Britain's biggest secondary proposed in plans to deal with pupil places crisis

11th September 2015 at 00:01

An East London local authority is drawing up proposals for a “titan” 16-form-entry secondary school, as the pupil places crisis deepens, TES can reveal.

Barking and Dagenham Council has asked all its secondaries to consider admitting more students and has requested that one school consider growing to 16 forms of entry, which would take its roll to more than 2,500. 

If the proposal is agreed, the school would become the largest of its kind in the country.  

It comes as councils across the country make plans to cope with the “unprecedented” bulge in pupil numbers that is moving up to secondary level. Growing rolls in primary schools have caused major upheaval over the past five years. 

Meanwhile, one of the country’s largest schools is considering expanding to 15 forms of entry. Julie Taylor, principal of Thomas Deacon Academy in Peterborough, told TES that her school was likely to grow from its current 12 forms of entry and could take an extra three forms. “We’re heavily oversubscribed and the situation isn’t going to get any easier,” she said. 

Emma Leaman, assistant director for education infrastructure at Birmingham City Council, told TES: “The numbers starting secondary school this year are higher than ever, and they will keep rising for at least the next 10 years.” 

She said she anticipated a “substantial appetite among secondaries to expand on their current sites and make more use of existing space”, because doing so would bring in extra funds at a time of squeezed budgets. “They’re starting to sweat their assets,” Ms Leaman added.  

Ruth Bagley, chief executive of Slough Borough Council, said the town was facing an “unprecedented” rise in secondary pupil numbers. Between 2012 and 2022, she said, the number of secondary places would have to rise by 64 per cent, with the number of forms of entry across the borough’s secondary schools rising from 57 to about 95. 

To read the full story, get the 11 September edition of TES on your tablet or phone, or by downloading the TES Reader app for Android or iOS. Or pick it up at all good newsagents


Related Content

Academy land at risk in pupil places crisis

13th February 2015 at 00:00

'Real strain' on school places

22nd March 2013 at 00:00

By the numbers - School places

22nd March 2013 at 00:00

Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today