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Third of Bradford district schools above capacity
One in three Bradford schools are running above capacity – with forecasts predicting another 7,000 pupils needing places in four years.
The Department for Education said 54 out of 155 primary schools across the district and six of the 28 secondary schools had at least one pupil over their limit.
Across England, a fifth of schools were oversubscribed.
Pupil numbers across Bradford are predicted to rise by more than 4,439 primary school-aged children and 2,838 secondary pupils by 2015/2016 – 1,197 more than the current number of spare spaces, according to the data.
There are 2,588 unfilled places across secondary schools and 3,492 in primary schools but this can largely be explained by geographical disparities as well as the fact that the vacancies are for a different age group to the children needing places.
Bradford Council member with responsibility for education Councillor Ralph Berry said: “We have been making this point for some time and I have met with Michael Gove to discuss it and raise my concerns. I do not know where the resources are to deal with this problem and we have identified possible sites because this is extremely urgent.
“The share of money we received to deal with overcrowding, while welcome, was not enough. This is a real challenge and these figures come as no surprise to me. We had 1,800 new children to Bradford last year. I am glad these figures have been published and recognised there is a real problem that needs to be dealt with urgently.”
A consultation is under way on school admissions, which could lead to the expansion of some schools and changes in admissions policies.
A second consultation is for the expansion of premises where admission numbers have already been agreed.