2022 – 2026
















1.      Introduction………………………………………………...    3


2.      Executive Summary………………………………………     3


3.      Factors Affecting Pupil Numbers and School Places…    4


4.      Planning Areas……………………………………………   13


5.      Schools…………………………………………………….   14


6.      Designated Area Maps………………………………….     15


7.      Early Years……………………………………………….     17


8.      Primary…………………………………………………….    23


9.      Secondary Key Stage 3 & 4…………………………….    26


10.   Post 16…………………………………………………….    29


11.   Special Educational Needs and Disability…………….     31


12.   Forward Look to 2036…………………………………….   40


Annex 1 Pupil Forecasting Methodology…………………… 41








1.        Introduction

1.1      The Council has a statutory duty to provide sufficient school places, and the School Places Plan and Capacity Strategy (SPP) is the essential control employed by the Council to meet this duty.


1.2      The Bracknell Forest Learning Improvement Strategy contains seven Key Priorities, one of which is to “Access a High-Quality School Place”.  This SPP is the tool through which there are sufficient accessible school places available across the Borough in the right locations at the right time to meet the forecast need.


1.3      The SPP is produced in accordance with DfE Guide to Forecasting Pupil Numbers in School Place Planning, and details of the forecasting methodology are set out in Annex 1.



2.        Executive Summary

2.1      Bracknell Forest is in transition, moving from a time of scarcity of school places to a time of surplus school places.


2.2      The birth rate and primary school numbers are decreasing across the Borough.


2.3      Pupil numbers on roll are forecast to change between 2022 to 2026:


·         Early Years                             - decrease by up to 4%

·         Primary                                   - decrease by up to 2%

·         Secondary KS 3 & 4               - decrease by up to 1%

·         Post 16                                    - increase by up to 42%

·         SEND Pupils with an EHCP   - increase by up to 38%


2.4      The latest forecasts indicate that there will be sufficient overall school places to meet the anticipated demand for primary and secondary in 2022-26 across all mainstream sectors, with only small indications of pressure points in some planning areas.


2.5      Forecasts also suggest that there will be sufficient overall headroom of at least 13% for the primary and 4% for the secondary intake years over the forecast period. There are no current plans to add any additional school capacity during this forecast period.


2.6      The significant increase in Post 16 numbers relates to the anticipated future opening of the Sixth Form at King’s Academy Binfield in 2023.


2.7      Where surpluses of school places result in a surplus of accommodation in schools, this can be dealt with in the following ways:

·         Converting teaching spaces to other uses e.g., learning support

·         Removing temporary accommodation

·         Mothballing part of a school

·         Finding alternative compatible uses for surplus accommodation

·         Leasing out surplus accommodation to paying tenants

3.        Factors Affecting Pupil Numbers and School Places

3.1      The following factors affect the supply and demand for school places: 




3.2      The Office of National Statistics (ONS) Population forecasts suggest that the numbers of babies born Bracknell Forest are decreasing, as set out on Graph One below. This is confirmed by birth data from the National Health Service (NHS).


Graph One: Bracknell Forest – Numbers of 5-Year-Old Children



New Housing


3.3      The number of houses built in Bracknell Forest in last three years has increased significantly over the preceding ten years as set out on Graph Two below. The predicted house completions going forward up to 2025/26 are show as a dotted line.


Graph Two: Housing Completions in Bracknell Forest


3.4      Pupils arising from the recent spike in new housing may be unlikely to result in a corresponding spike in the new school population because research has shown that up to 85% of families moving within the Borough keep their children at their original schools. The impact of this spike may, however, be likely to be felt over successive years depending on the age and year group of the children in question.


3.5      It should also be noted that in the past new housing numbers have often come on more slowly than anticipated, and that the actual timescales for delivery of new housing are outside of the Council’s direct control, being in the hands of individual housing developers. The dotted line showing proposed future housing on Graph Two above is subject to various factors which may affect the timescales for new house building including market forces, interest rates, mortgage availability and employment opportunities in the local area.


