Severe shortage of primary school places predicted

There will be a severe shortage of primary school places in Waltham Forest by 2016, according to research published this week.

The borough has seen a rapid expansion of schools over the past few years to meet rising demand, with many having temporary classrooms installed.

Despite this, the Local Government Association has predicted primary school capacity in Waltham Forest will need to increase by 25 per cent in three years.

This is one of the largest expected shortfalls in England and Wales. 

But Councillor Clare Coghill, cabinet member for children, has moved to reassure parents that plans are in place to ensure enough places are available.

She said: “This is a problem facing schools across the country and Waltham Forest has plans in place to meet the need both now and in the future.

“Providing every child in the borough with a good education is a priority for the council and we are ensuring that they all have a place in a good quality school.

"We currently have enough spaces within our schools and are planning for the future."

She added that authorities face an additional challenge because they no longer have the power to create new schools and must rely on the establishment of free schools.

Four new free schools were approved in the borough in May, including the new Walthamstow Primary Academy which will be run by United Learning.

But opponents say free schools are not the answer.

Jonathan White, of campaign group Our Community, Our Schools, said the shortage of primary school places has been caused by the government channelling money, time and effort into promoting free schools.

“A free-for-all, where schools are left to govern themselves, is a recipe for creating an anarchic market in which some schools will succeed and some will fail,” he said.

Comments (18)

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7:36am Sat 7 Sep 13

Helen, Walthamstow says...

Walthamstow Primary Acadeny was proposed by United Learning Trust, which runs Walthamstow Academy and has a Chrstian ethos.

it seems that every free school coming to Waltham Forest has a faith bent of one kind or another - which doesn't exactly assist in the community cohesion which is so essential for Waltham Forest.
Walthamstow Primary Acadeny was proposed by United Learning Trust, which runs Walthamstow Academy and has a Chrstian ethos. it seems that every free school coming to Waltham Forest has a faith bent of one kind or another - which doesn't exactly assist in the community cohesion which is so essential for Waltham Forest. Helen, Walthamstow
  • Score: 9

8:34am Sat 7 Sep 13

red37red says...

I wonder why the school are getting like this!! thanks to labours open door rules.....
I wonder why the school are getting like this!! thanks to labours open door rules..... red37red
  • Score: 9

11:11am Sat 7 Sep 13

Don't Give Up says...

According to the council's figures of 20 months ago, there is a predicted shortage of school places as follows:-
2015/16 - 25.0% Primary and 9.8% Secondary
2016/17 - 21.1% 12.3%
2017/18 - 21.5% 19.2%
2018/19 - 22.0% 28.2%
2019/20 - 20.7% 31.6%
2020/21 - 20.1% 31.2%
2021/22 - 18.9% 36.5%

These figures were based on purely the population of Waltham Forest at that time. It did not take into account anyone moving into or out of the borough or new births to existing families.

When you then take into account the vast numbers of flats/houses being given planning permission whereby a percentage of all new builds have to be made available to residents of other boroughs plus the increase of people moving to Waltham Forest and the increase in the birth rate, it looks a mess.
According to the council's figures of 20 months ago, there is a predicted shortage of school places as follows:- 2015/16 - 25.0% Primary and 9.8% Secondary 2016/17 - 21.1% 12.3% 2017/18 - 21.5% 19.2% 2018/19 - 22.0% 28.2% 2019/20 - 20.7% 31.6% 2020/21 - 20.1% 31.2% 2021/22 - 18.9% 36.5% These figures were based on purely the population of Waltham Forest at that time. It did not take into account anyone moving into or out of the borough or new births to existing families. When you then take into account the vast numbers of flats/houses being given planning permission whereby a percentage of all new builds have to be made available to residents of other boroughs plus the increase of people moving to Waltham Forest and the increase in the birth rate, it looks a mess. Don't Give Up
  • Score: 10

12:14pm Sat 7 Sep 13

ruby newbie says...

well if it stopped building residential buildings being filled up with yet more children it may not have such a big problem in its borough.........head em up,head em in head em out...rolling rolling rolling............k
eep them people rolling.....
well if it stopped building residential buildings being filled up with yet more children it may not have such a big problem in its borough.........head em up,head em in head em out...rolling rolling rolling............k eep them people rolling..... ruby newbie
  • Score: 0

5:19pm Sat 7 Sep 13

myopinioncounts says...

