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Transparency at the heart of schools planning, says Mayor

We are putting information and transparency at the heart of schools planning in the capital. Whether you are a teacher, a policymaker or a parent, the London Schools Atlas provides a single authoritative resource for anyone concerned about education and seeking to understand the challenges of pupil numbers and places. This important new tool means that, for the first time, a range of information and data about school numbers, location, catchment areas and attainment is available in a way that is easy to use and to interpret.

– Boris Johnson, Mayor of London


Map shows location of highest demand for places

Interactive online schools map launched today Credit:

Covering primary and secondary provision, including academies and free schools, the London Schools Atlas for the first time uses data to illustrate current patterns of demand for places at a pan-London level, rather than within boroughs alone.

The London Schools Atlas shows what areas pupils attending a particular school are drawn from and the extent of mobility between boroughs. It also provides information about the performance of schools.

It gives projected changes in demand from 2012 to 2017, helping people to get a clear picture of where pressure on school places might be in the future.

The Mayor hopes that council communities and parents will use the map to identify areas with highest demand for new schools - so they can set up new academies and free schools in those areas.

View the map here.

London Councils: we warned of shortage for years

Responding to today’s report by the NAO, Cllr Peter John, Executive Member for Education at London Councils says:

“We welcome today’s report from the NAO. It is a wake-up call for Government. London boroughs have been warning for years of a chronic shortfall in school places as a result under investment by Government. Despite this the shortfall remains at over 90 000 places by 2015/16. The Government needs to focus all of its energies on working with councils to ensure that all London’s children are able to access a high quality school place as near to home as possible”

– Cllr Peter John, Executive Member for Education, London Councils


Schoolchildren 'could be taught in shifts'

Schoolchildren could be taught in shifts - some in the morning, the rest in the evening - to cope with the demand for primary school places in the capital.

That's the drastic solution being considered by at least one London council, as it grapples with the problem.

More councils are expected to adopt similar measures at the start of the new school year this week.

A few months ago, we reported that classrooms are so full that 20,000 children didn't get into their first-choice school.