3.6      Most of the new housing in Bracknell Forest has and is proposed to be built in the North Bracknell School Planning Area.



Pupil Yields Arising from New Housing


3.7      New dwellings of different sizes yield different numbers of pupils e.g., smaller flats yield less children than larger 3-4 bed family homes. Research has revealed that estimated average pupil yields from new housing in Bracknell Forest have decreased by 30% since 2016, and the average pupil yield pre new dwelling is around 0.25.



New Schools


3.8      New schools may cause some turbulence in demand for school places through parental preference for new facilities and the time taken for new schools to fill up in all year groups. The newest schools in Bracknell Forest are the King’s Academy Binfield and King’s Academy Oakwood located in the North Bracknell school planning Area, which opened in September 2018 and September 2019 respectively. There are currently no new schools under construction in Bracknell Forest.



Pupil Mobility


3.9      Pupil mobility, which is often referred to as ‘turbulence’ in numbers on roll, is calculated as the sum of in-year admissions plus in-year leavers divided by the total number on roll at the commencement of that academic year.


3.10    Pupil mobility for Bracknell Forest for the September 2020 academic year was:


·         For primary schools:                 18%

·         For secondary schools:              9%


3.11    Mobility in local schools is high for example when there are garrison changes at the Royal Military Academy (RMA) which is in the Sandhurst & Crowthorne school Planning Area.


3.12    Traveller families are another factor affecting pupil mobility, and this can be difficult to forecast. There is a permanent designated Traveller Site with 13 pitches, which is also located in the Crowthorne and Sandhurst school planning area.



Internal Migration


3.13    The extent of primary internal migration within the Borough for the intake Year R is set out on Map One below:


Map One: Primary Internal Migration Year R






3.14    The extent of secondary internal migration within the Borough for the intake Year 7 is set out on Map Two below:


Map Two: Secondary Internal Migration Year 7








External Migration


3.15    The extent of primary external migration into and out of the Borough for the intake Year R is set out on Map Three below:



       Map Three: Primary External Migration Year R






3.16    The extent of secondary external migration into and out of the Borough for the intake Year 7 is set out on Map Four below:



       Map Four: Secondary External Migration Year 7








3.17    Bracknell Forest shares boundaries with Wokingham, the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead (RBWM), Hampshire and Surrey, but most of the cross-border movement occurs between Bracknell Forest, Wokingham and RBWM to the West and North.


3.18    There are several legacy issues derived from the way that Berkshire County Council organised its school places:


·      Two Bracknell Forest primary schools, Ascot Heath and Cranbourne, are in the designated area of Charters Secondary School, which is in RBWM.


·      The Wokingham primary schools at Hatch Ride and Oaklands are in the designated area of the Bracknell Forest Edgbarrow Secondary Academy.


·      Part of the designated areas of the Bracknell Forest Ascot Heath Primary School and Cranbourne Primary School extend into RBWM.


·      Part of the designated areas of the RBWM South Ascot Primary School and Charters Secondary Academy extend into Bracknell Forest.


Admission Over the PAN


3.19    Under the current School Admissions Code, individual schools can admit over their Published Admission Numbers (PAN). Schools may also admit over the PAN where parents win admissions appeals.


3.20    This impacts on the Council’s ability to manage the supply of school places if schools admit additional pupils that might otherwise have taken up places at other schools.


3.21    The six schools which have admitted over their PAN in the last five years are set out on Table One below, and 90% of the total number of pupils admitted was by academy schools:


Table One: Schools Admitting Over their Published Admission Numbers



Denominational Education


3.22    There are ten Church of England and Roman Catholic primary schools within Bracknell Forest and one Church of England secondary Academy, which provide denominational education in the Borough. These are listed on Table Two below.






Table Two: Denominational Schools in Bracknell Forest



3.23    Voluntary Aided schools are their own admissions authorities and the Governing Bodies set their admissions arrangements. For Voluntary Controlled Schools the Council is the admissions authority, and Voluntary Controlled schools follow the Council’s co-ordinated scheme of admissions.


