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article imageThe Human Race Could Be Dying Out As More Empty Desks Are In UK Schools

By Michelle Duffy     Jun 4, 2007 in World
In England, the amount of school places left vacant in the classroom has hit an all time high. So where are the children who are supposed to fill them?
The number is quite extraordinary. We would not think that 758,000 places could be left unfilled. It is, if we were to work it out, the same as having 2,000 primary school buildings sitting totally empty.
So who is the blame here? We immediately think that it could well be the result of too many children not attending school due to broken homes, violence, crime and filling up detention centres, yet these ideas are far from the truth. The government is to blame, and why? Because local authorities are failing to assess exactly how many children there actually are under their own noses.
This is because of couples deciding not to have children, although purchasing family sized properties and the increasing number of people choosing to stay single and live alone.
We could see single life coming. Millions in the UK now, particularly in London and other bigger cities are earning more and having better career prospects than ever before. People are finding that they don't need to settle and get married as much as say, their parents. Years ago, people got married, particularly women, for security and to be supported. Now today, young women are finding that they can support themselves and are holding on to their independence. The birth rate goes down, and somewhere along the line, we eventually read that thousands of empty desks are increasing in every school in the country.
At the same time, we could not let the local councils go completely blameless. Many people who do settle find they can afford private education for the children instead of having to resort to state education due to lack of funds. there has been many a political debate in recent times over the private educational system and the desire to get parents back into being optimistic about state funding schools for their children.
So, our suspicions have been correct - it is one of those things that again boils down to money, or lack of it. Hundreds of schools around the UK have been affected by the drop in required spaces - for many, it has left a drop of 25%, meaning somewhere, the local council did not use their budget effectively, and the worst hit seem to be in the Midlands.
The good old Department of Education and Skills have given these local authorities the right to open and close schools if the amount of pupils attending drops below as certain percentage. A spokesperson for the Department said,
"Local authorities should be seeking to source new schools and expand their best schools to provide choice for parents by offering the type of education they want in the locations they want it, and removing surplus from less popular schools."
The decline in the birth rate has been dropping since 1990 meaning that the surplus of seats in classrooms have risen by 5% since only last year. many parents look further afield for a better school and some state schools face the long hard task of ridding themselves of a bad reputation.
Yet the story won't end here with newer polices to make or break local schools. The rate is set to rise again, meaning that a further 47,000 empty desks in classes educating children between the ages of 5 and 11 could be sitting lonely by the end of next year...
More about Empty school, Places, Reach 758
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