23 July 2015
Commenting on the national pupil projections which predict a 20% rise in secondary school pupil numbers over next decade, and a continued rise in the primary schools population, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:
“With pupil numbers set to rise and the shortage of primary school places now spilling into a secondary place shortage it is imperative that Government acts quickly to resolve this serious problem. This means securing greater funding for capital development but this alone will not be enough.
“The Government’s reliance on free school providers emerging in the right places to open new schools is a failed strategy based on the triumph of hope over reality. There is now a growing chorus across the political spectrum that powers must be restored to local authorities to open new schools in order to meet local need. This is the sensible thing to do. Government must act now before the situation reaches crisis point for families in many parts of the country.
“Ministers must also finally acknowledge that there is a teacher recruitment crisis which is already causing serious problems for schools and shortages in certain subjects. Today’s figures indicate that this will only get worse over time. Government must take serious steps to address this by reducing workload and rolling back its unfair pay reforms.”