3.24    There is no Catholic secondary school in Bracknell Forest so parents preferring a Catholic education for their children may choose to schools outside the Borough.


3.25    Ranelagh CE Academy, St Michael’s Easthampstead CE Primary and St Joseph’s RC Primary Schools do not have Bracknell Forest designated areas and these schools accept pupils drawn from wider geographical areas.


3.26    All the above denominational schools have been included in the SPP forecasts.


Free Schools and Academies


3.27    These are state-funded schools but are independent of Local Authority control and are established through the DfE academies programme as either sponsored or converter academies.


3.28    There are currently eleven academy schools in Bracknell Forest listed on Table Three below:


Table Three: Academy Schools in Bracknell Forest



3.29    Academies and Free Schools are their own Admission Authorities, and their admissions arrangements are determined by their governing bodies in agreement with the Education Funding Agency (ESFA).

3.30    The Council would reasonably expect to be consulted on changes to academies’ admissions arrangements, but cannot determine them, and this may impact on the Authority's ability to manage the supply of school places.


Independent schools


3.31    Some parents prefer to send their children to independent schools, and there are five such schools in Bracknell Forest as set out on Table Four Below.


Table Four: Independent Schools in Bracknell Forest



Selective Education


3.32    All secondary schools in the Borough are co-educational comprehensive (11-19). Parents seeking single gender or selective secondary education for their children may choose to seek school places for their children in other local authority areas.







4.           Planning Areas

4.1      There are three Planning Areas for school organisation as shown on Map One below:

·      North Bracknell

·      South Bracknell

·      Crowthorne & Sandhurst


Map One: School Organisation Planning Areas

5.    Schools

5.1      There are 38 schools in this SPP which are set out on Table Five below:


Table Five: Schools in Bracknell Forest



6.    Designated Area Maps

Map Two: Primary School Designated Areas



Map Three: Secondary School Designated Areas.



7.           Early Years

Early Years Providers

7.1      Calculating the exact number of places[1] available across the authority is challenging as providers continually adapt their capacity dependent on demand and to meet staffing ratios which differ by age group. Capacity data is therefore only correct at the point it is gathered from providers. Table Six below shows the approximate number of early years places available in Bracknell Forest by ward in the summer term 2021 and covers all early years childcare for 0- to 5-year-olds, funded and fee-paying children and places offered by childminders open to school age children.

Table Six: Available Early Years Places in Bracknell Forest





Binfield with Warfield




Central Sandhurst


College Town


Crown Wood




Great Hollands North


Great Hollands South




Harmans Water


Little Sandhurst and Wellington


Old Bracknell




Priestwood and Garth


Warfield Harvest Ride


Wildridings and Central


Winkfield and Cranbourne


Total capacity


7.2      Providers are responsible for ensuring that space requirements are met when making decisions on cohort numbers. Space requirements are dependent on the age of the children attending. ( ).

7.3      In the spring term 2021/22 a total of 163 providers are registered to claim free entitlement funding, 45 Private, Voluntary and Independent (PVI) providers, 100 childminders and 18 maintained school and academy nursery classes (nursery classes).

7.3.1  Funded places for 2-year-old are offered by 43 PVI providers and 96 childminders. No Nursery classes offer 2-year-old places.

7.3.2  Universal 15-hour free entitlement places for 3- and 4-year-olds are offered by 45 PVI providers, 100 childminders and 18 nursery classes

7.3.3  Extended 30-hour free entitlement places for 3- and 4-year-olds are offered by 43 PVI providers, 100 childminders and 17 nursery classes. However, one of the nursery classes is open mornings only, which limits access to the extended entitlement for children attending this provider.

Graphs Three to Five below show the number of providers offering the free entitlement for the period 2017 to 2021.

Graph Three: Providers Offering Places for 2-Year-Olds


Graph Four: Providers Offering Universal Places for 3- & 4-Year-Olds






Graph Five: Providers Offering Extended Places for 3- & 4-year-olds


Numbers of Children in Early Years Settings


7.4      Graph Six below shows the take up for funded two, three- and four-year olds over the last five years accessing in Bracknell Forest for PVI and Childminders.

