Region has 67 overcrowded schools, official figures show

Primary schools overcapacity was at 412 while overcapacity at secondary schools totalled 410 pupils.
Primary schools overcapacity was at 412 while overcapacity at secondary schools totalled 410 pupils.

North Yorkshire has 67 schools which are full or overcapacity, new figures reveal.

The National Education Union has accused the Government of “inadequate planning” for the increase in pupil numbers, and argued local authorities should be allowed to open new schools.

Department for Education data shows there were 60 primary schools and seven secondary in North Yorkshire which were either at full capacity or overcrowded last year.

That leaves North Yorkshire’s primary schools overcapacity by 412 pupils and secondary schools overcapacity by 410 pupils, which means even more are learning in crowded classrooms.

However, eight fewer schools were full or overcapacity in 2017-18 than in the previous academic year.

Andrew Morris, assistant general secretary of the NEU said this “is an unacceptable state of affairs”.

He said: “Our children and young people only get one chance for an education.

“This is the result of the Government’s inadequate planning for the increase in pupil numbers and its insistence that local authorities should not be permitted to open new schools. Running schools in an incoherent fashion on a shoestring budget is not good enough.”

Across England, the increase in pupils by 2020-21 is estimated to be almost three times the number of additional planned school places, according to the DfE.

In North Yorkshire, 3,065 additional pupils will need to fit into 1,155 places planned by the local authority, which could make schools even more overcrowded. The data does not include free schools.

Education secretary Damian Hinds, said: “Children only get one chance at an education and they deserve the best, wherever they live and whatever their background.

“That’s why this Government is undertaking the biggest expansion in school places in two generations – and the statistics show we are well on track to create 1 million places this decade.”

A DfE spokeswoman added that the number of pupils overcapacity has fallen from 97,000 in 2010 to 50,000 in 2018.

Article by data reporter Ralph Blackburn.