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The Secondary School Places Challenge

The Secondary School Places challenge

Issued: 14/12/2017

Updated: 28/10/2020

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Over 14,500 extra secondary school classrooms required in UK by 2020

Our latest research report, The Secondary School Places Challenge, indicates that an extra 435,646 pupils will be joining the UK’s secondary school system in the next three years, equating to over 14,500 additional secondary classrooms required across the country.

Using data from the Department of Education, The Scottish Government, The Welsh Government and Northern Ireland’s Department of Education, we have analysed secondary pupil projection numbers to identify how many more secondary schools and classrooms could be required across the UK to ensure we have enough school places available for our growing population of pupils.

This research shows that although the greatest school building requirement will be in England (13,337 classrooms), 527 classrooms would also be required in Scotland, 340 in Wales and 318 in Northern Ireland, to meet the projected growth in secondary school pupils.

SCAPE School Places Chart 1

Such is the scale of the projected increase in secondary school pupils that the government should now seek to develop a National School Building Strategy that brings together the Department of Education, local and regional government, and industry. We must ensure there is a joined-up approach that embraces modern methods of construction such as modular and offsite techniques, which can deliver schools quickly and cost-effectively.

Mark Robinson, SCAPE chief executive