Graph Six: Free Entitlement Headcount – PVI & Childminders

Generally, numbers in the PVI sector are lowest in the Autumn term following the school intake, increasing in the Spring term and reaching a peak in the summer term.

7.5      Graph Six above shows that over the last five years there has been an overall downward trend in numbers of children across all terms, and this does correspond to the known decrease in birth rates indicated by the NHS. This trend is repeated in the numbers of children attending nursery classes in maintained schools and academies which are shown on Graph Seven below.

Graph Seven: Free Entitlement Headcount – Maintained and Academies


Current Demand for Childcare


7.6      Bracknell Forest Council (BFC) uses the summer term numbers (when demand for places is at its highest) when predicting future demand for free entitlement places for 3- and 4-year-olds. In the 2021 Summer term the number of 3- and 4-year-olds accessing free entitlements was 2,236 which is approximately 77% of the eligible population.


Forecast Demand for Childcare


7.7      The Office of National Statistics (ONS) 2018-based population projection forecasts the population of 3- and 4-years olds in Bracknell Forest in 2026 at 2,739. However, a population forecast based on current NHS birth data indicates a population of 2,860. Using the current average rate of uptake for the free entitlements for 3- and 4-year-old of 78%[2] , the forecast demand in the summer term 2026 is calculated to be 2,147 using the ONS forecast and 2,242 using the NHS birth data. Graph Eight below illustrates both forecasts.






Graph Eight: Population and Free Entitlement Forecast


Universal and Extended Childcare


7.8      The total number of 3- & 4-year-olds claiming Universal (570 hours p.a.) and Extended (1,170 hours p.a.) early years entitlements in the summer term is shown on Graph Nine below. In addition, approximately 200 2-year-olds will be eligible for 570 hours per annum.

Graph Nine: Number of 3- & 4-year-olds Claiming Free Entitlements




Early Years Capacity Strategy

7.9     Bracknell Forest Council (BFC) is required by law to ‘report annually to elected council members on how they are meeting their duty to secure sufficient childcare and make this report available and accessible to parents’. To meet this duty Bracknell Forest Council completes an annual Childcare Sufficiency Assessment, the most recent assessment indicates that there is currently sufficient childcare capacity across the Borough to meet the forecast demand for places until 2023. The assessments are published on the Bracknell Forest Council website

7.10    In the summer term 2021 there were approximately 4,702 early years childcare
  places available in Bracknell Forest which is sufficient to meet the forecast demand    
  for statutory free entitlement places for the period 2022-2026.



8.           Primary

8.1   The graphs below show the forecast Published Admission Numbers (PAN) and
          Numbers on Roll (NOR) in the intake Year R for 2021-26.

8.2      The graphs below set out the forecast primary school capacity and total numbers on roll (NOR) for 2021-26.

Primary School Forecasts


8.3      There are 30 primary schools in the Borough with a total of 11,195 places, and 9,788 pupils on roll in September 2021, leaving a surplus of 1,427 places or 13%. The most significant challenges in terms of overcapacity lie within South Bracknell and Crowthorne and Sandhurst Planning Areas.


8.4      By September 2026 forecasts indicate the numbers of primary school places in our 30 schools will decrease to 10,930, with 9,109 pupils on roll leaving a surplus of 1,821 places or 17%. The most significant challenges in terms of overcapacity lie within South Bracknell and Crowthorne and Sandhurst Planning Areas.


Primary School Capacity Strategy


8.5      The strategic approach taken is to plan to meet the forecast demand for places across each school planning area, acknowledging that pupils can travel to neighbouring schools if their catchment area school is full.


8.6      Forecasts indicate that there will be enough primary school places in each planning area to meet demand during the forecast period. There are no plans to add any additional primary school capacity in this forecast period.


8.7      The following proposed new schools are on hold, but projects could be initiated to meet any unforeseen future growth in primary pupil numbers that may occur in the forecast period:


-       Amen Corner South in North Bracknell Forest Council


-       Warfield East in North Bracknell Forest Council


-       Bucklers Park in Crowthorne & Sandhurst


8.8      The following future changes to admissions numbers will go ahead:


-       The Pines Primary School is planned to reduce its PAN from 60 to 30 from September 2022.


