Report for:
Item Number:
Contains Confidential NO or Exempt Information
Title Update on the School Expansion Programme and Site
Responsible Officer(s) Gary Redhead, Assistant Director Schools Planning and Resources,, 020 8825 5773
Author(s) Adam Whalley, 020 8825 9420
Kim Price,, 020 8825 8698
Portfolio(s) Cllr Binda Rai, Children and Young People
For Consideration By Cabinet
Date to be Considered 17 October 2017
Implementation Date if 30 October 2017
Not Called In
Affected Wards All
Keywords/Index School place planning, site acquisition, Free Schools, primary school, high school, expansions, School Expansion Capital
Programme, temporary bulge class, SEN
Purpose of Report:
The purpose of this report is to update Cabinet with the progress of school expansions, current projections (including for pupils with Special Educational Needs), site acquisitions and possible next steps to support the Education Funding Agency in acquiring sites for planned Free Schools. Cabinet is also asked to note that the increased demand at secondary level from 2018 is anticipated to be met by establishing a new Free School.
1. Recommendations
It is recommended that Cabinet: i. Notes sections 3.1 and 3.2 which set out the updated projections in relation to demand for primary and secondary school provision across the borough and the proposed strategy to meet increased demand; ii. Notes the progress made with regards to securing additional provision for pupils with Special Educational Needs;
2. Reason for Decisions and Options Considered
The Council has a statutory duty to secure sufficient school places and to promote high educational standards, ensure fair access to educational opportunity and promote the fulfillment of every child’s educational potential. The Council must also promote choice and diversity. The Legal Framework within which Cabinet must consider the proposals is set out in section 5.
The relevant background report on projected future demand which was last presented to Cabinet on the 18th of October 2016 and can be accessed via the link below:
Update on the School Expansion Programme and Site Acquisitions October 2016

3. Key Implications
3.1. Primary School Places, 4- 11 year olds
Current programme
Expansion of primary school places in Ealing began in 2008, with more than half of all schools now having either expanded or taken at least one bulge class. The current primary expansion programme provided 34.5 forms of entry (FE) in permanent expansions (with 33.5 FE of these available as permanent school places in September
2017). Most of these have been provided by expanding existing schools, but 7FE have been provided in four new schools, Holy Family, Ark Priory and Ark Byron in
Acton and St Mary’s in Southall. A further 2FE primary free school, Floreat Southall, which was originally granted approval to open in 2016, will not now be opening in the borough. We have put a temporary hold on providing the additional 1FE places at St
John’s (which is being rebuilt as a 3FE primary school as part of the regeneration of the Green Man estate) as the building is not going to be ready and the latest admissions data suggests we have sufficient places without it this year.
The rising birth rate has been the key factor influencing the increase in demand for places in Ealing, with a 31% rise in births over the eight year period between 2002/03 and 2010/11. This increase in births has been driven by migrant communities, with births to mothers born in England actually declining during this period and the proportion of births to mothers born outside of the UK increasing from 57% to 72% of births.
Table 1 Births over time with corresponding year of entry to reception
Year Entry into Entry into reception year 7
Number of births
Births 02-03 Sep 07 Sep 14 4,469
Births 03-04 Sep 08 Sep 15 4,599
Births 04-05 Sep 09 Sep 16 4,841
Births 05-06 Sep 10 Sep 17 4,976
Births 06-07 Sep 11 Sep 18 5,231
Births 07-08 Sep 12 Sep 19 5,573
Births 08-09 Sep 13 Sep 20 5,548
Births 09-10 Sep 14 Sep 21 5,829
Births 10-11 Sep 15 Sep 22 5,843
Births 11-12 Sep 16 Sep 23 5,750
Births 12-13 Sep 17 Sep 24 5,606
Births 13-14 Sep 18 Sep 25 5,442
Births 14-15 Sep 19 Sep 26 5,324
Births 15-16 Sep 20 Sep 27 5,205
The September 2015 intake (born in 2010/11) represented the peak in births (5,842) and they dropped back to a 5,205 in 2015/16 (the September 2020 intake). The latest published calendar year birth figure for 2016 is 5,250, suggesting a slight recovery in births in 2016.
Future Programme
The 4,770 places available in September 2017 are expected to be sufficient to meet the demand generated. On time applications in 2017 fell by a greater magnitude than would have been expected based on changes in the birth rate alone in Ealing (by 6% compared to a 3% fall in births). This pattern was replicated across London as a whole (where applications fell by 4% compared to a corresponding 2% fall in births).
