Planning school places in the future
14 May 2012
Thousands of additional school places may be needed in Kent
between now and 2017.
That is the estimate from Kent County Council’s new
Commissioning Plan for Education Provision, which looks at
predicted birth rates and new housing over the next few years –
using information provided by district councils, the health service
KCC wants to make sure there are enough high quality places
available for children and young people by expanding good schools,
securing investment in new ones and providing additional places in
the areas where there is growth in numbers.
Forecasts suggest the number of primary school-aged pupils is
expected to rise significantly from 116,600 to 127,300 over the
next few years. The secondary-aged population, while reducing
between now and 2015, will rise through the latter part of this
decade, peaking to about 83,200 in 2021.
The current indications are that, by 2016, the equivalent number
of places for 18 new primary schools and two new secondary schools
will be required. However, many of these places will be provided by
expanding existing good and outstanding schools.
Cabinet Member for Education, Learning and Skills, Mike Whiting, said: “This document attempts to
capture all known births and housing developments and development
proposals, by district, to forecast how many early years places,
primary places and secondary places we will need from 2012 to 2017.
It looks at each district separately, so that we can plan local
school places where new houses are being built, and not by simply
enlarging a school the other side of the borough.
“The plan is a draft and we are actively seeking feedback from
our district council colleagues, headteachers, GPs, house builders,
parish and town councils and others. It will be reviewed every six
months so that forecasts can be amended to take into account new
housing proposals as they come forward.”
Good or outstanding schools in the right
The plan is much more than just number crunching. It sets out
the ambition for Kent to be one of the best places for children and
young people to grow up, learn, develop and achieve. Key to this is
improving the quality of schools. The aim over the next few years
is for at least 85% of primary and secondary schools, and all
special schools, to be judged as good or better.
Mr Whiting added: “Good and outstanding schools are the basis of
strong communities and a strong local economy. Our aim is to make
sure that there is a good choice of local schools for parents and
that we increase the number of parents who are satisfied with the
school places offered for their child. Securing good quality school
places in every community is essential for every young person to
have the best start in life.”
To view the draft Commissioning Plan for Education, and submit
comments by 19 June 2012, please visit our pages about education
provision. Feedback from this consultation will contribute
towards the final version of the plan, which will be published in
The plan will support Kent’s aim to make sure there is a surplus
of primary and secondary school places (at least five percent) and
to increase the percentage of parents securing their preferred