-       King’s Academy Binfield will increase its primary PAN from 30 to 60 from September 2022.


-       Subject to consultation and a decision by the Council, Warfield CE Primary school will migrate from its All-Saints Rise site to the Woodhurst site from September 2022


8.9      Following consultation with all Primary School Headteachers, in 2022 the Council will be creating a vision for planning for school places and a proposed action plan going forward.


8.10    This will include linking future reductions in surplus mainstream primary places to the expansion of facilities for SEND, making use of any surplus accommodation by placing SEND provision on existing mainstream primary sites. See Chapter 11. SEND below




9.        Secondary Key Stage 3 & 4

9.1      The graphs below show the forecast secondary Published Admission Numbers (PAN) and Numbers on Roll (NOR) in the intake Year 7 for 2021-26.


9.2      The graphs below set out the forecast secondary school capacity and total numbers on roll (NOR) in Key Stages 3 & 4 for 2021-26.


Secondary School Forecasts


9.3      There are 7 secondary schools in the Borough with a total of 7,249 Key Stage 3 & 4 Places, and 6,752 pupils on roll in September 2021, leaving a surplus of 497 places or 7%.


9.4      By September 2026 forecasts indicate the numbers of secondary Key Stage 3 & 4 places in our 7 schools will increase to 7,450, with 7,101 pupils on roll leaving a surplus of 349 places or 5%.


Secondary School Capacity Strategy


9.5      The strategic approach to planning for KS 3 & 4 school places is to meet the forecast demand across the whole Borough, allowing for the fact that some schools will have deficits and some surpluses of places. This acknowledges that secondary aged pupils can travel between planning areas to secure a school place if their catchment area school is full.


9.6      Forecasts indicate that there will be enough secondary school places across the whole Borough to meet demand throughout the forecast period. For academy schools, secondary capacity is set out in their funding agreements with the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA). For maintained schools secondary school capacity is calculated by the Council undertaking net capacity assessments  with each headteacher.  


9.7      Whilst forecasts indicate that there will be sufficient overall school places in the forecast period, the forecast numbers on roll in the North Bracknell school planning area indicate that the North Bracknell secondary schools will be approaching their capacity. This is not a matter of concern however as analysis of intake Year 7 suggests that the current intake includes approximately 2FE of pupils who migrate up from South Bracknell. If the North Bracknell schools do become full, then the school admissions process will give preference for catchment area applicants.


9.8      There are no plans to make changes to secondary KS 3 & 4 admission numbers on the forecast period, and the strategy is to closely monitor numbers on roll going forwards.   


9.9      The pressure points shown in the intake year in Crowthorne& Sandhurst  are expected to be delt with by Edgbarrow School admitting over the PAN in those years.






10.    Post 16

10.1    The graphs below set out the forecast Post 16 capacity and total numbers on roll (NOR) for 2021-26.

Post 16 Forecasts


10.2       Admissions into Post 16 is managed by each individual school which sets its own admissions numbers and processes admissions into Years 12 and 13. There are six secondary schools in the Borough which currently offer post 16 education as set out on Table Six below:


  Table Six: Schools Currently Offering Post 16 Places



10.3       For academy schools post 16 capacity is set out in their funding agreements with the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA). For maintained schools Post 16 capacity is calculated as the total net capacity of the school minus the sum of the admission numbers in Years 7 to 11, i.e., the capacity remaining in the school after the lower year groups are deducted.


10.4       In September 2021 across the 6 secondary schools which currently offer Post 16, there was capacity for up to 1,676 16 pupils, and there were 1,248 pupils on roll, leaving a surplus of up to 428 places or 26%.


