A third of 10 and 11-year-olds obese in two areas of London

shutterstock_291654485-2London’s record on childhood obesity has been poor and getting worst for some time. But data for small areas released by Public Health England raise new levels of concern as in two neigbbourhoods a third of the 10 and 11-year old children are now obese.

In the electoral ward of Camberwell Green, Southwark 34% of Year 6 children are obese. In Hoxton West in Hackney its 33%.  Only one other area of England has a higher level – 35% in Sutton-on-Sea in Lincolnshire.

The Public Health England data covers nearly 7,500 electoral wards in England and it shows that six of the ten worst areas for childhood obesity among Year 6 children are in London.

Obesity Year 6 wards-2

It’s a similar pattern for children in Reception, aged 4 and 5, where Woodberry Down ward in Hackney has the worst record in the country and a rate that is double the England average. Six other neighbourhoods in the capital are also among the worst ten in England for this age group.

Obesity reception ward-2

This small area data is gathered by Public Health England to help target resources to combat child weight problems.

The poor record on obesity for primary school children is reflected more broadly at borough level and underlines that London has one of the most severe problems in the country.

At Reception age,  six of the ten local authorities with the highest rates are in London.  The highest level local authority average rate in the England is nearly 14% in Barking and Dagenham. Greenwich, Newham, Hackney, Southwark and Tower Hamlets all have rates of 12% or above.

The obesity rates in these boroughs doubles for Year 6 children. Enfield and Westminster also have more than a quarter of Year 6 children classified as obese.  Eight of the ten local authorities in England with the highest obesity rates for 10 and 11-year olds are in London.

Source data

See also

How the obesity rate doubled for the class of 2007

Childhood obesity highest in London

Thousands of children sent to hospital because of tooth decay

 

Falling numbers for free school meals but rates still among highest in country

children legsThe number of pupils claiming free school meals is continuing to fall in London. However, there is a greater proportion of children in nursery, primary and secondary schools claiming free lunches here than in many other parts of the country.

New data from the Department of Education shows that nearly 17% of London pupils are receiving free school meals in nurseries and primaries – more than two percentage points higher than the average in England.

Only the North East and West Midlands regions have a higher proportion of youngsters on the free meal scheme.  In Tower Hamlets and Hackney more than a third of under 11s are receiving free meals. The Merseyside borough of Knowsley is the only local authority with a higher rate.

In Southwark, a fifth of children are claiming free meals, a slight increase on last year.  But the numbers are down in Lewisham and Westminster, and the largest decrease took place in Islington where 29% of pupils are claiming school meal benefits, down from 38% last year, but still the third highest rate in the capital.

Free school meals primary

The trend is similar among secondary school pupils. On average, 13% of children over 11 are on the free meal scheme across England. The rate is similar in Outer London but significantly higher within inner London, with more than 40% in Tower Hamlets and 30% in Hackney and Islington. In Camden and Lambeth it is around a quarter of secondary school children.

Free school meals secondary-2

London varies hugely with outer areas pushing the capital average down.  Boroughs in the South West score as low or lower than many other parts of the country, with both Kingston upon Thames and Richmond upon Thames averaging less than 9% for students below the age of 16 claiming free school meals.

Free school meals are available to children from families who are claiming other types of benefit for unemployment or low income.  In 2013 the government extended the scheme so that all children in reception, year 1 and year 2 at state primary schools, ie all children under 8, receive free meals.  From year 3 onwards families must register and make a claim.

Entitlement to free school meals is commonly used as an indicator for children living in poverty. But many who are entitled to the benefit do not claim, a reluctance sometimes attached to social stigma. In London this year 215,000 children are judged to be eligible but only 180,000 are receiving free meals.

Source data

See also

105,000 extra secondary pupils pose huge challenge for capital’s schools

85% of children in private school in one area of West London

Schools data reveals ethnic mix with fall in proportion of white British pupils

 

Primaries cope with the birth bulge but pressure on places will soon shift east

Empty class OlegDoroshin shutterstock_243207280-1-2

Photo: Oleg Doroshin | Shutterstock

The competition for primary school places is always nerve-wracking for parents and this year was potentially the toughest yet.  A birth rate bulge in 2011/12 meant that there were more children than ever before applying for a place in reception starting in September.  But London schools appear to have coped.

Provisional figures from the Pan London Admissions Board show that when offers went out to anxious parents on 18th April about 84% received their first choice, up 1% on 2015. 93% were offered a place in one of their top three choices out of up to six schools they were asked to list on the application form.

But for more than 3,000 kids and their parents who were offered no place at their preferred schools there’s an anxious wait to see where they’ll be going in September.

