|Primary School Place Crisis Looms|
Projected numbers for admissions sees situation worsening
A briefing paper prepared for Cllr Robert Kinghorn by John Bolt, Assistant Director of Schools has shown that demand for primary school places will far outstrip supply as early as 2009.
The paper, which provides an overview of the changing demand for primary school places over recent years and projects forward the likely demand for places over the next few years, looked at potential demand at both borough and area level. The full paper will be presented at the School Admissions Forum on October 16th.
Using data derived from birth rates in the borough, results showed that whilst the relationship between births and admissions has been broadly stable there is a marked jump between 2003 and 2005 leading to a likely increase in demand for school places in 2008 and 2009.
Similar increases have been seen in neighbouring local authorities which means that the next set of birth data available in the latter part of 2007 will be very important in showing whether this increase is a continuing trend.
Source: Hounslow Council
Predicting demand for school places is far from an exact science and for this reason a consultant has been engaged by the Council to carry out a detailed study of both the current methodology used within the Council and all the data that is currently available including both population movement and the impact of housing development. The report will be available in time to inform the next round of admission consultations for school entry in 2009.
For September 2008, there will be 2615 school places available in primary schools. It can therefore be anticipated that there will be a shortfall of 75 places overall. In practice the shortfall will be greater than that because the additional demand is likely to be concentrated in certain areas and there may still be some surpluses in other areas.
To address this shortfall, the Council is able to admit additional numbers to schools above the figure set following the admission consultation. Their priority is to ensure that there are no pupils without a school place and to this end, officers have been in discussion with individual schools and have identified a number who are in a position to take an additional class in September 2008.
Detailed projections have been prepared for each area of the borough. These figures are based on birth rate data analysed by ward. These projections, which do not take into account new housing schemes, suggest that there will be a need for one additional form of entry in Brentford and Chiswick in 2008.
October 12, 2007