Firstly, I cannot believe that only 5 people have commented on this article. Has there been censorship? The other article on the same subject - WALTHAM FOREST: Children "kept in nursery to ease school places crisis" has the comments on it 'closed'! Why is the public being discouraged from commenting?
Anyone with eyes and ears knows that a number of schools are undergoing building works to provide extra classes and one school that was only rebuilt 8 years ago has had to open some classes on another school site because it is bursting at the seams.
Firstly, I cannot believe that only 5 people have commented on this article. Has there been censorship? The other article on the same subject - WALTHAM FOREST: Children "kept in nursery to ease school places crisis" has the comments on it 'closed'! Why is the public being discouraged from commenting? Anyone with eyes and ears knows that a number of schools are undergoing building works to provide extra classes and one school that was only rebuilt 8 years ago has had to open some classes on another school site because it is bursting at the seams. myopinioncounts
  • Score: 6

7:59pm Sat 7 Sep 13

ruby newbie says...

dear my opinion,,,,its a Saturday and our press in the uk know what they are doing
dear my opinion,,,,its a Saturday and our press in the uk know what they are doing ruby newbie
  • Score: -3

11:26pm Sat 7 Sep 13

Walthamster says...

A few years ago, schools were being closed down because there weren't enough children to fill them. At the same time the adult population was rising sharply as hundreds of thousands of newcomers -- mainly young adults -- moved into Britain from abroad.

Why has there been no planning for the inevitable baby boom? Because it doesn't seem to have crossed any politician's mind that people in their 20s and 30s might settle down and have children.
A few years ago, schools were being closed down because there weren't enough children to fill them. At the same time the adult population was rising sharply as hundreds of thousands of newcomers -- mainly young adults -- moved into Britain from abroad. Why has there been no planning for the inevitable baby boom? Because it doesn't seem to have crossed any politician's mind that people in their 20s and 30s might settle down and have children. Walthamster
  • Score: 6

9:22am Sun 8 Sep 13

SpursSupporter1 says...

Awful as it sounds the country/government needs too stop allowing immigration too continue at the level it is now the country cannot afford too keep running with the amount of money it is costing right now and alarming as it sounds there is the possible the country could run into severe over ride, the regulations too be of a similar process as is currently in Austraila ie. a home to live in, a bank account with money in it, a job and no right too claim welfare benefits and must pay for your health care its got to be done sooner rather than later
Awful as it sounds the country/government needs too stop allowing immigration too continue at the level it is now the country cannot afford too keep running with the amount of money it is costing right now and alarming as it sounds there is the possible the country could run into severe over ride, the regulations too be of a similar process as is currently in Austraila ie. a home to live in, a bank account with money in it, a job and no right too claim welfare benefits and must pay for your health care its got to be done sooner rather than later SpursSupporter1
  • Score: 15

7:24am Mon 9 Sep 13

stickmanny says...

It does sound awful.

Immigrants pay taxes that could be used to build schools. Ask yourself why this isn't happening.
It does sound awful. Immigrants pay taxes that could be used to build schools. Ask yourself why this isn't happening. stickmanny
  • Score: -7

9:00am Tue 10 Sep 13

Robert19 says...

This is not the first time there has been a baby boom yet authorities are caught on the hop time and time again. There must be contingency planning for such ripples. Sadly sites are being sold off which leaves no wriggle room. It is even more difficult to reprovide as we have Michael Gove as Secretary of State for Education who is an extreme ideologue and hates local authorities. He is busy dismantling local education authorities.
Added to that his solution is free schools and academies which between them do not address local need in any planned way. In Waltham Forest , as has already been mentioned, we have a couple of faith based bids for schools, one of them a muslim girls school. They will not meet the needs of the whole local population and cause more division.
The LEA in Waltham Forest has been dysfunctional and was indeed outsourced for some years which made it even worse. However I would rather have some kind of local support and planning structure for education than to leave it to the free and indeed soon private sector to sort out our school places crisis.
This is not the first time there has been a baby boom yet authorities are caught on the hop time and time again. There must be contingency planning for such ripples. Sadly sites are being sold off which leaves no wriggle room. It is even more difficult to reprovide as we have Michael Gove as Secretary of State for Education who is an extreme ideologue and hates local authorities. He is busy dismantling local education authorities. Added to that his solution is free schools and academies which between them do not address local need in any planned way. In Waltham Forest , as has already been mentioned, we have a couple of faith based bids for schools, one of them a muslim girls school. They will not meet the needs of the whole local population and cause more division. The LEA in Waltham Forest has been dysfunctional and was indeed outsourced for some years which made it even worse. However I would rather have some kind of local support and planning structure for education than to leave it to the free and indeed soon private sector to sort out our school places crisis. Robert19
  • Score: 5

5:51pm Tue 10 Sep 13

stickmanny says...

I think it's the case that any extra schools founded MUST be free schools.

My last post gets a -5 huh? Your government is allowing immigrants to settle here but not expanding services, so you blame the immigrants but not the government? Get real.
I think it's the case that any extra schools founded MUST be free schools. My last post gets a -5 huh? Your government is allowing immigrants to settle here but not expanding services, so you blame the immigrants but not the government? Get real. stickmanny
  • Score: -2

9:48pm Tue 10 Sep 13

Billy Yerache says...

