Population pressure on schools

Members of the Public Accounts Committee will visit one of the country's fastest growing populations today, following the announcement earlier this month that England will need an extra 256,000 school places by September 2014.

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Labour: Less money on education 'vanity projects'

Speaking to Daybreak, Margaret Hodge, Chair of the Public Accounts Committee said she would deal with overcrowding in classrooms by spending less money on education "vanity projects".

Margaret Hodge, Chair of the Public Accounts Committee Credit: Daybreak

She said the Government needs to spend that money in stead, on investing on primary education for young children.

She added: "The start for a child's life is the most important, get it wrong and you might actually ruin the child's future."

1,000 primary school places needed in Barking a year

Tens of thousands of extra school places will be needed by next year amid a continuing surge in demand, the Nation Audit Office said.

Ministers will visit schools in London today to see the problem for themselves.

Primary schools are the worst hit due to a lack of places and overcrowded classrooms Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

According to Barking Council, an estimated 1,000 extra primary school places will be needed in Barking each year, in line with projected population growth.

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Number of births risen by a fifth in a decade

Ministers will visit schools in Barking today to address the issue of overcrowding in classrooms.

  • Between 2001 and 2011, the number of live births rose by more than a fifth, putting growing pressure on schools with 723,913 live births in 2011, nearly 130,000 more than the number of live births in 2001
  • Nearly 40 pre cent of the places needed at primary schools are in London - accounting for over 88,000 places
  • Barking and Dagenham has the highest proportion of young children, with 10 per cent of the population aged under 5, this has increased by nearly half since 2001

Office for National Statistics

Ministers visit schools to address overcrowding

Following the announcement that England will need an extra 256,000 school places by September 2014, members of the Public Accounts Committee will visit one of the country's fastest growing populations today.

They will spend the morning at schools in Barking, where the population has grown by more than ten per cent between 2001 and 2011.

England will need an extra 256,000 school places by September 2014 Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Earlier in the month the National Audit Office published a report which stated that the Department of Education has ambitious objectives to provide school places.

It said that the Government 'faces a real challenge' to provide the quarter of a million places, and needs to have a better understanding of the problem.

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