London local authorities and schools are currently dealing with a significant and sustained period of reduction in demand for reception places, which has implications for school budgets and standards.
London Councils has analysed data from 32 London boroughs which reveals that 29 London boroughs are expecting a drop in demand of over 4% for reception places between 2022-23 and 2026-27. On average, London boroughs are predicted to see a 7.3% decrease in reception pupil numbers from 2022-23 to 2026-27 and London’s total reception numbers are predicted to decline from 96,424 to 89,121 over this period (reflecting a 7.6% total decrease).
Forecast demand for year 7 places in secondary schools across London is predicted to drop by a total of 3.5% between 2022-23 to 2026-27, representing a slower rate of decline than at the primary level. This amounts to a decrease from 92,722 to 89,510 children.
The fall in demand reflects the decline in the birth rate since 2012 and changes in migration patterns in London. This report sets out the analysis of borough four-year forecasts of demand, the current challenges facing schools and local authorities in relation to planning school places, and recommendations for what local government, London Councils and the government can do to support the school system through this challenging period.
Read the full report and recommendations here.