Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Boom in Pupils in the Next Five Years; 4,000 Extra Students Forecast for Schools

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Boom in Pupils in the Next Five Years; 4,000 Extra Students Forecast for Schools

Article excerpt

Byline: ALEX METCALFE Local democracy reporter alex.metcalfe@reachplc.com @Mecs_LDR

MORE than 4,000 extra students are forecast to join Teesside schools in the next five years.

New figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show the number of students across Middlesbrough, Stockton and Redcar and Cleveland is set to jump from 69,021 students in state schools in 2017/18 to 73,313 in September 2022.

The statistical analysis comes as pressure on school places has reared its head on Teesside.

"Unprecedented demand" sparked a crisis in Middlesbrough after 108 pupils were left without a Year 7 secondary school place this September.

However, the Middlesbrough Council said it had found places for all the pupils last month on the back of renewed efforts.

Teesside's secondary schools look set to bear the brunt of the rising student population, with pupil numbers forecast to increase by 4,029 over the next five years.

Meanwhile, primary schools are likely to see an increase of 263 students by 2022/23 - spread between 163 schools.

Projects are gathering pace to meet the increasing number of youngsters.

Rising demand on school places has seen Redcar and Cleveland Council agree to spending PS740,000 on an extra classroom at Belmont Primary School, in Guisborough.

The Outwood Grange Academies Trust is lining up a 900-place free school in Middlehaven to address the shortage of places.

And Middlesbrough Council agreed to sell land off Ladgate Lane last year ready for a special school pupils forecast to be ready in September 2021.

Regional efforts to try to meet demand and drive up standards were announced in the North-east last year through a PS24m "Opportunity North East" initiative.

Half of this government fund was earmarked go into recruitment and retention of staff in the region. …

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