Action needed over looming shortage in Redbridge secondary school places, says Local Government Association

PUBLISHED: 07:00 11 September 2017 | UPDATED: 08:55 11 September 2017

Picture PA.

Picture PA.

PA Wire/PA Images

Redbridge is at risk of not having enough secondary school places for pupils, the Local Government Association (LGA) has warned.

Analysis of Department for Education (DfE) figures and local pupil forecasts show that the borough could face a deficit by the academic year 2021/2022.

Cllr Richard Watts, chairman of the LGA’s Children and Young People Board, said more families will face growing uncertainty when trying to secure a place for their child.

“Councils have worked hard to help create almost 600,000 additional primary places since 2010 and this is no small feat.

“However, as those children move on to secondary schools, the majority of which are now academies, securing new secondary places in the areas where they are needed is becoming increasingly difficult,” he said.

“Councils are working with one hand behind their backs to help as many pupils as possible receive a place at their first choice school.”

The LGA said councils urgently need to be given powers to force academies and free schools to expand if additional places are needed and voluntary agreement cannot be reached.

With nearly two thirds of secondary schools in London now academies, the LGA insists that this is the only way to make sure councils can fulfil their statutory duty to ensure every child has a place.

The association also believes Redbridge and other councils across London need to be given back powers to build new schools in areas where they are needed, if it is logistically impossible for local academies or free schools to provide the places needed.

Currently, although councils have a duty to make sure there are enough places in an area, all final decisions about new schools have to be made in Whitehall.

“If we are to avoid this looming secondary school places crisis, councils must be given back powers to open new maintained schools themselves,” Mr Watts added.

Across the capital, the LGA predicts that as things stand 125,000 children face missing out on a secondary school place by 2023.

A Redbridge Council spokesman said: “We currently have sufficient school places to meet demand and are planning to address the projected shortfall in places in the future.”

Related articles

Latest Ilford Stories

Yesterday, 19:15

Essex (206 & 88-4) trail Nottinghamshire (380 & 266) by 352 runs

Yesterday, 17:00

After an excellent win at Chelmsford last weekend, spirits are high for Billy Gordon’s team ahead of Saturday’s game against Ilford

Yesterday, 16:33

Brazil and Costa Rica were winless in their opening matches at the World Cup and were both hoping for their first victory of the tournament at the Saint Petersburg Stadium.

Yesterday, 16:00

Valentines Park side looking to bounce back after 93-run loss at home to Chingford last weekend

Yesterday, 17:00

Ilford singer Kal Lavelle who has supported acts like Ed Sheeran and Bastille has just launched her first album For The Loved and Lost which in the first week charted in the top 50 albums on Itunes. Here she shares her thoughts on the borough.

Yesterday, 16:02

The daughter of a Woodford Green driving instructor who killed her sister in a horrific crash in South Woodford has been spared jail after a judge said no sentence could punish her more than her loss.

Yesterday, 15:19

There is no service on the TfL Rail line between Liverpool Street and Ilford this afternoon.

Yesterday, 15:02

A miniature version of the borough’s biggest environmental festival comes to Barkingside this weekend.


An Ilford shoe retailer and podiatry practice is taking the next step with a move to a new shop just a few doors down.

Redbridge estate agents Sandra Davidson answer the common questions homeowners have when it comes to selling their home, and reveals how you can make sure the sale is stress-free

Redbridge Estate agents Sandra Davidson’s hassle-free service guarantees rental income for your property, whether it is occupied or not. Here they share details of the Guaranteed Rent Scheme and how it can help you avoid the regular stresses associated with managing a let.

Newsletter Sign Up

Ilford Recorder twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Ilford Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now