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The School Places Challenge 2019

Schoolchildren 03

Issued: 10/04/2019

Updated: 30/11/2020

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The School Places Challenge 2019 report provides an up to date assessment of the state of school places provision across the United Kingdom.

The UK faces a major task when it comes to making sure there are enough school places to meet the growing demand.

Although the bulk of the demand for additional school places comes from England, for both primary and secondary schools, the issue affects the whole of the UK.

This is our fourth edition of this analysis.

Local authorities across the UK are acutely aware of the challenge that they face. But in an age of continued austerity – faced with inflation and rising costs beyond their control – their ability to deliver more with less is close to breaking point.

Although the growth of our pupil population has begun to slow down in recent years, we still have a crisis on our hands and the government must treat the UK’s school places challenge as a top priority.

Mark Robinson, SCAPE chief executive

Data for the England-based research was obtained through the Department for Education’s 2018 School Capacity and forecast tables statistics, available through GOV.UK. Data for the Scotland-based research was obtained through The Scottish Government’s website; Local authority level pupil projections: primary and secondary school pupil numbers by local authority; 2015 to 2021.

Data for the Welsh-based research was obtained through Stat Wales, Pupil Projections, available through the Welsh Government’s website. Data for the Northern Ireland-based research was obtained through Department of Education’s Schools and pupils by District Council 2017/18 and School population – projections (2017/18 version) statistics.