Labour to blame simple as that.
Labour to blame simple as that. Billy Yerache
  • Score: -2

7:03am Wed 11 Sep 13

Robert19 says...

Billy Yerache wrote:
Labour to blame simple as that.
Much more complex than that. Labour did grossly underestimate the number of accession country migrants that is true. There was no planning and some parts of the country notably Fenland towns are struggling to cope. However, as has been said, working migrants do contribute to the local economy.
There are other factors including a descent into anarchy in terms of local planning for school places. Only free schools and academies can open, no new local authority schools. So the local authority is effectively shut out.
There is a four year period to plan and provide from birth to first day at school - resources should be made available accordingly and not relyi on a few middle class evangelical Christian parents clamouring for their own school. This lack of places will soon feed in to secondary schools and again Gove is culpable here in stopping the Building Schools for the Future programme and not replacing it properly. The NHS is heading in the same anarchic direction.
[quote][p][bold]Billy Yerache[/bold] wrote: Labour to blame simple as that.[/p][/quote]Much more complex than that. Labour did grossly underestimate the number of accession country migrants that is true. There was no planning and some parts of the country notably Fenland towns are struggling to cope. However, as has been said, working migrants do contribute to the local economy. There are other factors including a descent into anarchy in terms of local planning for school places. Only free schools and academies can open, no new local authority schools. So the local authority is effectively shut out. There is a four year period to plan and provide from birth to first day at school - resources should be made available accordingly and not relyi on a few middle class evangelical Christian parents clamouring for their own school. This lack of places will soon feed in to secondary schools and again Gove is culpable here in stopping the Building Schools for the Future programme and not replacing it properly. The NHS is heading in the same anarchic direction. Robert19
  • Score: 4

7:30am Wed 11 Sep 13

stickmanny says...

Well put, but since 2009 I would not call it anarchic. It is calculated to make us all think private provision will be better than public.

Of course history since since Thatcher tells us this is never the case.
Well put, but since 2009 I would not call it anarchic. It is calculated to make us all think private provision will be better than public. Of course history since since Thatcher tells us this is never the case. stickmanny
  • Score: 0

10:29am Wed 11 Sep 13

OngarRS says...

stickmanny wrote:
It does sound awful.

Immigrants pay taxes that could be used to build schools. Ask yourself why this isn't happening.
Yes, immigrants do pay taxes. However, how much tax would an immigrant on 10/hr pay? Not much, and certainly no way would it pay the cost of healthcare (NHS) and schooling for their offspring. This, as usual, is left to the middle classes who earn just too much to get any benefits, but not enough to employ the usual diddles of the truly rich. To those people I say vote UKIP as it is the only way things will ever change.
[quote][p][bold]stickmanny[/bold] wrote: It does sound awful. Immigrants pay taxes that could be used to build schools. Ask yourself why this isn't happening.[/p][/quote]Yes, immigrants do pay taxes. However, how much tax would an immigrant on 10/hr pay? Not much, and certainly no way would it pay the cost of healthcare (NHS) and schooling for their offspring. This, as usual, is left to the middle classes who earn just too much to get any benefits, but not enough to employ the usual diddles of the truly rich. To those people I say vote UKIP as it is the only way things will ever change. OngarRS
  • Score: 3

8:17pm Wed 11 Sep 13

stickmanny says...

Some assertions there which need backing up with facts.

Assuming you can come up with those facts, we can move on to the natives that earn £10/hr or less. Are they so undeserving that they should be exported as well, to save your comfortable middle class income from being dented any further?

Being middle class is a privilege.
Some assertions there which need backing up with facts. Assuming you can come up with those facts, we can move on to the natives that earn £10/hr or less. Are they so undeserving that they should be exported as well, to save your comfortable middle class income from being dented any further? Being middle class is a privilege. stickmanny
  • Score: 0

11:48am Thu 12 Sep 13

mdj says...

Perhaps there is in fact a Cunning Plan to make this problem go away:

'Start schooling later than age five, say education experts

Formal schooling should be delayed until the age of six or seven because early education is causing “profound damage” to children, an influential lobby of almost 130 experts warns.' (Daily Telegraph, today)

No, me neither.
Perhaps there is in fact a Cunning Plan to make this problem go away: 'Start schooling later than age five, say education experts Formal schooling should be delayed until the age of six or seven because early education is causing “profound damage” to children, an influential lobby of almost 130 experts warns.' (Daily Telegraph, today) No, me neither. mdj
  • Score: -1

8:43pm Thu 12 Sep 13

stickmanny says...

I assume you think these 130 experts have it all wrong. There is a large body of evidence to show it is around six years of age, maybe seven for boys.
I assume you think these 130 experts have it all wrong. There is a large body of evidence to show it is around six years of age, maybe seven for boys. stickmanny
  • Score: 0

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