Calling all parents: Have you found the local primary school place your child needs?

2 September 2013

As tens of thousands of young Londoners start primary school for the first time, the London Assembly Education Panel wants to hear from parents and pupils about their experiences of finding a local primary school place in the capital.

As part of its investigation into the provision of primary places in London the Panel would like to hear the real stories behind the statistics which show the capital facing a shortfall of more than 100,000 school places by 2016/17[1].

The Panel will be holding its first meeting on school places on 19th September when it will be questioning representatives of London Boroughs, the Greater London Authority and  the Head of a large primary school about current provision of school places and how many will be needed to meet London’s growing population over the next decade.

Jennette Arnold AM, Chair of the Education Panel said:

“Starting school for the first time can be an exhilarating and scary time for pupils and parents alike. That’s why it is so important that young Londoners have a place at an appropriate local primary school to minimise the travel times and ensure a parent can be close at hand if needed urgently.

“We want to hear from parents and pupils who’ve been though the process of finding a local primary for their children. Has the process worked well for them, could it be improved and how difficult was it to get the right place for their child?

“We will use these experiences to inform our investigation and any recommendations we make for improvements.”

Parents and pupils can send details of their experiences by email to laura.pelling@london.gov.uk , tweet #schoolplaces or by post to: Education Panel, London Assembly, City Hall, The Queen’s Walk, London, SE1 2AA.

The first meeting of the Education Panel will take place on Thursday, 19 September from 2pm in Committee Room 5 at City Hall (The Queen’s Walk, London SE1).

Media and members of the public are invited to attend.  The meeting can also be viewed via webcast.

Notes for Editors:

  1. In 2011/12 London had just under 1.1 million children in its education system. This figure is set to grow year on year to approximately 1.25 million by 2016/17. Pupil numbers are growing at a faster rate in London than anywhere else in the country and the pressure is strongest within primary schools. Based on current projections London boroughs are facing a shortage of 118,000 primary and secondary schools places up to 2016/17. P.3 Do the Maths London Councils. April 2013
  2. The Chair of the Education Panel, Jennette Arnold AM, is available for interview.  See contact details below.
  3. As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor.