School places demand rising

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The exam hall awaits the students, but will there be more students than desks soon?

Recent information released by the Department for Education has suggested that a rise in school age children over the next few years is likely to put a significant strain on the ability of existing schools to cope.

The figures would certainly suggest that some local authorities are undoubtedly going to have a problem, with secondary school places in those areas showing a shortfall of 1,000 or more for 2021/22 and increasing significantly in following years.

However, and perhaps unsurprisingly, this does seem to apply more to the larger conurbations rather than to country areas. Along the nearby south coast, Eastbourne has the biggest problem with a 123 place shortfall for 2021/22, Bexhill with just 20 and no shortfall predicted for Hastings over the next 5 years.

Rye also shows no shortfall for 2021/22 and this remains the forecast for the next 5 years. Rye College has had plenty of spare capacity in recent years, although with the improvement of the school under the new management, numbers are now increasing. Nevertheless executive head Barry Blakelock is confident that they will continue to be able to absorb future demand for places, and said: “As standards rise and our academic reputation is secured, an increasing number of families and young people from Rye and the surrounding area are actively choosing our school. We are confident we can serve the local community well into the future as well as playing our part in the broader planning of school places at our end of the county”.

Image Credits: Axa Arcadia .

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