Report finds over 400,000 pupils will be entering the UK academic system over the next three years

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Scape is calling on the government to develop a national strategy in order to build an additional 414 secondary schools required by 2020.

New research from the firm has revealed that an extra 435,646 pupils will be joining the UK’s secondary school system in three years, which would require over 14,500 additional secondary school classrooms.

The report, The Secondary School Places Challenge, found the greatest school building requirement will be in England (13,337 classrooms), followed by Scotland (527), Wales (340) and Northern Ireland (318).

According to figures from the Department of Education, London will see the biggest rise in secondary school pupil numbers in the UK and is set to welcome 76,299 additional pupils by 2020 – a 15.5% increase. This is the equivalent of 2,500 classrooms, or 73 schools.

Outside of the capital, Manchester City Council is forecast to see the biggest percentage increase, with numbers set to rise by 35.4% or nearly 10,000 pupils in the next three years, which is the equivalent of 321 additional classrooms.

To tackle the problem, Scape has called for the creation of a National School Building Strategy to bring together the Department of Education, local authorities and the delivery marketplace.

Other recommendations are that commissioning authorities should look to share new facilities with primary schools or the wider community; building schools of up to four storeys to maximise capacity; using offsite/modular construction as the main method of construction for all school buildings to increase the speed at which they are built; and schools to be built in major urban extensions and new developments to ensure they will be able to meet the needs of future residents.

Mark Robinson, chief executive of Scape, said: “Secondary school pupil numbers are set to rise significantly and there is a real risk that if we do not increase the output of new secondary school classrooms there will be significant pressure on places across the UK.

“Such is the scale of the projected increase in secondary school pupils that the Government should now seek to develop a National School Building Strategy that brings together the Department of Education, local and regional government, and industry.

“We must ensure there is a joined-up approach that embraces modern methods of construction such as modular and offsite techniques, which can deliver schools quickly and cost-effectively.”