Some schools in London could radically change the way they operate, as the demand for primary places continues. Schools could be forced to run in two shifts to accommodate the growing demand for pupil places.
In the east London borough of Barking and Dagenham, a 50% rise in the number of under-fours since 2001 means its primary schools are bursting at the seams.
Deputy council leader Rocky Gill says if the council does not receive the money it says it needs to accommodate its growing numbers of pupils, it will have to go for this "radical option".
Kingston Council says it's managed to place 95% of children in a reception class place at a school of their choice, with 79% being given their first choice. Kingston Council says those whose preferences have not been met will be offered an alternative from the waiting lists in the coming weeks.
In 2011 1,871 borough residents applied to Kingston Council for primary school places. In 2012 that figure rose to 1,960 and this year it was 2,024.
Councillor Patricia Bamford said:
“We are committed to providing extra places in areas of the borough where they are most needed so that local children can be educated as closely to their homes as possible. I would like to thank those schools which have agreed to accommodate additional children"
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.