Schools at risk of closure as families flee the cities and birth rates fall | News

It is a tale of two schools. In north London, Clerkenwell Parochial School — a 300-year-old primary where Charles Dickens once read his work to children for a penny — was forced to close last year for lack of pupils.

More than 170 miles away, Jonathan Bishop, chief executive of the Cornerstone Academy Trust, which runs four primaries in Devon, is surprised at the levels of demand. Even with large class sizes, he is having to turn pupils away.

“We are full and oversubscribed in all our schools, with long waiting lists and rising numbers,” he said. “I know that people were trying to move to places like Devon, especially during the pandemic when people were trying to get out of cities.”

In a letter

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