Norfolk high schools see dip in numbers


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High school headteachers across the county are seeing a dip in the number of pupils coming into their schools next year.

Norfolk County Council officials said fewer 11-year-olds will be starting secondary school this September than in the last few years.

According to predictions, schools will continue to see the decrease over the next few years with the lowest numbers expected in 2015/16.

The number of children moving up between schools is then expected to rise due to the recent baby boom.

As a result, some of the county's headteachers are appealing to parents to send their children to their schools.

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Alison Cunningham, Norfolk County Council's adviser for school organisation, said: 'We are seeing a drop in the number of children moving up to secondary school because there is a lower number of 11-year-olds than in the last few years.

'This trend will continue over the next few years with the lowest numbers predicted in 2015/16.

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'Secondary schools will then see an increase over time, as children born in the recent baby boom progress through primary school and into secondary schools.

'Schools are aware of their forecast numbers some time in advance and will have made plans for the drop in numbers and subsequent reduction in funding. Many will be making use of surplus budgets to manage over the next few years.'

One of the schools which has seen a decrease in the number of pupils starting in September is Reepham High School and College.

It currently has 150 pupils starting next school year, down from the normal intake of 162.

Headteacher Mark Farrar said: 'It's simple demographics; there's a dip in numbers in the current year six in our feeder schools and we've still got some places.

'This is an excellent school and it's unusual for us to have places and we are full or very close to full in every other year group.

'It is an opportunity for parents to get their children into our school.

'In two or three years, it will be the other way round.'

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