Primary schools in London received 103,329 applications this year, according to the Pan London Admissions Board.  The school age population of London is growing at twice the rate of any other region of the country and forecasts from the GLA suggest the the 677,000 children attending state primaries in London will rise by 60,000 over the next decade.

The full data on places for this year is yet to be released but some provisional figures show that only 68% of children in Kensington and Chelsea got their first choice and 72% in Hammersmith and Fulham.

The GLA forecasts show that the pressure on places will shift eastwards in the coming years with greatest demand for places in Tower Hamlets – nearly 7000 extra.  Kensington and Chelsea is the only borough where demand will fall.

Primary school demand

The ongoing problem for pupils, parents, schools and local authorities is that population growth presents not just a difficulty in finding a first primary place but has a knock on across the school years, as reported by Urbs.

The GLA has forecast that London will need the equivalent of 90 new secondary schools over the next decade to cope with the growth in pupil numbers.  Primary school places may be a problem but secondary school places provide the bigger challenge as building these schools takes longer and is more expensive due to the size and facilities required.

Source data

See also

Fight for reception gets tougher as more kids swell primary school demand

105,000 extra secondary pupils pose huge challenge for capital’s schools

34,000 pupils could be without a secondary school place in next 5 years

 

85% of children in private school in one area of West London

dad and kids Sending children to private schools has long been a popular choice for parents in West London. But in one small area of Westminster the figures are still surprising. 85% of the children aged 4-11 in Knightsbridge and Belgravia ward are absent from the state school roll and presumed to be in independent schools.

The figures were produced by the GLA in its research on demand for school places.

Knightsbridge and Belgravia ward is a neighbourhood of ultra-expensive residential property to the south of Hyde Park. In contrast there are 114 wards in London, around 18%, that have no children of primary age attending an independent school. Many of these areas are in the less affluent eastern boroughs of Barking and Dagenham, Newham, Havering and Bexley.

The GLA calculates that across London 12.8% of children aged between 4-15 are in independent schools, and this is most prevalent in south west and central London, particularly Westminster, and Kensington and Chelsea.

Data from the Department for Education shows the rate is 10.6% if children 16-18 are taken into account, and the rate has been steady for the past 4 years. Across London 146,000 children are being educated privately.

When mapped at borough level the east/west divide becomes clear, with the exception of the City of London where there is just 1 state primary and 4 independents.

6 boroughs, Wandsworth, Richmond, Hammersmith and Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea, Westminster and Camden account for 40% of the children in private education.

Private school uptake map

 

Boroughs on the eastern edge of the capital have little private education. In Barking and Dagenham it is less than 1%, just 115 of the 40,000 school-age children in the borough.

Only the South East matches London for the proportion of children in independent schools. Nationally the rate is 7%. Many parts of London are well below that rate underlining the contrast between rich and poor in the city.

Source data

See also

105,000 extra secondary pupils pose huge challenge for capital’s schools

Fight for reception gets tougher as more kids swell primary school demand

Schools data reveals ethnic mix with fall in proportion of white British pupils

 

 

Fight for reception gets tougher as more kids swell primary school demand

shutterstock_243207280-1-2

Photo: Oleg Doroshin ┃Shutterstock.com

The contest for a place in a favoured primary school is an annual ritual causing anxiety to parents all over London.   Many schools in neighbourhoods with lots of children have tiny catchment areas of just a few hundred metres radius due to the pressure on reception places.

The bad news is that the situation is going to get worse before its get better. Parents seeking a place in 2016/17 will face the stiffest competition yet, due to simple demographics.

Between 2001/02 and 2011/12 the number of births went up by 28%, an extra 30,000 children. The birth rate peaked in 2011/12 and those children are destined to become the class of 2016/17.

The birth rate has fallen in the past 2 years but forecasting by the GLA Intelligence Unit shows that the 677,000 children attending state primaries in this school year will climb by 60,000 over the coming decade.

The increase in demand for primary school places is focused on East London boroughs that coincide with areas of housing development.

Tower Hamlets is projected to be the borough with the highest growth in demand, rising by nearly 7,000. More than 4,000 extra places are needed in Havering and Newham, nearly that amount in Barking and Dagenham, and 3,500 in Redbridge.

Primary school demand

Kensington and Chelsea is the only borough that is forecast to see a fall in demand.

The GLA emphasises that the increase in demand does not automatically suggest a shortfall in places, as it has not factored in the planned expansion of existing schools or the building of new ones. Many schools have expanded to take on growing numbers but a further 2,000 primary classes will be needed over the next 10 years.

As the numbers begin to taper due to the falling birth rate of the past couple of years the problem will filter through to the secondary schools and, as reported by Urbs, that could mean even greater challenges for education in London.