10.5       By September 2026 it is expected that there will be 7 secondary schools (having seen Post 16 established at King’s Academy Binfield) with Post 16 in the Borough and overall Post 16 capacity is forecast to increase to 2,279 with 1,780 pupils on roll leaving a surplus of up to 499 or 22%


Post 16 Capacity Strategy


10.6       The strategic approach taken in planning for Post 16 places is to plan to meet the demand across the whole Borough which acknowledges that Post 16 aged pupils can travel between planning areas to secure a Post 16 school place if required.


10.7       Bracknell & Wokingham College and Farnborough Sixth Form College are non-school Post 16 providers within easy access, and both establishments take significant numbers of Bracknell Forest Post 16 pupils each year.


10.8       On academisation in February 2022, Sandhurst increased its Post 16 capacity from 126 to 150.


10.9       King’s Academy Binfield is expected to open to Post 16 from September 2023, and a high staying on rate is anticipated, which accounts for the forecast increase in North Bracknell post 16 capacity.


10.10    The Post 16 strategy is to reduce the surplus places through links with the SEND strategy for expanding the number and capacity of facilities for SEND, making use of any surplus Post 16 accommodation by placing SEND provision on existing secondary school sites. See Chapter 11. SEND below.


10.11    The Council will secure facilitated discussion of Post 16 in the autumn term 2022


11.    Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND)

11.1    This chapter analyses the current demand for SEND places for children with Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) in Bracknell Forest to inform the medium term SEND planning for the next five years in the period 2022-2026.


11.2    There are pupils with SEND in Bracknell Forest have the following specific needs:

·         Autistic Spectrum Disorder                                   ASD

·         Social Emotional and Mental Health                    SEMH

·         Speech, Language and Communication Needs  SLCN

·         Moderate Learning Difficulties                             MLD

·         Severe Learning Difficulties                                 SLD

·         Hearing Impairment                                              HI

·         Visual Impairment                                                 VI

·         Physical Disability                                                 PD

·         There are also pupils who have specific medical needs


11.3    The existing facilities already in place across Bracknell Forest are set out on Table Seven below:


Table Seven: Existing SEND Facilities in Bracknell Forest








11.4    The locations of the existing SEN facilities in Bracknell Forest are shown on Map Four below:


Map Four: Locations of Existing SEN Facilities






Bracknell Forest Pupils with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)

11.5    The numbers of Bracknell Forest pupils with an EHCP as at December 2021 are set out by Year Group on Chart Two below.

Chart Two: Numbers of Bracknell Forest Pupils with an EHCP by Year Group

11.6    These numbers have been further broken down into those educated in the Borough and those educated out of Borough on Chart Three below. The analysis shows that 20% of children with EHCPs are currently placed in Special Schools outside Bracknell Forest.


Chart Three: Where Pupils with an EHCP are Educated by Year Group



11.7    Graph Thirty below shows the projected growth in overall EHCP numbers by current provision both for a 4% and 10% growth annually over the next five years. A 4% growth rate will result in 218 additional pupils and a 10% growth rate will result in an additional 613 pupils.


Graph Thirty – Projected Growth in EHCP Numbers



11.8    Historical DfE SEND indicates a national growth rate in EHCP numbers between 2018/19 and 2019/20 of 10%, which is why this percentage has been used to forecast SEND pupil numbers in Bracknell Forest going forwards. A lower growth rate of 4% has also been selected as an illustrative lower figure to give a range for comparison because it may be that a 10% growth rate will not be sustained.


11.9       With only two years of historical data, these figures must be taken with of caution, however further work in the coming years will build up a greater past trend to help define a future trend going forwards in forecasting numbers of pupils with SEND.


11.10    Given that the number of pupils with an ECHP is rising, the following mitigation measures are being considered to create additional capacity required to meet this need:

·         Creation of additional Specially Resourced Provision

·         Consideration of creating satellite/s of the Kennel Lane Special School

·         Creating/expanding capacity in Bracknell Forest to reduce the number of out of Borough placements
















11.11    The numbers of pupils with an EHCP in mainstream schools as at December 2021 and these are broken down by Year Group on Chart 4 below:


Chart Four - Pupils in Mainstream Schools with an EHCP by Year Group


11.12    Graph Thirty-One below shows the projected growth in numbers of pupils with an EHCP in Bracknell Forest Mainstream Schools for the period 2022-2026 assuming an annual growth rate of between 4% and 10%.


