25 January 2012

Rise in demand for primary school places blamed on UK immigration

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The number of primary school children in the UK is expected to rise by 20% in the next decade, raising concerns about the burden placed on primary schools. Immigration think-tank MigrationwatchUK has been quick to place the blame on rising UK immigration.

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MigrationWatchUK has been quicky to name illegal immigration as the cause for rising numbers of primary school pupils.

There are expected to be almost five million state primary pupils by 2020, the highest levels since the 1970s. Analysts have been quick to cite various reasons for the rise but the independent, and sometimes controversial, think-tank MigrationwatchUK has claimed UK immigration is the cause.

"This is a clear result of Labour's mass immigration policy and will put huge strain on our primary schools" said Sir Andrew Green, chairman of MigrationwatchUK.

"Last year a quarter of all births were to foreign-born mothers who, on average, have 30% more children than British women.

"These new figures show why we must cut back immigration very sharply if we are to slow down the rapid increase in our population, of which two thirds is due to immigration," concluded Sir Green.

While Sir Green's comments are unlikely to go without scrutiny, the fact that schools across the country are already stretched means these predictions have raised concerns; the Government claims it is already taking steps to combat the issue.

"We're creating thousands more places to deal with the impact of soaring birth rates on primary schools. We're more than doubling targeted investment at areas facing the greatest pressure on numbers - over £4 billion in the next four years" said Schools Minister Lord Hill.

Labour have been equally as quick to condemn the Government's policy towards education with Shadow Education Secretary Stephen Twigg claiming "there is an urgent crisis in our primary school system that the Government is ignoring."


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