Source data

See also

105,000 extra secondary pupils pose huge challenge for capital’s schools

How the obesity rate doubled for the class of 2007

Private school? Depends where you live

 

34,000 pupils could be without a secondary school place in next 5 years

school desk handsParents in London are familiar with the struggle to find primary school places for their children. The shortage is now feeding through to secondary schools and a local government organisation says London will face a shortfall of 34,000 places between now and 2020.

London Councils, which represents the 32 boroughs and the City of London, is warning the government that the capital’s secondary schools are facing a shortfall crisis unless more funding is given to build more schools or expand existing ones.

The organisation says that there will be a 3% growth each year in primary school pupils until the end of the decade, which means 80,000 more children. The impending problem for secondary schools is compounded by higher than average growth in primary school numbers over the past 5 years.

The organisation forecasts that this will mean an increase in secondary school pupils across London from 488,000 to 561,000 by 2020. This if 5 times more than the growth between 2010-15 and current capacity can cope with fewer than 40,000 more pupils.


See also

Private school? Depends where you live

Our multi-lingual city – English second language for half of primary pupils


The problem for London is particularly acute with a growth rate of 15% in the secondary school population compare to 9% for the rest of England.

London Councils says that in recent years boroughs have used there own resources to supplement central government funding to keep pace with demand for school places, but more government funding is now needed.

Peter John of London Councils said: “In recent years there has been a shortfall of around £1 billion between the real cost of school places and the money councils receive. Boroughs have received just 59% of the cost of new school places provided, closing the gap by selling assets, borrowing or drawing from other sources of funding within the council.”

London Councils used the data the boroughs provide to the Department for Education on school places to make the forecast and published its findings in a paper entitled The London Equation.

Schools data reveals ethnic mix with fall in proportion of white British pupils

dreamstime_s_6081706London has long been an ethnically diverse city and data from primary schools reveal the recent trends in the population groups and where they live.

Over the past 7 years the proportion of primary school children who are classified as white British has gone down from 37% to 27%. In comparison, the average figure for the rest of England is 69%. The biggest change in any ethnic group over the period has been the increase in children classified as white non-British. This group has increased from 8.9% of primary age children in 2007 to 13.4% today and can be explained by the arrival of people from EU countries.

As our chart shows, there has also been an increase in children of mixed race and children classified as Asian. Most of the growth in the Asian group is in Pakistani children, rising from 3.7% in 2007 to 4.4% today. The proportion of Indian and Bangladeshi children has changed little.

Primary pupils ethnic mix

The proportion of Black children in primary schools has remained steady at around 20%. In 2007 African children were roughly twice the number of Caribbean children. Their numbers have grown and the proportion of children of Caribbean origin has fallen slightly.

Urbs used the data produced by the Department for Education to map the city, revealing the broad patterns of population.

There are significantly higher proportions of white British children in the outer boroughs in the south and the east. In Havering it is 68% yet in nearby Newham a tenth of that. There are high proportions of white British children in Bexley, Bromley, Sutton and Richmond.

Primary pupils white brit

The proportions of non-British white children are more evenly spread but with much higher concentrations in the northern boroughs of Enfield, Haringey, Brent and Waltham Forest.

Primary pupils white other

Asian families coming to London have long settled in the East End. That legacy lives on and 65% of primary pupils in Tower Hamlets are classified as Asian. Newham and Redbridge also have a high percentage of Asian children, as does Harrow in the north west of the city.

Primary pupils asian

The black population is more uniformly spread with highest proportions south of the river in Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham. Richmond and Kingston have very few black pupils.

Primary pupils black

 

Source data

See also:

Our multi-lingual city – English second language for half of primary pupils

London leads in places for poorer students

Private school? Depends where you live

London drives UK population growth

 

Our multi-lingual city – English second language for half of primary pupils

pupils listen to story-2Nearly half the primary school children and 40% of the secondary pupils in London do not speak English as their first language. In some boroughs three quarters of the students speak English as a second language.

Data from the Department for Education shows how numbers have increased across the country since 2007, but the multi-national make up of London stands out. Across the country 19% of primary pupils have English as a second language. In the South West and North East it is just 7%. In London the average is 49%.

English second lang primary

The picture is similar for secondary school students. 15% of pupils across England are, using the Depart for Education criteria, known or believed to have a first language other than English. In London it is 41%.

English second lang secondary

London is broadly a multi-lingual city with 50% or more primary pupils speaking English as a second language in 16 of the 33 areas. Tower Hamlets and Newham have the highest proportion, 75%. The levels are also high in richer areas like Kensington and Chelsea, Westminster and the City of London.

English second lang map

The proportion is only in line or lower than the national average in the outer boroughs of Havering, Bexley and Bromley.

Source data

See also

Schools data reveals ethnic mix with fall in proportion of white British pupils

Private school? Depends where you live

Newham formally lists fewer kids for special needs support than other boroughs