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Schools population 'experts' got their numbers wrong

It was only a decade ago that LEAs were being ordered to close and/or merge UK primary schools because of a forecasted drop in the birth rate.

It caused considerable heartache for communities and the formation of some awkward alliances.

Now the National Audit Office (NAO) is forecasting a 250,000 shortfall in places  as the birth rate is experiencing the fastest growth since the 1950s.

Forecasting populations is a tricky business. It is arguably educated guesswork rather than science. In 2000 there were 600,000 babies born in the UK, and nearly 725,000 in 2010.

Somebody somewhere got their sums badly wrong.

Posted by Peter Harvey: Friday 15th March 2013