Jennette Arnold
London assembly member for North East London — fighting your corner at City Hall
The race is on to find 133,000 more school places in London

The race is on to find 133,000 more school places in London

London needs to create 133,000 more primary and secondary school places by 2018[1].

In its report published on Tuesday, London learners, London lives[2], the London Assembly Education Panel, which I Chair, adds that the crisis will soon be acutely felt in the secondary school sector as each year thousands of additional 11 year olds look to secure places.  While London has been in the vanguard for the creation of new free schools, few of these are secondary schools.

The panel meet today [18 September 2014] to receive an update on school places provision and the outlook for the projected shortfall over the long term.

The following guests will give evidence:

  • Frankie Sulke, Executive Director for Children and Young People, London Borough of Lewisham; and
  • Helen Jenner, Corporate Director of Children’s Services, London Borough of Barking and Dagenham.

In the second session members will discuss the impact of changes coming from the Children’s Act 2014 on the provision of support to children and young people with complex needs.

One in every five pupils has a special educational need and in London around 4 per cent of children have a Statement of Special Educational Need. There are growing numbers of children with autistic spectrum disorder which often requires specialist support.

Funding for pupils with complex needs is also changing.

The following guests will give insights:

  • Tara Flood, Chief Executive Officer, Alliance for Inclusive Education;
  • Gary Redhead, Assistant Director – Schools, Planning and Resources, LB Ealing;
  • Holly Morgan-Smith, Project Manager – SEND Reforms, LB Ealing;
  • Gillian Bennell, Head of Special Services Planning, LB Wandsworth;
  • Lysanne Wilson, Director of Operations, YoungMinds;
  • A representative from Preparing for Adulthood.

Notes for Editors:

  1. Do the Maths – London’s school places challenge” – London Councils, July 2014.
  2. London Learners London Lives” 
  3. Full agenda papers
  4. As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor.