The fall in pupil numbers is crucial. In the inner cities of this country we have an opportunity which we may be failing to grasp imaginatively.
Equally, we have a new set of problems to be solved. Take just a few examples of what is happening and is going to happen. The ratio of primary school teachers to secondary school teachers in our cities is going to change radically at least until births rise or outward migration is reversed. This will have incalculable effects. Another effect will be on the numbers and deployment of teachers. It will be difficult to get a job in a primary school in London next 124
year. The arithmetic is simple. In one year you need 2,000 teachers and you get 2,200 coming forward. Suddenly you have 12,000 fewer children in primary schools and you need over 500 fewer teachers. So you have only 1,400 vacancies and still the same 2,200 people coming forward. And in the succeeding year, vacancies may be down by a further 500.