London, July 27: Nearly one million extra school places will be needed within eight years as rising birth rates and immigration push pupil numbers to a 50-year high, the Daily Mail reported Friday.
The population boom has already pushed many primary schools to “breaking point” and forced town halls to draw up emergency plans to teach children in disused shops and warehouses.
Now figures from the education department have shown the number of pupils in state schools is expected to rise to 7,950,000 by the end of the decade – 935,000 more than now.
Primary and nursery schools will need an extra 736,000 places by 2020, with the remaining places required at secondary and special schools, the Mail said.
Pupil numbers are forecast to reach levels last seen in the 1970s. The figures also show 106,000 fewer places would be needed by 2020 if migration was reduced to zero.
The growing shortage of places is likely to lead to the opening of more “super” primaries accommodating up to 1,000 children.