News round-up 27/7: Rise in school place demand
Your daily media round up of all the key stories affecting local government
The Guardian reports that the number of children in England’s primary schools is expected to rise by 18% in the next eight years. It says the number is expected to rise from 4.1m to 4.8m by 2020 – a figure last seen during the 1970s. The paper says the rise “will put the government under intense pressure to invest in new schools or risk a crisis.”
The Daily Telegraph reports that “more than 100,000 migrant children will need to be given places at state primary and secondary schools by 2020.” It says most of the additional pupils “will be concentrated in England’s state-funded primaries.”
Primary schools are set to struggle to absorb an 8% increase in pupil numbers in the next three years, the Financial Times reports. Office of National Statistics figures show a baby boom which began in the 2000s is set to take the population of young children in England to heights last seen in the 1970s.
Secondary schools are using money earmarked for the poorest pupils to paper over the cracks caused by government spending cuts, according to Independent reports of research by the National Foundation for Education Research.
David Cameron opened a global investment conference yesterday and promised that the coalition would “go on and finish the job” of eliminating Britain’s structural deficit, writes the Financial Times. The prime minister, together with chancellor George Osborne, launched a concerted effort to persuade investors that the government would uphold its debt reduction plan. The comments came amid warnings that the UK could be stripped of its triple-A credit rating, after a 0.7% drop in national output in the second quarter of this year, the paper says.
Police numbers in England and Wales have fallen by 5,000 in the past year as the 20% cut in Whitehall funding takes effect, the Guardian says. The cuts in police numbers have mostly hit constables, sergeants and inspectors, and the only growth area has been volunteer “special constables”, whose numbers increased by 1,922 in the past year, the paper says.