School population rises by 121,000

The school population in England increased by 121,000 since last year, according to annual figures from the Department for Education.

The number of children enrolled in schools in England has risen for the seventh consecutive year.

According to the Department of Education, there are 470,000 more pupils in the school system than in 2009.

This annual census, with numbers including both state and private schools, shows there are now 8.56 million children in England’s classrooms.

White British pupils remain the biggest ethnic group in primary schools – almost 68% – with Asian pupils the next biggest, at almost 11%.

About a fifth of primary pupils are from homes where a language other than English is spoken.

In secondary schools, the proportion of ethnic minority pupils has risen to 27.9% from 26.6% last year.

But these averages mask very wide regional differences.

In the north east of England, 88% of primary pupils are categorised as white British, while in the inner London boroughs, 18% of pupils in primary schools are white British.

A Department for Education spokeswoman said the government expected to deliver 600,000 more places by 2021.

“Delivering good quality school places is a top priority for this government and the latest figures show that the system continues to work. Today’s figures reveal thousands fewer children are being taught in large infant classes. The data also shows that primary school class sizes remain stable at 27.1 pupils.”