The Demand for Space

Spaces for pupils at schools are running low. The impact of this will greatly affect the quality of education pupils are receiving due to the high numbers teachers will be dealing with. Within the next seven years, secondary schools will need over 16,000 new spaces for pupils. But is this a realistic target?

Demand for Space in England

Of course, the Department of Education have already looked into this problem. The demand for space is not a new issue by any means. Unfortunately it has recently become a much more pressing matter.

The following chart signifies areas in England and the numbers of primary school applicants compared to available secondary school spaces.

Demand for Space in English Schools


Source: Department for Education

It is clear that there simply is not enough space for pupils who have moved into secondary schools after this summer. What this means is over crowded classrooms will be the norm for too many schools in England if the extra space isn’t created.

Analysis carried out by DfE covers 134 areas in England. However that does exclude 16 councils which use a three tier system. Take a look at this spreadsheet to see if schools are over capacity in your area.

How Does This Effect Pupils?

As the statistics show, schools in England are over capacity. Space is urgently required in order to reduce classroom sizes and give children a more suitable learning space.

When teachers have more pupils than they should it is harder for them to have one to one time. In fact, it can even become impossible. Many children will therefore be unable to solve problems they are having with their lessons, struggle to gain a better understanding of a subject and even get bored and lose concentration.

A check list is available from the government website Health and Safety Executive. This outlines what is required from a classroom including movement space and fire safety requirements. In a classroom that is over capacity many requirements cannot be completely met meaning that safety is becoming an issue as a result of the number of pupils per classroom.

With every extra child comes another school bag. Gangways between desk spaces risk becoming cluttered as a result of this, creating unnecessary hazards in the classroom. It also means that once the room becomes too crowded there could well be a noticeable increase in temperature making the learning environment uncomfortable and not necessarily healthy.

First Choice Schools

One in six children did not manage to get into their first choice school this year. It was recorded that an average of 3.5% of parents did not get their preference for secondary school for their children. Similarly, 3.1% did not get their preference for primary school.

The chart below displays the areas with the largest fall in parents getting their children into their first choice secondary school.

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Source: Department for Education

The next chart displays the areas with the largest fall in parents getting their children into their first choice primary school.

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Source: Department for Education

This shows that while the minimum number of pupils schools must take has risen, the demand has still gotten higher. With a lack of space to take on more pupils, parents have to settling for schools that are inconvenient.

What is the Solution?

Classroom space needs to be extended. There are many ways to achieve your space requirements, and entire new buildings are not always necessary. A plus to this is the save in cost for there are many other ways too create space, or utilise what you already have at your school. A spokesman of DfE has stated:

“Delivering good quality school places is a top priority for this government and the latest figures show that the system continues to work. The government has already committed £7bn for school places”

With the innovative technologies that have emerged over recent years it has never been easier to add buildings to school grounds. Modular construction makes the whole process easy for the customer with a built-off-site process. Only groundwork and installation is carried out on school grounds after the build has been completed.

This cost effective solution ensures classroom space can not only be added to schools, but also extended as required. If you are looking for a solution to space issues, find out how Modular Buildings can benefit your school.