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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.

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.

secretscwirrels Wed 04-Sep-13 13:35:41

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.

2tired2bewitty Wed 04-Sep-13 14:24:02

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

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