Steve Doughty, Daily Mail (London), September 7, 2009
More than 250 primary schools will have to be built over the next four years to provide places for the children of migrants, an MPs’ pressure group said yesterday.
It said the schools will be needed for 67,000 children who have a foreign-born parent and the cost to taxpayers will be around £1billion.
The bill for the schools is just one element of the impact on taxpayers and families of ‘uncontrolled immigration’, the Cross Party Group on Balanced Migration said.
It warned health, housing and other services will face similar pressures and bills.
The figures on the demand for primary school places created by the migrant baby boom were calculated for the MPs by experts at the Migrationwatch think-tank.
They come after latest official figures showed that the population of the country is now more than 61million and the rise is increasingly driven by numbers of babies born to immigrants.
The breakdown showed there are now 607,000 five-year-olds but 703,000 babies under one year old.
Of the extra 96,000 children who will require primary school places in 2013, 54,000 have two parents who were born abroad, and 67,000 have one foreign-born parent.
Fewer than a third, 29,000, are children whose parents were both born in Britain.
Children of immigrants will need 270 new primary schools of 200 pupils, at a cost of £200million a year based on the figures which started in 2008.
Former Labour minister Frank Field and Tory elder statesman Nicholas Soames, who head the Balanced Migration group, said: ‘This research illustrates how uncontrolled immigration is directly affecting ordinary families.
‘The Government have clearly failed to plan for the consequences of the mass immigration they have permitted.’
They added: ‘The research highlights primary school places but the same applies to health, housing and other services. This is yet more evidence that the Government must take steps to reduce immigration so as to prevent our population from reaching 70million within the next 25 years, as official forecasts now predict, if public services and the public purse are to be protected.’
The Department for Children, Schools and Families said there were more than half a million spare places in primary schools. A spokesman said: ‘There is no nationwide primary school place shortage–there are over half a million spare places in primary schools across the country.
‘Local authorities are under a duty to make sure that every child of compulsory school age has a suitable school place, and rightly it is for them to make pupil projectionsfor their area as they are most aware of the local situation.
‘Schools in England have had a seven-fold rise in funding for building and renovating schools from just £700million a year to over £7billion now.’
The department said migration is falling and new controls will further restrict immigration only to skilled newcomers.