New analysis by the LGA has revealed that up to a third of local areas in England risk being oversubscribed for secondary school places within five years, leaving almost 80,000 young people and their families at risk of missing out on a place.
The LGA said with two-thirds of secondary schools now academies, councils need powers to tackle the looming places crisis by having the power to open more secondary schools or direct academies to expand to meet demand.
It found that failure to create more secondary places will mean 11 councils will face a secondary school place shortfall in 2021/22, rising to 50 council areas in 2025/26 – 77,085 places.
Cllr Judith Blake, Chair of the LGA’s Children and Young People Board, said: “Councils have an excellent track record of fulfilling their legal duty to ensure every child has a school place available to them and want to work with the Government to meet the challenges currently facing the education system.
“It continues to make no sense for councils to be given the responsibility to plan for school places but then not be allowed to be open schools themselves.
“Councils do not want any families to have to face uncertainty over securing their child’s secondary school. But the number of pupils is growing at a far faster rate than the number of places available and councils need to be given the powers to help solve this crisis.”