Posted on Friday 15th Jul 2016
An extra 750,000 school places will be needed in England by 2025 to keep up with a population bulge, says an official forecast from the Department for Education.
The pressure on creating new schools and extra classrooms will be one of the challenges for incoming Education Secretary Justine Greening.
Schools will have faced 16 consecutive years of rising pupil numbers.
The Department for Education says it has committed £7bn to extra places.
Between 2009 and 2016, the school system had already expanded to take in an extra 470,000 pupils.
From 2016 to 2025, the projection says there will be another 10% of pupils in the state school system, up from about 7.4 million to about 8.1 million.
Head teachers' leaders say that this "massive increase" will make it even harder for parents to get their preferred choice of school.
The official forecast from the Department for Education is used to plan for school places, classrooms, buildings and teaching staff.
The projection shows that the population bulge is moving through the secondary years - but that the increase in primary numbers is slowing.
The primary population is now 4.5 million - and the forecast predicts this will rise to 4.68 million in four years' time when it will stabilise.
The annual school census, published last month, showed the pressure on places had increased the average size of a primary school by 30 pupils, equivalent to an extra class.
But the next big increase will be in secondary schools, currently with 2.76 million pupils and forecast to rise to 3.04 million in 2020 and then 3.33 million in 2025.
It means that within the next decade secondary schools will have to create an extra 570,000 places - and these figures do not include post-16 education or sixth forms.
The increase has been driven by a rising birth rate - and the analysis says this reflects an increasing number of non-UK born mothers, who tend to have bigger families.
The forecast says "direct immigration of pupils" has had only a very small effect.
Russell Hobby, leader of the National Association of Head Teachers, said there needed to be much better integrated planning for extra places, including the involvement of local authorities.
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