More Sheffield secondary school places needed to meet rising demand

Government figures have revealed that more secondary school places in Sheffield
Government figures have revealed that more secondary school places in Sheffield

Sheffield will need the equivalent to two new secondary schools over the next five years to meet the rising number of students.

The latest forecast from the Department for Education has revealed that in five years the city’s secondary school capacity will need to increase by six per cent.

Councillor Jayne Dunn

Councillor Jayne Dunn

While in 2016-17 there were 28 state-funded schools with 33,195 available places for children between 11 and 16-years-old, the DfE estimates that 35,134 students will be in secondary school in 2023-24.

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England’s birth rate went up steeply in the early 2000s, leading to a need for an increase in school places.

An extra 2,000 secondary school places have been created in Sheffield this academic year.

Two new schools, Astrea Academy Sheffield, in Burngreave, and Mercia School, off Carter Knowle Road, have been opened while Oasis Academy Don Valley has also taken its first cohort of secondary school-aged pupils.

A number of primary schools have also been expanded.

Councillor Jayne Dunn, cabinet member for education and skills at Sheffield Council, said: “We are providing more local school places to help us meet the needs of our growing population.

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“The opening of the two new secondary schools Mercia and Astrea Academy Sheffield in the south west and north east of the city this September, as well additional year seven places at the Oasis Don Valley Academy, mean that this year, we have been able to provide an extra 2,000 secondary places across the city.

“Overall 96 per cent of pupils were allocated one of their three preferences in Sheffield this September and our outcomes are generally higher than the national average.

“We know that additional places will be required in the coming years and will continue to monitor pupil numbers and any requirement for additional places.

“We all want the best for our children and a huge priority for us is to raise attainment and achievement rates across the city.

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“Getting children into their school of choice and providing outstanding local schools are key to this.”

Nationally, 71 councils in England will need to increase places to meet secondary students demand in five years, according to the DfE’s forecast.

The DfE said by 2020 there will be one million more new places across the school system than there were in 2010.