The demographic case for a new secondary school south of Euston Road (SER)
The following figures are drawn mainly from Camden Council data. Other sources are the Census and a local survey.
The South of Euston Road (SER) area comprises the three Camden wards of Holborn and Covent Garden, Bloomsbury and King’s Cross. The two wards next to Euston Road on the north side are St. Pancras and Somers Town and Regent’s Park.
- 36,000 people live in the SER area, of whom over 1,000 are children aged 11-15.
- Population projections 2013-2033 show that there will continue to be over 1,000 children in this age group living in the area for the forseeable future.
- Over 200 children aged eleven are expected to transfer to secondary schools (state or private) each year over this period.
- The number of children attending our local primary schools has literally doubled in a generation. One primary had to reopen in the ‘nineties and others have increased their intake.
- In 2013, 194 children living in the SER area (not including those transferring in the private sector) were offered places at 29 different secondary schools in 11 different boroughs. Of the total, 75 (39%) were offered places at seven different Camden schools.
- It is usual for over 60% of local children to be dispersed between secondary schools outside Camden. This has sometimes been interpreted as ‘parental choice’, notwithstanding the fact that many do not get their preferred choice and none has the choice of a school in their own locality.
- Hundreds of children have to crowd on to buses in the rush hour to get to secondary school when they could walk to our proposed school.
The nearest community comprehensive in Camden is in Somers Town. However, the two wards north of Euston Road are home to even larger numbers of children, over 1,400 at present, projected to rise to 1,700 by 2033. It cannot accommodate all the children from both areas.
One in ten of Camden’s secondary-age children live south of Euston Road, yet none of its ten secondary schools is located here – half of them are concentrated at the north end of the borough.
It should be borne in mind that these figures do not reflect parental ‘choice’ in any meaningful sense. At the time applications are made, parents have to try to guess which schools are likely to offer their child a place, as well as ones they prefer. In some cases, they get the school they really want, in some cases a second or third preference and in some cases, one they don’t want at all. They cannot choose one in their own community because there isn’t one.