Crisis over primary school places

It is believed about 800 children in the capital are still without primary school places after an extra 6000 applications were received.

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Are primary school problems blighting the capital?

A lack of primary school places is blighting the capital.

Imagine having to sell your home because you cannot find a state primary school place for your child.

That is the drastic measure one mother is having to go through because of the lack of places in London schools.

Another is still chasing a place for her child despite the fact it is already the first week of term.

Those are just two of the people who contacted London Tonight, after we reported on Monday on the primary school problems.

And there are hundreds more like them.

The full story now from Piers Hopkirk.

Shortage of school places expected to hit 90,000

The shortfall of primary and secondary school places across the capital is set to rise faster than expected, to around 90,000 by 2016, London Councils have warned.

Long-term demand for school places will continue to grow across the capital, with the cost of meeting this expected to reach £2.3bn within the next four years, according to new analysis done by the organisation which lobbies on behalf of the capital’s 33 local authorities.

Councils have been trying to provide 241 new classrooms in London to meet the demand for pupils just about to start reception class.

This year 6,000 more children applied for a reception place in London for September, compared to September 2011, bringing the total number of applicants to 100,000.


Department for Education : 'We’re creating thousands more places'

A Department for Education spokesperson said:

We know that London has pressures, which is why we’re creating thousands more places to deal with the impact of soaring birth rates on primary schools.

We've already invested just over £1 billion in London this year and last to create extra school places and hundreds of millions of pounds will follow.

We are building Free Schools and letting the most popular schools expand to meet demand.

We are also intervening to drive up standards in weak primaries across the capital, which have empty places simply because parents don't want to send their children there.

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