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Thousands more schools needed by 2020, says new report

1424398 generic education schools classroom students pupils
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Built-environment specialist Scape Group has said that more than 2,000 schools are needed by 2020 to address a looming shortfall in places

Some 2,122 new schools – the equivalent of 24,287 classrooms – are required to meet the increasing number of school students, according to a new report by the publicly owned organisation.

Mark Robinson, chief executive at Scape Group, said: ‘The country will soon start to feel the full weight of the impending boom in pupil numbers, and we’re already seeing unprecedented pressure on school places.

‘A radical new wave of school-building must be a top priority for government.’

The latest figures mean that two new schools must be built every day to meet the shortfall.

Earlier this year, the Department of Education estimated that there will be an extra 729,000 primary and secondary school pupils by 2020.

Newham in east London is the borough with the biggest need for new schools, requiring 37 by 2020 for more than 12,000 extra pupils.

Outside of London, the cities forecast to face the most significant pupil growth are Birmingham and Manchester.

Birmingham is set to see the highest numerical increase in students by 2020. The city will need to accommodate an extra 22,957 pupils and has a schools place shortfall of 4,922.

If 15 new schools are not built in Birmingham, then one in five pupils will not get a place, the report suggested.

Meanwhile in Manchester, around 57 new schools will need to be built in the city to cater for a 27 per cent increase in pupils over the next four years.

Robinson added: ’Leaving the EU could have a profound effect on the UK population – we could see a short-term surge in migration from Europe or a drop-off in numbers if migrants are put off coming here.

“It is very difficult to predict what impact Brexit will ultimately have, putting even more pressure on local authorities who are planning how and where to prioritise schoolbuilding.’

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