50:14

Well yes. But some people apparently voted out because they thought it would resolve this. I'm just wondering why they couldn't see the outcome = right wing Tory government who we didn't even bloody elect coming to power and probably giving less of a shit about things like school places than the lot before. To me it seemed obvious that this would happen in the event of Brexit.

NoBetterName Sun 10-Jul-16 23:51:48

I wonder what the attitude is to dc like mine? Dual citizens. Are they uk citizens when it suits people, but immigrants when it doesn't? Regardless of context, I have the "them and us" mentality which is becoming more prevalent.

Just5minswithDacre Sun 10-Jul-16 23:52:03

I'm still hoping that the old tradition of periodic general elections will continue, myself.

NoBetterName Sun 10-Jul-16 23:52:11


Lottielou7 Sun 10-Jul-16 23:54:30

Exactly, NoBetter. One of my children has a EU national father. Most people don't know this - as far as they're concerned she's British national because I am.

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