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Education and school places

  • By London Councils


London boroughs are committed to championing the interests of children and young people, improving standards, holding schools to account and ensuring fair access to education. London Councils has a wide-ranging policy programme that sets out the London local government role in a reformed education system. You can view Being the Best: The Future of London's schools on the right hand side of this page.

School places

London has been facing an overall trend for an increase in demand for school places. This continues to grow despite a recent slowing of demand for primary places. A combination of rising pupil populations, spiralling building costs and lack of available land is putting increasing pressure on London boroughs to provide these places for pupils.

London Councils has been at the forefront of the debate about how to fund the need for providing school places through a series of Do the Maths publications.

Read Do the Maths 2017

Read Do The Maths 2016

Read Do the Maths 2015

Our 2015 report The London Equation set out London Councils' latest analysis of the growing pressure on secondary school places and the scale of the funding shortfall to London boroughs.  This report is available to view on the right hand side of this page along with our other school places reports.

Head teacher survey

Talking Heads, a survey of nearly 400 London head teachers and senior school leaders, lays bare the negative impact of insufficient funding on teacher and teaching assistant numbers, curriculum options, learning resources such as IT equipment and textbooks, and the upkeep of school buildings.

Read Talking Heads

School improvement

The London education system previously amongst the worst in the country is now lauded by both central Government and Ofsted as the benchmark for other regions to reach.

In 1989, the year before the boroughs took over responsibility for schools from the Inner London Education Authority, less than 9 per cent of pupils achieved 5 or more higher grade GCSEs. Today the comparable figure is 70.5 per cent with a national figure of 63 per cent. A spectacular transformation has taken place

London Councils commissioned a range of experts across the education spectrum to share their views on the drivers behind London’s success, with a particular focus on the contributions of the London boroughs. The Lessons from London publication is a collection of essays which sets out how London boroughs worked with central government and other partners to turn around London's schools. It is available to view on the right.

Parental views

London Councils commissioned YouGov for three consecutive years to survey London parents on their attitudes to the reforming educational system. The most recent survey findings highlight:

  • 80 per cent agree that local borough councils should have the final say in the location of new schools within their authority boundary.
  • 63 per cent of parents agree that Free Schools should be set up in areas where local demand exceeds existing school capacity.

  • The two most important factors for parents when deciding their child’s preferred schools and for one in five parents location was the most important factor.  

The full survey results are available on the right hand side to download.