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Education and school places

  • By London Councils


London boroughs are committed to championing the interests of children and young people, improving standards, holding schools to account and ensuring fair access to education. London Councils has a wide-ranging policy programme that sets out the London local government role in a reformed education system. You can view Being the Best: The Future of London's schools on the right hand side of this page.

School places

London has been facing an increase in demand for school places for the last seven years, and this demand continues to grow. A combination of rising pupil populations, spiralling building costs and lack of available land is putting increasing pressure on London boroughs to provide places for pupils.

London Councils has been at the forefront of the debate about how to fund the need for providing school places through a series of Do the Maths publications. Our 2015 report The London Equation set out London Councils' latest analysis of the growing pressure on secondary school places and the scale of the funding shortfall to London boroughs.  This report is available to view on the right hand side of this page along with our other school places reports.

School improvement

The London education system previously amongst the worst in the country is now lauded by both central Government and Ofsted as the benchmark for other regions to reach.

In 1989, the year before the boroughs took over responsibility for schools from the Inner London Education Authority, less than 9 per cent of pupils achieved 5 or more higher grade GCSEs. Today the comparable figure is 70.5 per cent with a national figure of 63 per cent. A spectacular transformation has taken place

London Councils commissioned a range of experts across the education spectrum to share their views on the drivers behind London’s success, with a particular focus on the contributions of the London boroughs. The Lessons from London publication is a collection of essays which sets out how London boroughs worked with central government and other partners to turn around London's schools. It is available to view on the right.

Parental views

London Councils commissioned YouGov for three consecutive years to survey London parents on their attitudes to the reforming educational system. The most recent survey findings highlight:

  • 80 per cent agree that local borough councils should have the final say in the location of new schools within their authority boundary.
  • 63 per cent of parents agree that Free Schools should be set up in areas where local demand exceeds existing school capacity.

  • The two most important factors for parents when deciding their child’s preferred schools and for one in five parents location was the most important factor.  

The full survey results are available on the right hand side to download.