London Parents - Desperately in Search of School Places

18 September 2019

A baby boom in the last decade has seen the demand for school places rise significantly. As a result, London’s schools are quite literally, bursting at the seams.

Figures show 28% of primary schools in Outer London and nearly 12% in Inner London were at, or over, capacity. At secondary level, London has the third highest proportion of secondary schools at, or over, capacity (16 per cent). [1]

London will require an additional 65,200 secondary places - equivalent to roughly 2,200 classes, or 54 new standard secondary schools by 2027/28. [2]

The London Assembly Education Panel will tomorrow discuss the demand for school places. In a second panel, it will also examine the issue of inequality and outcomes for children.

Inequality can affect the life chances of children and the lives of disadvantaged young people.

There is also a disparity between boroughs in London.

42.1 per cent of secondary school pupils in Tower Hamlets are eligible for free school meals (FSM), whereas only 7.7 per cent are eligible in Kingston-upon-Thames.

Research shows that children eligible for FSM do not do as well as their peers who aren’t.

The guests are:

Panel one

  • Sara Williams, Executive Director for Children & Young People, London Borough of Lewisham & Chair of the Pan London Admissions Board
  • Dan Moynihan, CEO, Harris Federation

Panel two

  • Joanne McCartney, Deputy Mayor, Education and Childcare
  • Dr. Feyisa Demie, Honorary Fellow at the School of Education, Durham University, and Head of Research and adviser for school self-evaluation at LB Lambeth
  • Sophie Howes, Senior Policy and Research Officer, Child Poverty Action Group
  • Louise Browning, Headteacher, Norbury School
  • Bharat Mehta CBE, Chief Executive, Trust for London

The meeting will take place on Thursday, 19 September at 2.00pm in The Chamber (The Queen’s Walk, London SE1).


      Media and members of the public are invited to attend

The meeting can also be viewed LIVE via webcast

Follow us and take part in the meeting discussion using #AssemblyEdu, #LDNschoolplaces and #LDNchildinequality


Notes to editors

  1. Figures from Greater London Authority, Annual Education Report 2017
  2. Figures from Greater London Authority, London Education Report: Secondary Education
  3. Agenda papers
  4. Jennette Arnold AM, Chair of the Education Panel, is available for interviews. Please see contact details below.
  5. Education Panel
  6. As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor.

For media enquiries, please contact Funmi Olutoye on 020 7084 2713.  For out of hours media enquiries, call 020 7983 4000 and ask for the London Assembly duty press officer.  Non-media enquiries should be directed to the Public Liaison Unit on 020 7983 4100.

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