Migration from and births to families from Eastern Europe (particularly Poland) was a key driver in the increase in pupil numbers in Ealing, with the Polish speaking population of Ealing schools increasing by more than 3000 over the 10 year period from January 2007 to January 2017. This increase has now slowed, with 100 less
Polish speaking children in reception in January 2017 compared to the previous year, suggesting this population may be starting to move away from Ealing, following the Brexit vote in 2016. This is thought to be a key reason behind the falling birth to reception retention ratio at primary school (from 82.5% four years ago to 78% in
2016/17) and the fall in applications this year. A rise in internal migration away from
Ealing (due to rising housing costs, housing policy and the tightening of the benefit cap) is also thought to be a contributing factor. Net internal migration has fallen by more than 50% between 2012 and 2016, with outflows to Hillingdon making up the largest proportion of moves. Net internal migration among primary school age children
(4-10 year olds) has decreased from -520 in 2012 to -925 in 2016.
The GLA are now projecting that births in Ealing will remain in the region of 5,200 for the next ten years. We therefore expect to have sufficient capacity to meet demand and provide a reasonable buffer to cope with in year admissions and fluctuations in retention for at least the next five years. Our latest projections (which are now based on the current three year average birth to reception ratio of 78.8%) project that we will need to provide sufficient places for 4,420 children entering reception classes across the borough in 2017, dropping to 4,290 in 2018 and 4,197 in 2019 before levelling off in the region of 4100 from 2020 onwards.
We are in discussions with schools around managing the projected reduction in demand through temporary modifications to planned admission numbers up to 2020 when we would intend to review further. We anticipate that any surplus in places is likely to be concentrated at schools that have issues such as OfSTED ratings of Requires Improvement (RI) or below.
Although the projections indicate that we will have sufficient capacity overall for primary places, they may not take full account of the potential impact in small areas within planning areas of new housing developments already under construction or planned and we will therefore keep the position under review annually. In particular we will continue to closely monitor the demand for places in Southall, where retention has been particularly volatile in recent years and where the GLA are projecting that additional demand from planned housing developments will lead to demand outstripping supply by 2021. 3.2. Secondary School Places, 11- 16 year olds
Current Programme
The significant increase in births has now started to impact on the secondary sector, with year 7 numbers rising sharply in September 2016 and further big increases projected for 2018/19 and 2019/20. There are currently surplus places in the secondary sector, concentrated in the west of the borough at two schools in the Greenford, Northolt and Perivale planning area. This contrasts with a shortage of places in the east of the borough in the Ealing and Acton areas.
To date, we have delivered a 2FE expansion in Southall in 2012 and added 4FE in
Ealing by expanding two existing high schools in 2016. Two new secondary free schools have also opened in the borough, a 6FE school in Greenford in 2013 and a 4FE school in Ealing, which opened on a temporary site in 2016. A 1FE bulge class in
Southall in 2016 became permanent in 2017. An additional 2FE will be available in
Greenford High School from 2018.
Future Programme
In total, there will be 3,426 year 7 places available in existing schools in September
2017, rising to 3,486 from September 2018. Despite these increases, once the significantly higher numbers of children currently progressing through our primary schools transfer into high school, we expect to have an overall shortfall in capacity in year 7 from September 2018, and are projecting the need for 4.5 further forms of entry at secondary level by September 2018, rising to a total of 13FE by September 2019.
This is to meet the demand generated by a projected 3,817 children transferring to our secondary schools in 2019 (compared to 2,962 in 2015/16).
Plans are in place to meet this need through the establishment of two further new Free
Schools (Ark Soane High School in 2019 and Ada Lovelace CE High School
(previously referred to as North Twyford) in 2018) which together would provide
12.5FE of secondary places and are detailed further below. In the event that Ada
Lovelace was unable to open in September 2018, it is proposed that the demand is met by installing bulge classes in existing high schools for the 2018 intake only.
Cabinet has previously authorised this approach as a contingency in the event that approved Free Schools could not be opened in time to meet demand.
These projections assume that the primary (year 6) to secondary (year 7) retention ratio will recover to 85% by 2019. Ealing currently exports 26% of its secondary age children to out borough state funded high schools (January 2016), while importing only
11% of its high school intake. In total the net difference is now almost 3000 children, an increase of 600 in the past three years, making Ealing the largest net exporter of secondary pupils in London by some margin – with cross border flows between
Hounslow (1028), Hillingdon (829) and Hammersmith and Fulham (422) contributing the bulk of the net exports. This has been largely due to demand significantly outstripping capacity in the Ealing area of the borough, where the current secondary schools are operating at full capacity. We have seen a 1% increase in year 6 to 7 retention this year following the opening of Ealing Fields free school near the Ealing /
Hounslow border but it remains historically low. Our projections assume that the opening of two further new free schools in the borough will lead to a further fall in net exports and a corresponding rise in year 6 to 7 retention back up from the current
81.7% to 85% (a retention rate last seen in Ealing 10 years ago).
