Proportion of state-funded schools over capacity falls

The proportion of state-funded schools in England that are over capacity has fallen, new figures show.

Some 21% of primary schools had pupil numbers at or over capacity in 2018 – the lowest level since 2013 – while the figure for secondary schools was 15%, down from 16% in 2017.

Figures released by the Department for Education (DfE) on Thursday also include pupil number forecasts up to 2023/24.

They suggest the number of pupils of primary school age will increase steadily from 4,449,896 in 2017/18, to a forecast 4,630,139 in 2022/23.

EDUCATION Capacity
(PA Graphics)

However, the increase is much steeper for pupils of secondary school age.

The data shows there were 3,165,878 students of this age in 2017/18 but the number is forecast to jump by more than half a million to 3,813,769 in 2024/25.

According to the figures, there has been an overall increase of 921,000 mainstream school places since 2010.

This represents 636,000 primary places and 285,000 secondary school places.

  • Primary 59,000
  • Secondary 37,000

Between 2017 and 2018, 59,000 primary places and 37,000 secondary places were added to the school estate.

Education Secretary Damian Hinds said: “Children only get one chance at an education and they deserve the best, wherever they live and whatever their background.

“That’s why this Government is undertaking the biggest expansion in school places in two generations – and the statistics out today show we are well on track to create one million places this decade.

“With standards rising in our schools this will mean that more families have the choice of a good school place.”

Damian Hinds
Damian Hinds (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

The data comes at the same time that Ofsted releases statistics on inspection outcomes for-state funded schools as of December 31 2018.

According to the inspections body, at the end of last year it had judged 85% of schools good or outstanding at their most recent inspection, compared to 86% in August 2018 and 87% in August 2017.

It said the proportion of schools that improved at the inspection following a “requires improvement” judgment has fallen.

This year 58% of these schools improved compared to 71% in the academic year 2015/16.

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