where we are now and what needs to change

Secondary school numbers set to rise

Government figures reveal that the number of pupils attending England’s secondary schools is set to rise by 20% over the course of the next decade. By 2024, nearly 3.3m pupils are expected to be attending state-funded secondaries, compared with just over 2.7m in 2015, a rise of 547,000. The increase is mainly due to the upturn in the birth rate since 2002, and follows years of falling rolls due to low birth rates in the 1990s. State primary schools in England will also see a rise in pupil numbers, although not as great as in secondary schools due to lower birth rates in 2013. The primary population is projected to be 4,712,000 in 2024 – 336,000 higher than in 2015.

BBC News Daily Telegraph, Page: 8 Daily Mirror, Page: 2 The Guardian, Page: 12 Daily Mail, Page: 12 The Sun, Page: 6 Evening Standard, Page: 1, 6, 16 Daily Express, Page: 7

A report backed by organisations such as the National Trust, the Campaign to Protect Rural England, and the Woodland Trust argues that impoverished Britons should have a legal right to an aesthetically pleasing neighbourhood. It says attractive public spaces are important factors in both physical and mental health, and experiencing natural beauty reduces stress and promotes well-being.

Independent I, Page: 23 The Times, Page: 14
Ofsted published its first annual stand alone report on the early years sector 2012/13 in April 2014. (SeeRelated Briefings). This second annual report reveals that, ‘Early education has never been stronger with 85% of early years settings now judged good or outstanding’. This represents an 18 percentage point increase in five years. However, the HMCI speech at the report launch reflected the finding that this improvement is still not reaching the most disadvantaged children:

‘At the age of five, there is already a yawning gap in school readiness between the most advantaged and the poorest children … I am sorry to say that the gap is still around 20 percentage points’.
Sir Michael Wilshaw therefore made the case for ‘more schools to take 2 year-olds and we need more 2 year-olds in schools to be from the poorest families‘
This blog is for UNICEF thanks for reading.

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