Changes in London's demographics, combined with the impact of the recession, have led to an extraordinary rise in demand for new reception places, leaving many schools with little or no capacity to take on new pupils.
In early 2009, London Councils assembled evidence from every local authority in the capital to assess the extent of the problem. Based on current projections, London faces reception place shortfalls of more than 18,300 in total by 2014. This, and other key statistics, were used to put together a lobbying report, Do the maths, to highlight the pressure authorities in London were under to keep up with demand for places, and ask for additional funding a resource to meet this.
In December 2009, following lobbying from London Councils, the Department for Children Schools and Families announced emergency funding of £300 million for local authorities around the country facing pressure on their primary school places.
Recognising the particular acuteness of the problem in the capital, 16 London boroughs received around half the fund – some £143 million. However, the shortage of primary school places will continue to be a major issue in the capital and London Councils continues to lobby on behalf of boroughs.
Publication date: April 2009