EIGHTEEN primary schools in Barnsley are either full or overcrowded, new figures have revealed.
The Education Policy Institute said a school is at or in excess of capacity when the number of pupils enrolled is greater than or equal to its number of places.
Department for Education figures show 18 primary schools were at or over capacity in Barnsley in the 2021/22 academic year.
Across England, 17 per cent of primary schools were full or over capacity while 23 per cent of secondary schools, including sixth forms, were at or above capacity last year.
The Department for Education said most state schools that exceeded their capacity were over by fewer than ten pupils.
Around seven per cent of schools exceeded their capacity by 10 or more students.
Jon Andrews, Education Policy Institute head of analysis, said the proportion of schools operating at over capacity is likely to fall in the coming years.
“Pupil numbers are already declining in primary, and will soon peak in secondary and special schools,” he said.
“The Department for Education estimate that the total pupil population will fall by over 900,000 between 2022 and 2032.
“With our research having revealed that pupils from more affluent backgrounds more frequently succeed via these routes of appeal, it’s likely that disadvantaged pupils will suffer to a greater extent from the effects of schools being over capacity.”
The figures show the most crowded primary school in Barnsley last year was Cudworth’s Birkwood Primary School.
The school had 314 students on roll and 280 places – meaning it was over capacity by 12 per cent.
Last year, Barnsley Council approved plans for a scheme to improve facilities and places in Cudworth.
It’s expected that more than 870 houses will be built in Cudworth in the next decade – a 17 per cent increase – prompting the council to provide more school places for residents in the area.
Birkwood, based on Darfield Road, is currently rated as outstanding by Ofsted and is the centre of the £2.5m scheme.
There are 40 pupils in every year group – the plans sought to increase the admission number to 60, which will create 20 extra places in every year group.
The most crowded secondary school in the area was Penistone Grammar School which had 1,818 pupils and 1,820 places last year.
It was at 100 per cent capacity.
Geoff Barton, Association of School and College Leaders general secretary, said arrangements are put in place to accommodate pupils where a school is over-subscribed.
Mr Barton added: “The bigger issue is that this situation is often driven by Ofsted judgements rather than a shortage of school places in the system as a whole because many parents apply for schools with ‘good’ and ‘outstanding’ ratings.
“It drives up property prices in certain areas and stigmatises schools in other areas.”