England & Wales Education and children's services

Managing the school system – pupils and places to 2030 in England


The number of babies born each year (live birth rate) goes in cycles and this has implications for school place planning. England and Wales experienced a significant ‘baby boom’ in the decade to 2012 with an increase of 23% in the number of babies born each year from 2001. Since then there has been a decline of 16% to 2020. The birth rate is not expected to increase again until around 2030. This briefing looks at recent changes to the birth rate, and the increase in the school estate to ensure there are sufficient school places. The briefing goes on to consider regional and local variations in demand for school places and how unused places may be removed following the decline since 2013.

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