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Publication of school and pupil data for 2017

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The DfE has today published statistics on pupils in schools in England as collected in the January 2018 school census.

Key findings:

A continued increase in number of pupils

State-funded primary schools

  • The number of pupils in state-funded primary schools has increased every year since 2009
  • In 2018 there was an increase of 27k (1%)
  • Although a smaller increase than the trends of recent years, there are now 639k more pupils in state-funded primary schools than there were in 2009 (a 16% increase).  


State-funded secondary schools

  • After an extended downward trend, state-funded secondary schools have now seen modest increases in pupil numbers in each of the last four years
  • In 2018 there was an increase of 35k (1%)
  • This marks the beginning of the increases seen in primary feeding through to secondary schools.  


School numbers and size 

  • There was a small increase in the number of schools (net increase of 35, to 24,316)
  • School numbers have not kept pace with increases in pupil numbers
  • The average number of pupils in special schools has increased every year since 2008
  • In 2008 there were an average of 86 pupils in special schools, this has increased to 114 in 2018 (an increase of 32%)
  • The average size of primary schools has not decreased in any year since 2006
  • Since 2009, the average size of primary schools has increased by 42 pupils, the equivalent of more than one extra class per school.  


Free school meals eligibility

  • Eligibility for FSM continues to decline in both primary and secondary schools
  • This is the continuation of a trend seen for 5 years
  • 13.7% of primary pupils are now eligible, down from a high of 18.1% in 2013
  • 12.4% of secondary pupils are now eligible, down from a high of 15.1% in 2013. 
 

School types

  • Schools which teach both primary and secondary year groups are growing in number. In January 2017 there were 150 such schools, up to 163 state-funded schools in January 2018. 
First published 29 June 2018