Graph Thirty-One – Projected Growth in EHCP Numbers in Mainstream Schools

EHCP Projections for Special Schools 2022-2026

11.13    Demand for maintained school Special School Placements is forecast to rise between 2022-2026 as set out on Chart Five below. Because Kennel Lane Special School is already at capacity this chart demonstrates the future requirement to create more special school capacity in Bracknell Forest.


Chart Five: Demand for Special School places 2022-27


Bracknell Forest Specially Resourced Provisions (SRPs)


11.14    The SRPs in Bracknell Forest are relatively recently established provisions. There are nine SRPs based in seven mainstream primary schools and one mainstream secondary school. Each SRP has a specialism regarding the needs of the children it serves. Currently pupil numbers in most the SRPs are growing, by admitting a cohort of children each year until they have children in each year group.


11.15    The current provision of SRPs in Bracknell Forest with their planned capacities and the number of children of roll in each in February 2022 is set out in Table Eight below:

















Table Eight: Special Resourced Provision (SRP) in Bracknell Forest


11.16    Part of the strategy going forwards is to develop the existing pattern of SRP provision by creating both secondary and primary SRPs to broaden provision. 


11.17    SRPs also provide a means of reducing out of Borough placements and Table Nine below compares the current places available in SRPs with the current numbers of children placed in Independent and Maintained Special Schools outside Bracknell Forest to demonstrate the current deficit of SRP place.







Table Nine: Current Deficit of Bracknell Forest SRP Places


11.18    Table Nine shows that there is sufficient capacity in Bracknell Forest to meet the needs of pupils whose primary needs are:

·         Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

·         Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN)



11.19    There is however insufficient capacity in Bracknell Forest to meet the needs of pupils  whose primary needs are:

·         Moderate Learning Difficulties (MLD)

·         Social Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) needs








SEND Capacity Strategy


11.20    The emerging future Capacity Strategy for SEND is currently work in progress and will continue to be developed in 2022 so that a more detailed Strategy can be included in the next School Places Plan.


11.21    The following key areas for development in SEND provision have however already been identified:


o   Kennel Lane Special School:  There is need for further investment in the existing site and building to raise the standard of the accommodation and facilities with a clear high-level plan will be developed for the short, medium and longer term.


o   Specially Resourced Provisions (SRPs): Further additional provision is required to meet the needs of pupils as outlined on Table Nine above. This will include


§  Creation of further SRPs on mainstream school sites.


§  Creating a balance of SRP provision across all three school planning areas.


§  Creation of additional secondary SRPs


§  Creation of facilities in the Borough to support Social Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH). This could include accommodation for specialist LA support staff who would work from the building outreaching to children and young people across the Borough. It would also be a place where children and young people can attend to obtain the specialist support that they need.


o   College Hall is a secondary Pupil Referral Unit and not a special school however a review of the accommodation and facilities at the College Hall will also be undertaken.


12.    Forward Look to 2036


12.1       Work to create a new Local Plan is currently underway in the Council, including identification of future sites for new housing development across the Borough to 2036.


12.2       The new Local Plan is not expected to be adopted until 2022/23, but the main element of growth will be likely to be in the North of the Borough, including significant growth in the numbers of flats to be built in and around Bracknell town centre.


12.3       Looking further ahead beyond 2026, the Office of National Statistics primary school age population forecast to 2043 suggests that school age population numbers will continue to fall to a low in approximately 2034 before they begin to rise again as set out on Graph Thirty-Two below:


Graph Thirty-Two – ONS Primary Year R Population Prediction for Bracknell Forest



12.4       This suggests that there will be sufficient overall school places across the Borough for this period. The need for primary aged pupils to be able to walk to school may however create local hot spots of demand for additional primary schools to be built, depending on the numbers of school aged children arising from new housing and the status of the potential new North Bracknell primary schools already referred to in the Primary Strategy at 8.5 to 8.10 above.


