Falling pupil numbers
One of the secondary schools i help support is slowly having problems with falling pupils on role. This is partly due to pupil numbers falling in the area but also due to 3 secondary schools being very close to each other.
Do your schools have similar problems and if so what to do you to to encourage pupils to your school?
We are set to loose 100 pupils in September, there will be no new intake due to the school closing. The school is closing for the same reason as you pointed out above. The under 16’s count is decreasing in the area and two more high schools close.
Our pupil numbers are going to rise by 30 this coming year, then drop by nearly 60 the year after. So, financially, it is really messing things up.
But then, every school in the area is suffering the same sort of problems.
Falling school rolls are a nationwide problem due to a fall in the number of births. Of course there are "hotspots" where this trend is not the case, but overall this is what's happening. Naturally this leads to school closures and consolidation. Another factor to weigh in the balance is that funding follows the pupil, so each school is fighting for a diminishing share of the cake.
Yes we are one of those hotspots way we brought numbers back in was two step.
- Local promotion
-Also we started having classes of primary school children in from year 5/6 and they came hd some lessons . So would come in a do pe lesson with our pe teacher, ict, science, art lessons etc.
This means that students and parents had heard about us, been in and visited so they deicide to visit us etc.
If member of your slt wants to talk to our slt sure can arrange something.
Huge budget cuts here due to falling role, my job is a little shaky. :(
Our sixth form has grown by 100 to over 350 for September and our Year 7's will have an 8 form entry due to numbers.
I think we are due to receive a dip in numbers in about 3 or 4 years time due to the number of 6/7 year olds in the area.
Our school tends to have a good reputation and is always oversubscribed - we achieved the best exam results in the LA this year and I think that helps on the number of students you are likely to attract although not always a simple fix.
Our results have been good for a long time - our numbers always high and used to be 20% pupils from out of catchment. The LEA has stepped in and capped our intake as well as capping the number of out of catchment pupils we can have.
Basically - be a successful school but get punished because too many kids from the local PFI school are coming here despite old buildings and old equipment etc....and to think the LEA are constantly babbling about parental and pupil "choice" - some choice!
It's hitting the private sector too. Our numbers have decreased, fortunately not drastically. Another private school about 10 miles from us closed unexpectedly a fortnight ago due to lack of numbers/finance. We picked up a few extra children from there.
We advertise, make sure that every activity we do has photos taken and sent in to the local press and hold open days. We're a small school so our facilities aren't great for renting out, but we do whenever possible.
TBH just getting photos in the papers as often as possible seems to make the most difference. It's what we used to do at my last (state) school too. Numbers dropped off drastically after going into special measures. It's back on track now and one of the strongest primaries in the area.