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Primary Schools and Population

Two or three months ago I wrote some remarks in this column about the educational predicament in Barton, noting that the position was particularly critical for primary schools in the next five years.
I now have in front of me some rather shattering figures extracted from the 1971 Census. These have kindly been supplied by Mr. Rex Russell.
At the time that the Census was made, the Spring of 1971, 9.3% of Barton's population was under five years old. That is 0.1% higher than the proportion at the peak of the post-war 'bulge'. This means that with a population of 7,500, there were in 1971 700 children due to begin their education during the next four and a half years, so that if the intake into our two primary schools was equal throughout these years, there would be 150 infant school beginners each year. This assumes two things: first that the town's population remains static: second, that the proportion of young children does not rise.
A great deal has happened in Barton since the Spring of '71. Whole estates of new houses have been built in the last two and a half years, largely filled with young families. If the population by 1976 increases to 8,500 and the proportion of under fives hardly increases at all, we shall have the best part of 200 children ready to start school each year.
The fact is that the present two primary schools are only managing to hold the tide by the use of temporary classrooms and school hall facilities. Where are all these extra children to go?
Of course, before long this growth in child population will bear upon the secondary schools. We shall need to make certain that every means is used to draw the attention of the Humberside County Council to the seriousness of the situation.
At the moment it is hoped that we shall be able to arrange a joint meeting of the Primary School Managers so that we can fully assess the present and future situation.


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