12.5       The long-term position will continue to be closely monitored by the Council going forward.




Annex 1:  Mainstream Pupil Forecasting Methodology used by
                 Bracknell Forest Council

Data Sources


NHS birth data are used to calculate Year R intake numbers which are checked against sub-national population projections from ONS


October School Census figures are used to calculate cohort progression.


Housing data including projected housing numbers, sizes/types of dwellings and timescales provided by the Council’s planning department (excluding those that do not have planning permission).


Net capacity assessments or academy funding agreements to calculate school capacities. School Admissions data to understand the Sep-21 intake and pupil mobility. 


Data Processing


Population data is drawn from the NHS GP registration of birth data by post code. The Borough’s Business Intelligence unit applies school catchment areas to each post code to produce a summary of births within each planning area. Sub-national population projections from ONS published in 2018 are also used to validate projected NHS birth data.


NOR for the next primary intake Year R are derived from School Admissions, and actual admissions numbers which become known by the April preceding the start of the next academic year.


A take up factor for the following four Intake years is calculated by taking the average of the difference between the projected birth rate and the actual NOR over the previous three year, and this produces forecast NOR for the next four years ahead. For the Sep-26 intake there is no NHS birth data, so we use the DfE weighted average formula to calculate a forecast NOR.


Numbers in Year Groups 1 to 13 in each Planning Area are calculated by a cohort survival % from the previous year groups. We calculate a 3-year average, 3-year weighted average and 3-year trend and select the most appropriate when looking at the cohort survival percentages in previous years.


New Housing


We monitor the projected and actual housing completions in the Council’s annual Housing Trajectory and the amount of new house building has remained fairly constant in previous years so in recent years no additional allowance has been made for demand for school places arising from new housing in the previous 2020-24 SPP.


However, because of the spike in new housing completions in 2019/20, forecasts for the North Bracknell planning area, where most of the new housing has been built, have been adjusted slightly upwards to reflect this, and this will be closely monitored in future years as the children and young people arising from new housing work their way into the school population.


We adjust the forecasts where housing development is expected to have a significant impact on pupil numbers in a Planning Area using pupil yield ratios per new dwelling derived from surveys of new housing estates in the Borough.


Migration and Cross Border Movement


We monitor internal migration between planning areas using data from School Admissions. Where this is significant, we adjust the forecasts accordingly.


Bracknell Forest shares boundaries with Wokingham, the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead (RBWM), Hampshire and Surrey, but most of the cross-border movement occurs between Bracknell Forest, Wokingham and RBWM.


There are several legacy issues derived from the way that Berkshire County Council organised its school places which are set out in the School Places Plan above and these tend to dictate the pattern of cross border movement each year.


Despite this the extent of cross border migration into and out of Bracknell Forest is not significant and excluding the boundary issues above, for the September 2020 intake year Bracknell Forest was a net exporter of only -22 primary and -29 secondary pupils.


We communicate by email with our counterparts in Wokingham and RBWM regarding our cross-border assumptions.

Recent Changes Made


In 2021 we have revised the forecasting model in line with the new DfE 2021 guidance School capacity survey: guide for local authorities - GOV.UK (


Fundamentally we have moved from a school-based forecast to an area-based forecast in accordance with the DfE guidance.


We have also been more focussed on how we select the cohort survival %s and have found that using graphs rather than tables better illustrates trends in previous years


We have moved away from a PAN based calculation of Post 16 capacity to a Net Capacity Assessment basis as per DfE guidance


Quality Assurance


We assess the accuracy of previous years forecast against actual NOR using the prescribed DfE methodology


We undertake formula and data input checks on the spreadsheet


We compare the accuracy of current forecast assumptions by running the numbers with previous years NOR to see if the current forecasts would have been more or less accurate in previous years



[1] An Early Years Childcare place is equivalent to 15 hours of childcare a week. A child accessing the extended free entitlement of 30 hours a week uses 2 places. A child attending 8 hours a day, 5 days a week uses 2.66 places.

[2] Excludes 4-year-olds attending school