Waltham Forest context
According to the 2014 mid-year population estimates by ONS, Waltham Forest is home to a total of 268,000 people. This is an increase of 9,800 people compared to the 2011 Census. Waltham Forest has a younger than average population with 22 per cent of residents being aged between zero and 15 years, compared to 19 per cent nationally.
In January 2015, there were 42,111 children in education in Waltham Forest, across nurseries, state-funded primaries and secondaries, special schools and pupil referral units. At primary level, 82.8 per cent of pupils are from a minority ethnic background, above the London and national averages. The picture is similar at secondary level, with 80.8 per cent of pupils from a minority ethnic background. 54.9 per cent of primary and 46.9 per cent of secondary pupils do not have English as the first language, both above the London and national averages.
Population change has led to a significant increase in the borough's school population over recent years. As a result, since 2007 there have been 71 bulge classes added to primary schools and 35 permanent expansions. There will also need to be additional bulge classes added in 2016, as well as some extra primary expansions in the future, currently going through the approval process. These additional primary pupils are progressing through the education system and starting to have an impact on secondary places, hence the need to expand secondary places. There are two approved secondary expansions at present, ensuring enough places until 2018/19, and additional expansion proposals are in the planning and approval process.