Table 2 shows year-by-year the planned high school capacity already agreed and the shortfall by area within the borough LB Ealing shortfall areas (if you zero off the excess)
High school planning shortfall LB Ealing Acton Ealing GNP Southall
capacity (PAN) - in 21.5 29.3 25.0 to 40.3 from
Forms of entry * Sep 18 *)
Agreed high school 38.3 (rising 114.2 (rising to 116.2 from
Sep 18)
0.9 3.1 0.3 0.4 4.6 0.0
4.0 -2.2 -1.7 -0.4 -0.4 -4.4
1.5 -4.9 -7.0 -0.9 -11.3 -12.8
1.3 -5.2 -5.7 -0.3 -10.0 -11.2
1.7 -5.7 -7.4 -0.5 -11.8 -13.6
2.0 -5.7 -6.1 -0.6 -10.4 -12.4
3.2 -4.6 -5.5 -0.7 -7.7 -10.8
* Includes additional 2FE at Greenford from 2018
We had previously projected a higher demand for 2018 as the opening of Ada
Lovelace is expected to be a major contributor to this projected increase in retention.
With Ada Lovelace now planned to open initially at an intake of 125 places in 2018 and not its permanent planned capacity of 196, we have revised our projected retention for 2018 down from 84% to 83%. We have also adjusted our model this year to better account for cross border movement which has shifted more of the projected need from 2019 onwards from Acton to Ealing.
The capacity of Acton secondary planning area is 646, which is expected to meet projected demand for September 2017. There is then a projected need for a further
2.5FE from September 2018 rising to 5-6FE from September 2019. A 6FE free school, Ark Soane (originally approved for September 2017) is now planned to open in
September 2019 and a site has been purchased. If it progresses as planned, it would provide sufficient places to meet projected demand in Acton from 2019. The opening of Ada Lovelace in 2018 is expected to help meet the shortfall in 2018.
A new 4FE secondary school, Ealing Fields Free School, opened in the Ealing planning area in September 2016, initially on a temporary site in Hanwell. A permanent site in Northfields has recently been secured and will accommodate the school permanently from September 2019. A further 4FE (116 places) was also added at two existing high schools (Elthorne Park and Brentside) from September
2016. In total these increases have taken the permanent planned capacity of Ealing from 644 to 880. This is projected to be sufficient to meet demand in 2017, although capacity will remain tight.
There is then a projected need for a further 2.5FE from September 2018 rising to 7FE from September 2019. A 6.5FE free school, Ada Lovelace (originally approved for
September 2016) is now planned to open in September 2018. The Twyford Academy
Trust have recently confirmed plans to open on the William Perkin site in 2018, initially with 125 places, increasing to 196 places in each year group in 2020 when it relocates to its permanent site. This is largely expected to meet the projected demand in the Ealing planning area, although the reduced capacity currently planned for 2018 and 2019 may not be sufficient in 2019 if the retention rate increases at the rate currently projected. We therefore intend to review our plans for 2019 once we see the impact the opening of Ada Lovelace in 2018 has on retention and cross border movement.
Greenford, Northolt, Perivale (GNP)
To date 6FE have been added to GNP by the opening of William Perkin CE High
School in September 2013, which has taken the PAN to 1150. William Perkin also opened an additionally resourced provision (ARP) for children with special needs in
September 2015, which will contain 30 pupils once it has completely filled. Greenford
High School will be expanding by 2FE from September 2018, which will take the PAN of GNP to 1210. With this expansion in place, we expect to have enough capacity to meet demand for secondary places in GNP over the projection period.
The overall PAN of the Southall area permanently increased from 720 to 750 in
September 2017, as Featherstone High School increased their PAN from 240 to 270, initially as a bulge from September 2016 with a permanent PAN increase from
September 2017. We may need to develop further plans to meet the projected need for a further 1FE from 2018/19 (when projections exceed the current capacity), although we will need to carefully watch retention ratios in the Southall area as there has been considerable volatility in recent years. Greenford High School (which is on the border of the GNP and Southall planning areas) may meet some of this projected demand when it expands by 2FE in 2018.
