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Primary schools in England record steep fall in demand

Covid disruption and Brexit could be behind fall in applications for reception class places, say councils

Birmingham and London have recorded steep falls in demand for primary school places next year, with local authorities reporting that disruption caused by the Covid pandemic, as well as the falling birthrate and migration after Brexit, may be behind the decline.

London’s boroughs had a 7% fall in applications for reception class places in September, while Birmingham had 9% fewer applications compared with 2020. Major local authorities in the south-east of England reported declines of 2% or more, including Essex, Kent, and Brighton and Hove.

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