With 49 out of 152 councils anticipating a secondary school place crunch in the coming years; the Local Government Association has called for 80,716 new places to be created. The Department for Education maintains they have provided the affected councils with the necessary funding for the additional places and the responsibility remains with the councils to use this effectively.
Alongside the development of new secondary schools and academies, the allocated funding could be used to improve the facilities and capacities of existing sites – increasing the size of the schools and the quality of the education provided.
With pupil census’ currently being monitored to determine next year’s funding budgets, increasing school capacities could significantly improve each establishment’s level of funding.
David Simmonds, chairman of the LGA’s children and young people board, explained: “As children move through primary school, securing new secondary places will become a significant issue.
“Mums and dads should know councils will do everything they can to create more school places and there are great examples of the work being done across the country.
“The challenge for councils is making sure places are delivered on time and in the right places, in a context where some of the decision making about new school places is now in the hands of the government.”
One of the more interesting solutions to the problem of insufficient school spaces is the conversion of existing buildings into new academies.
Simmonds continued: “Bournemouth is considering the idea of village schools in former church halls or day centres. Less palatable solutions are also being contemplated, such as bussing children to different areas, building on split sites and even building on the green belt.”
Visit the Innova Design Group homepage or call our dedicated team on 0161 477 5300 to discover how we could help improve the capacity and facilities of a secondary school or academy.