Council bosses reassure parents over South Tyneside school places

Secondary school children.
Secondary school children.

Council bosses have assured parents in South Tyneside that there will be enough secondary school places in the future.

The move follows a report out today which predicts a crisis in places for senior children in the next five years.

We will have enough secondary school places across the whole borough

South Tyneside Council

Almost half of local authorities across the country are at risk of being unable to meet rising demand for secondary school places within the next half decade, local government leaders have warned.

A report out today following analysis of Department for Education figures and local pupil forecasts by the Local Government Association warns that more than 125,000 children face missing out on a secondary school place by 2022/23.

The LGA said councils urgently need to be given powers to force academies and free schools to expand if additional places are needed in a local area and voluntary agreement cannot be reached.

With nearly two thirds of secondary schools now academies, this is the only way to make sure councils can fulfil their statutory duty to ensure every child has a school place.

The number of pupils needing secondary school places in South Tyneside is predicted to rise from 8,651 this academic year to 9,559 in 2022/23, but the council says this will not be a problem.

A spokesman for South Tyneside Council, said: “Projections show that we will have sufficient secondary school places across the whole borough in five years’ time.”

The LGA said councils also need to have powers to build new schools in areas where they are needed if academies or free schools cannot provide them.