3.3. Site Acquisitions Free Schools
The Planning for Schools Development Planning Document (DPD) was adopted in
May 2016 and references eight sites which have been identified to meet the future demand for school places.
Several of the eight sites identified in the DPD are presently in private ownership and the Council has been working with the Education and Skills Funding Agency, acting on behalf of the Department for Education, to acquire these sites from the current owners. Current central government policy for the establishment of new schools prescribes that these should be Academies and funded as part of the Free School programme.
Dialogue with site owners is underway and overall has been considered productive.
3.4. High School Bulge Classes 2018 and 2019
The Council projects a requirement for an additional 13 forms of entry in high schools by 2019 (on top of the current/agreed 116FE) with the first 4.5 forms of entry needed for September 2018. To date the strategy for meeting the need for high school places has been through the expansion of two existing high schools, Brentside and Elthorne
Park, by 2FE each with a further 4FE provided the Ealing Fields Free School which opened in temporary accommodation in September 2016. Greenford High School is also scheduled to expand by 2FE from September 2018.
There are limited options to permanently further expand existing high schools due to limited space on school sites. The Council is currently working with the ESFA to meet this need by establishing the two further Free Schools (Ada Lovelace and Ark Soane) and also to ensure that Ealing Fields Free School is able to move to a permanent site. In light of the Council’s statutory duty to facilitate sufficient school places in the borough, coupled with the present uncertainty around the approved Free Schools being able to open as currently planned, it is recommended that the Council progress with contingency plans to establish bulge accommodation in existing high schools in the Ealing and Acton area. It should be emphasised that these options would be based upon providing bulge accommodation only (ie a temporary increase in pupil numbers intended to provide a short term solution).
Cabinet has previously delegated authority to the Executive Director for Children,
Adults and Public Health to incur fees to further develop contingency options including to invite and evaluate tenders and submit any necessary planning applications and, following consultation with the Portfolio Holder, to award contracts.
3.5. Places for pupils with Special Educational Needs (primary, secondary and post 16)
Trends and projections
The number of primary age children (3-10) with statements or Education Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) has increased by 359 over the past eight years from 618 in
2008/09 to 977 in 2016/17. The prevalence of statements / EHCPs has increased from 1.9% of the 3-10 population to 2.5% over the same period. Just under half (49%) of these were in specialist provision in 2016/17. The latest data for September 2017 shows this figure is currently 992. If these trends continue then we would expect this number to increase further over the next 2 years to 1011 (as the last of the higher birth years progress through primary school) before falling back to 935 over the next ten years.
The number of secondary age children (11-15) with statements or EHCPs has seen much less growth over the same period, only increasing from 641 in 2008/09 to 669 in
2016/17. The prevalence has remained stable (fluctuating between 3.4% and 3.5%) during this period. Just over half (53%) of these were in specialist provision in
2016/17. The latest data for September 2017 shows this figure is currently 696. If these trends continue then we would expect the secondary statement / EHCP population to increase year on year to 780 over the next 5 years (by 2022/23) as the higher birth years currently in the primary phase progress into secondary, increasing further to 818 ten years from now. This increase could however be larger if the increase in the prevalence seen in primary is replicated in the secondary phase (with each 0.1% increase in prevalence the equivalent of approximately 20 secondary age children).
The largest increase in the past two years has been in post 16 and post 19 as young people in further education colleges and other specialist post 16 institutions who would not previously have had a statement are now subject to an Education Health and Care
Plan. This has resulted in the post 16 EHCP population increasing from 172 in
2014/15 to 313 in 2016/17. In January 2017, there were also 96 young people with
EHCPs who are post 19. While the lack of trend data makes it difficult to project, we do expect there to be further increases in the post 16 and post 19 EHCP populations.
Current Programme
Since 2013 the Council has expanded special schools and has increased capacity by
131 places (with 91 of these in primary age schools and 40 in all-through schools). Statutory notices have now been approved for the future expansion of Belvue School to 160 places (11 to 16) plus sixth form and to expand St Ann's school to 105 places
(11 to 19). Overall, this will add 45 extra places to Secondary Special school capacity.
Further capacity has been added in the form of Additional Resource Units in mainstream schools. In primary schools, an ARP at Coston Primary will open in
September 2018 with capacity for 21 places. The total number of places per year in the primary phase is now 22.
In high schools, ARPs are now open at Elthorne Park (15 places) and William Perkin
(30 places), alongside the already established provision for 20 places at Dormers
Wells High School. A new 20 place ARP will open at Greenford High School in 2018 and a further 20 place ARP is planned to open at Twyford High.