Official Statistics

National pupil projections: December 2013

National projections for the number of pupils in schools by type of school and age group.


Main text: SFR53/2013

Main tables: SFR53/2013

Main figures: SFR53/2013

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This statistical release provides national projections for the number of pupils in schools by type of school and age group. Findings presented here update those published in March 2013 (SFR11/2013) using the latest mid-2011 based interim population projections from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

This is an official statistics publication. The statistics are presented as the latest available findings and have been released to help planning, to study trends and to inform a variety of programmes and initiatives.

This release presents the Department for Education’s main national-level pupil projections. The statistical release ‘School capacity: academic year 2011 to 2012’ was published on 1 March 2013 (SFR01/2013) and included local authorities’ own forecasts of future pupil numbers, based on local-level information, such as inter-authority migration of pupils.

The national pupil projections presented in the current release are produced within the Department for Education (the department), at a national level only. They are based on the latest national population projections from ONS and cover a longer time period (up to 2022) than the school capacity release (SFR01/2013). Differences in the methodologies used by individual local authorities for pupil number forecasts mean that the aggregated totals in School Capacity academic year 2011 to 2012 will differ from the national-level projections presented here.

This statistical release does not include tables or figures presented in previous releases concerning the effect of varying migration assumptions on pupil numbers. This is because the ONS interim population projections used for this release did not include the variant migration scenarios required to derive such figures. ONS reinstated the publication of migration variants in their 2012-based population projections which were released on the 6 November 2013. This update arrived too late for this release, but it is expected that migration scenarios will be included in future pupil projection statistical releases.

  • Overall pupil numbers (aged up to and including 15) in state-funded schools began to increase in 2011 and are projected to continue rising.

  • Numbers in maintained nursery and state-funded primary schools started increasing in 2010 and are projected to continue rising. Between 2013 and 2017, pupil numbers in maintained nursery and state-funded primary schools are projected to increase by 8%.

  • State-funded secondary pupil numbers aged up to and including 15 started declining in 2005 and are projected to continue to decline until 2015, after which the increases in primary pupil numbers will start to flow through.

  • By 2017, the number of state-funded secondary pupils aged up to and including 15 is projected to be 1% lower than in 2013.

Published 12 December 2013