Almost half of primary schools face places squeeze

99 local areas in England face a 20% shortfall of school places by 2015

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Finding a school place for your little one can already be a scramble with tightened catchment areas and confusing feeder nurseries.

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But things are about to get worse as almost half of England’s school districts will have more primary pupils than places within two years.

The squeeze has already seen some schools having to convert music rooms and libraries into classrooms or expand classes beyond the statutory 30 children per class.

But now, according to the Local Government Association (LGA), the pressure is on as 99 local areas including Peterborough, Redbridge, Ealing, Bristol, Lewisham, Slough, Manchester, Barking, Dagenham and Sutton will face a 20% shortfall in places by 2015.

The squeeze has been attributed both immigration and the recent baby boom that saw more babies born in the UK in 2011-12 than any year since 1972, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The LGA’s warning comes as the government opens 93 free schools, providing 43,000 new school places.

What do you think? Have you struggled to get your child a place at school? Let us know in the comments below.

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