With London’s population expected to rise to 11 million people by 2050, two reports throw fresh light on the increasing demand for school places in the capital as well as a looming shortfall in headteachers.
Schools in the capital continue to outperform the rest of the country, but the stark findings have prompted the Mayor of London Boris Johnson to call for a single London Schools Commissioner to be appointed with powers to address these challenges.
The Mayor commissioned the reports which show that almost 165,000 additional state school places will be needed by 2025 and that 58 per cent of the capital’s headteachers are considering leaving their role in the next three years, mainly through retirement. Whilst more London middle and senior leaders aspire to be a head than those surveyed outside of the capital, not enough are getting the support they say they need through coaching, mentoring and placements to become headteachers.
Since 2008 the Mayor has brought in a range of initiatives to raise attainment and provide more places across the capital. With the demand for places becoming increasingly urgent, a London Schools Commissioner would have pan-London responsibility for schools and would work with the existing education network in the capital, including the GLA, London Councils, headteacher groups and schools, to galvanise the creation of new places, secure a pool of new school leaders and ensure that standards continue to improve.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “A Schools Commissioner for London is a no-brainer. Our schools are a fantastic success story but action needs to be taken now to ensure this continues. We need a Commissioner with the powers and oversight to ensure there will be enough schools places for our growing population and that pupils will have access to the rigorous, high quality education that they deserve wherever they live in the cap