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London council considers split shifts for primary schools

Primary schools in Barking and Dagenham may have to run split shifts to accommodate pupil Credit: PA

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".


95% get chosen school place in Kingston

Kingston Council says it's confident that all children will be given places in local schools before September Credit: Barry Batchelor/PA Wire

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"


  1. National

Table reveals England's top scoring primary school

This year's top-ranking school, for the second year running, was Newton Farm Nursery, Infant and Junior in Harrow.

It gained the highest average points score at 34.1.

  • 1. Newton Farm Nursery, Infant and Junior School, Harrow: 34.1
  • 2. Grinling Gibbons Primary School, London: 33.9
  • 3. Bishop Gilpin CofE Primary School, London: 33.1

Pupils sitting the National Curriculum tests are given a set number of points for the level they achieve.

Level 2 or below is worth 15 points, Level 3 is worth 21 points, Level 4 is worth 27 points, Level 5 is worth 33 points, Level 6 is worth 39 points.

Each pupil's points for English and maths are added up and divided by the number of tests taken to give a school's average points score.

Schools with less than 30 pupils are not included.

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.

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