Statistical First Release
Prerelease access data
21 March 2013
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 July 2012 (OSR15/2012) using the latest mid-2011 based interim sub-national population projections from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The mid-2011 population projections are the first to incorporate findings from the 2011 UK Census.
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 2021) 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 latest ONS interim population projections did not include the variant migration scenarios which are required to derive such tables and figures. ONS have indicated plans to reinstate the publication of migration variants with their 2012-based population projections in October/November 2013, following which it is expected that alternative migration scenarios will again be included in future pupil projections 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. By 2021, numbers are projected to be 18% higher than in 2012, reaching levels last seen in the 1970s.
- Between 2012 and 2016, pupil numbers in maintained nursery and state-funded primary schools are projected to increase by 9%.
- 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 2016, the number of state-funded secondary pupils aged up to and including 15 is projected to be 3% lower than in 2012.
- By 2016, all regions in England are projected to have an increase in their primary aged population (aged 5 to 10) compared with 2011. This ranges from around 9% in the North West and West Midlands to 13% in the East of England.