ATL comment on national pupil projection figures
Nansi Ellis, assistant general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), said:
“Today’s release of pupil number projection figures, which show that the school population is expected to increase by 13% by 2024, should come as a massive wake-up call to the Government.
“One of the largest challenges facing our education system will be ensuring that there are enough schools and teachers to match the huge increase in children attending both primary and secondary schools in the next decade. Currently as many as one-in-five children do not get a place in the primary school chosen by their parents and many teacher training vacancies remain unfilled. The Government needs to devise a credible plan to tackle both the school place crisis and the teacher retention crisis.
“Parents quite rightly expect that the state will provide a good local school place for their child; and the Government would like us to believe that parents can choose which school their child attends. The stark reality is that in many parts of the country finding any school place is a challenge, let alone choosing one. It is time for the Government to put down its pride, lay the free school experiment to one side, and come up with a sensible plan for tackling the worsening school place crisis.”