Introduction - Do the Maths 2017

London's school places challenge


Demand for new primary school places in London is slowing for the first time in more than a decade. However, pressure on secondary schools remains intense. More than 36,000 additional secondary school places are needed between now and 2022/23 to ensure young Londoners get the top-quality education they deserve. But overall demand for primary school places is lower than in previous years, with just over 27,000 additional places needed.

London boroughs have been making concerted efforts to help existing schools expand and enable the construction of new schools, which has reduced demand for new places to be created.

Do The Maths 2017 is the eighth edition of London Councils’ annual report on the pressures facing the school places planning system in London.

Download the full report here


Key facts

Cllr Peter John OBE, Deputy Chair of London Councils and Executive member with responsibility for schools, said:

“This year’s Do The Maths report shows that while demand for secondary school places across the capital continues to grow, we are expecting primary school place demand to ease over the next six years. This is a new reality for London boroughs and local schools.

“Even with primary school population growth slowing down, London schools will still need to deal with a £1 billion funding shortfall over the next six years and create 64,000 additional school places. Ensuring young people gain the skills they need to succeed when they leave school has never been more important. We urge government to look again at funding levels to ensure they match the real costs schools and boroughs are facing.

“Do The Maths also underlines the importance of ensuring London boroughs have the resources to respond to new challenges. Reshaping the free schools programme so that government, boroughs and free school providers work more closely together and new schools are only opened in areas that are in genuine need of additional capacity would be another positive step.” 

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