Baby boom leads to pressure for places at Midlands primary schools

Midlands councils are trying to expand primary schools to deal with a baby boom Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Archive/Press Association Images

There are few more important decisions for a parent than getting their child into the primary school they want - and this Wednesday is the deadline to apply.

But with the Midlands in the baby boom, it's forecast that in parts of the Midlands there will soon be more pupils than there are places.

Last September, the Local Government Association claimed that more than half of local authorities would have a shortfall within two years.

Now councils across our region are battling to keep ahead of the game by expanding primary schools and creating thousands of extra places.

It's recognised as being one of the biggest challenges facing the education system.

Peterborough faces a particularly tough job meeting demand with one of the country's highest birth rates and high immigration.

According to the Department for Education, the city had 18,813 available places last May.

But pupil numbers are projected to reach more than 19,500 next year and 20,000 the year after.

Even councils with a surplus capacity will often have popularity hotspots where there is extra pressure on places.

Solihull Council has been building new schools to address a pressure point in the north of the district and is confident it will be able to cope.