A shortage of secondary school places in England and Wales is being partially attributed to an early 2000s baby boom.
According to new figures from the Local Government Authority (LGA), almost 134,000 children will miss out on a secondary school place by 2023/24, unless new ones are created.
Since 2010, councils have created an extra 600,000 primary school places to accommodate for the rise in pupils, but local authorities have less power over secondary schools, as two-thirds of them are now academies.
The LGA is calling for government to give councils the ability to open more new schools where necessary, and the power to order academies and free schools to create more places.
Councillor Anntoinette Bramble, Chair of the LGA’s Children and Young People Board, said: “No family should face uncertainty over securing their child’s secondary school. But the reality is we face an emergency in secondary school places where the number of pupils is growing at a far faster rate than the number of places available.
“This is why councils need to be given the powers to help solve this crisis. As a starting point they should be allowed to open new maintained schools and direct academies to expand.
“It makes no sense for councils to be given the responsibility to plan for school places but then not allowed to open schools themselves.
“It is only by working with councils, rather than shutting them out, that we can meet the challenges currently facing the education system.”
Their estimates predict that 13 local authorities could suffer a shortfall in places by the 2019/20 school year.
This will then rise to 25 in 2020/21 and climb to 54 by 2022/23.
By 2023/24, 52 per cent of councils (a total of 71) will not be able to meet the demand for places.