• By London Councils

Do The Maths 2016 is the seventh edition of London Councils’ annual report on the pressures facing the school places planning system in London. The demand for additional school places in the capital, which has reached record levels over the past decade, is showing little sign of abating. London will need a further 110,364 new school places between 2016/17 and 2021/22 to meet forecast demand. At primary school level, the need for more places has started to plateau, rather than continuing to rise as we have seen year on year since 2008. However, demand at secondary level is forecast to increase considerably as the wave of additional pupils at primary is predicted to reach secondary schools in the majority of London boroughs from 2017/18.

Do The Maths 2016 - full publication (PDF)

Key facts

  • Between 2010- 2020 the school age population in London is anticipated to grow by almost 25 per cent. View the data visualisation for London
  • 110,364 new school places will be needed in London between 2016/17 and 2021/22 to meet forecast demand. This consists of 62,934 primary places and 47,430 secondary places.
  • At least £1.8 billion will be needed to provide sufficient school places in London between 2016/17 and 2021/22. View the Basic Need funding and other funding streams
  • From 2019/20, London’s secondary shortfall will be larger than the primary shortfall for the first time in over a decade. Compare the shortfall across London
  • Between 2016/17 – 2021/22 London will continue to experience the highest shortfall of any region, with 20 per cent of the national shortfall.
  • Between January 2011 and January 2016, the number of pupils educated in dedicated SEND places in London rose 23 per cent from 18,880 to 23,127, over twice the 10 per cent growth rate in the rest of England.
  • 17 Free Schools, out of a total of 201 opened since 2010, are in areas where secondary pupil numbers are expected to fall by 2019/20.


Cllr Peter John OBE, London Councils Executive member for children, skills and employment, said:

“The number of secondary school pupils in London is growing, which is a real challenge for boroughs because each new secondary school place costs around £6,000 more to create, on average, than a primary place. The clock is ticking – by 2021/22 London will need more than 47,000 Cllr Peter John additional secondary places.

“London parents want to know that their children will not face uncertainty over whether they will get a school place in the future, which is why we are calling on government to provide funding that reflects the real cost of school expansions and creating and staffing entirely new schools in London.”