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Family miss out on all six top choices in bid for school place

A family in Crouch End are being forced to settle for their seventh choice of school for their young son, as schools across London struggle to cope with swelling numbers of applicants.

Luke Hanrahan reports on the impact that increasing pressures on schools is having on families and young people - and how it appears to only be getting worse.

School age population 'up 8.2%' and set to increase further

Boroughs across London have seen large increases in pupil populations, according to London Councils, who work with data provided by local authorities.

Their report, Do the Math, revealed that school-age populations (children aged between 5 and 19) within the capital grew by 107,000 from 2001-2011 - a growth rate of 8.2% compared to an overall reduction nationally of 0.25.

Their analysis shows the rate of growth in some London boroughs is set to increase to as much as 36% between 2012 and 2018.

The growth expected in school-age pupils over the next few years. Credit: London Councils.


Families feeling the pressure as demand for schools increases

Families across London have been struggling to get their child into their preferred choice of school, as demand for places continues to grow.

London Councils has warned that over the next few years pressures on schools will continue. According to their analysis of local authority data,

  • 133,000 more primary and secondary school places are needed by 2018. Nationally, 497,000 places are needed.
  • London boroughs have had to fund 48% of new schools places from their own budgets due to underfunding from government.
  • Two thirds of London boroughs will need to increase primary school capacity by over 10% in the next six years.
  • One third of London boroughs will need to increase secondary school capacity by over 5% in the next six years.

Tapestry of Magna Carta's Wiki page goes on display

Artist Cornelia Parker with a section of the embroidery Credit: British Library

A 13m-long tapestry of Magna Carta's Wikipedia article is to be unveiled today at the British Library.

The tapestry, created by artist Cornelia Parker, has been stitched together by more 200 people, including Edward Snowden and Jarvis Cocker, to celebrate the Magna Carta's 800th anniversary.

Kids too nervous to eat before exams

More than a fifth of children in London are too nervous to eat before an exam.

New research by Kellogg's reveals almost two-thirds of kids worry poor results will impact their future.

Their parents agree with three-quarter of mums and dads admitting their children are under more pressure than they were.

A fifth of kids also say they haven't been able to concentrate due to nerves.

Headteachers in London to attend special seminar on extremism

London is one of seven cities in the UK which will hold a special seminar this summer to help headteachers prevent pupils being drawn into extremism. The events are being organised by The Association of School and College Leaders in response to what it calls 'widespread concern over the impact of extremist propaganda on young people.'

The seminars will cover all forms of extremism- from the threat of Islamic radicalisation to far-right ideologies and extremism. They will aim to help school leaders understand how children are accessing this sort of information- and encourage teachers and parents in the capital to pick up warning signs that their child is being radicalised.

Counter-extremism campaigner Sara Khan will help lead the seminars. Ms Khan said: "It is important for schools to understand the current threat of extremism and how extremists prey on children both online and offline."

"The seminars will clarify and help guide schools how they can safeguard children from extremists who seek to exploit them."


Police to report on alleged Savile abuse at Staines school

Jimmy Savile in 1972 Credit: PA/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Surrey Police are to release their closing report on allegations of abuse by Jimmy Savile at a school in Staines. 'Operation Outreach' has interviewed more than 100 women who were pupils at Duncroft Approved School in the 1970s. Savile was interviewed over the allegations in 2009, but police found there was insufficient evidence to prosecute him. No charges have been brought against former staff at the school, which closed in the 1980s.

Primary school apologises for giving children too much help with SATS

A primary school has apologised for giving its pupils too much help after Government testers disqualified teachers - for cheating.

Investigators at the Standards and Testing Agency have snubbed 34 papers after they found children taking their SATs were "over-aided" with some questions being answered identically.

Credit: Google Street View

Susan Papas, executive head teacher of Heavers Farm Primary School in Croydon, south east London, apologised to parents of the ten and 11-year-olds.

It was wrong and should never have happened.

This has been such a horrendous experience but we have learnt from it and we will do things differently. I can say with confidence we will never put anyone in that situation again.

– Susan Papas

The Department of Education said pupils' grades would be calculated from class work rather than making them resit the exams.

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