THE birth rate in Thurrock has dipped by seven per cent, it has been revealed.
Sarah Williams, service manager, education support service, children’s services told Thurrock councilllors birth rates in the borough have dropped dramatically since a 2015/16 peak when 2,505 children were born.
In 2018/19 that dropped to 2,482 and in 201920 to 2,309, the lowest rate since 2010. It is unclear what is behind the drop.
Addressing the children’s services and overview committee, Ms Williams said: “The birth rates are decreasing. 2015/16 was with our highest birth rate. That is now decreasing and in fact we’ve just received our 2020 birth data which is showing another 7 per cent decrease and decline which means that by the time children come to primary school age we will have some surplus places in our primary schools unless we have in year admissions.”
Despite the drop the borough has seen a surge in school admissions because of the peak birth rate in 2015. During the last few years, the Council has also experienced a significant increase in the number of in year applications from families moving into the area.
Ms Williams added: “Year 1 is the highest cohort that we’ve had after having the highest birth rating in 2015/16 and in terms of in year applications, from September last year to August this year we had over 4,000 school applications for primary and secondary schools.
“We had quite considerable number and those were made of families that moved to England, those that moved from other local authorities to Thurrock and those families that wanted to apply from within Thurrock.
“Although we had over 4,000 applications we actually made just under 2,000 offers. That was sometimes because applications come in before parents move. They then don’t move or families don’t move to England and those places aren’t then offered but it is quite a high number of applications that we received.
Ms Williams said pressure on school places had become a concern around capacity in the Corringham Stanford area schools but these were being addressed. Two new free schools, Thames Park and Orsett Heath, are also helping to ease pressures.