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Primary school numbers to rise to 1,000 pupils

With a rapid increase in the birth rate and official figures showing that an extra 455,000 school places will be needed in England by 2015, a growing number of primary schools will have 1,000 pupils or more - as extra classes are added to cope.

Primary school numbers could rise to 1,000 pupils

With a rapid increase in the birth rate and official figures showing that an extra 455,000 school places will be needed in England by 2015, a growing number of primary schools will have 1,000 pupils or more - as extra classes are added to cope.

Instead of one or two classes in each year group, there are plans for some schools to have six in each year.

The Department for Education says it is providing £4 billion for areas "facing the greatest pressure".
It is also relaxing building regulations so that new schools can occupy a smaller space - secondary schools by 15% and primary schools by 5%.

If expansion proposals are implemented it would mean Birmingham, Brent, Waltham Forest, Newham, Redbridge, Hillingdon, Bromley and Barking could all have examples of primary schools with capacity for about 1,000 pupils and in some cases up to 1,200.

There are many more schools which will be expanded to take 90 or 120 pupils in each year, with proposals for some schools to double their intakes.

Brent Council, in north London, has published a report showing it will need another 23 classrooms.
It already has more than 500 primary age children which are not placed in any school - enough to fill a traditional size school.

Earlier this week, John Howson, a research fellow at Oxford University's education department, described the shortage of primary places as the "biggest problem" facing the school system.
The shortage is not only in the biggest cities - there are pressures in places such as Winchester, Bristol and Bournemouth.

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