Schools Need More Places

Natural population growth and increase in Immigration is set to put pressure on West Midlands schools.

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West Midlands schools will need to accommodate an extra 82,000 pupils by 2039.

The increase in numbers is a consequence of population growth and immigration.

Only Birmingham alone is set to need an additional 30,700 places.

The prediction was published by the Office for National Statistics, the official government agency which is based on current life-expectancy statistics, birth rates and death rates as well as the net effect of migration.

The figures refer to people aged 14 or under.

At present, the whole population of Dudley, counting people of all ages, is around 80,000.

In the West Midlands the most recent population figures show that there were 561,900 children aged 0-14 living in the area in 2014.

However, by 2039 this number is anticipated to increase by 82,400 to 644,300 placing pressure on schools and nurseries to draw up plans in order to accommodate even more children.

This is an increase of 14.7%, ahead of the rise of 9.8% for the country as a whole.

Across England as a whole, the Office for National Statistics has predicted that there will be an additional 951,200 children aged 14 or under in the country by 2039.

Schools and nurseries will have to propose ideas to accommodate 10.6 million children in this age group by 2039 in comparison to the 9.7 million in 2014.

Population increase by local council area

Area, Increase in 0-14 population by 2039

Coventry, +19,900 (31.6%)

Solihull, 5,800 (15.6%)

Wolverhampton, 7,200 (14.9%)

Sandwell, 9,300 (14.2%)

Birmingham +30,700 (12.9%)

Walsall, 6,400 (11.9%)

Dudley, 3,200 (5.7%)

Previously, teaching unions have cautioned that Birmingham schools face a teacher shortage.

Figures presented 63 per cent of school front-runners in the region which was measured by the union National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) found it problematic to recruit teachers, with more than a quarter (27 per cent) saying they were unsuccessful in filling a vacancy.

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