A falling birth rate means it’s now estimated that the borough will need more than 575 fewer primary school places by 2025/26.

This includes the 195 less places already agreed for September 2024.

Lambeth Council is running a consultation to further reduce admissions at primary schools in the borough.

Three academy and voluntary aided schools have already stated they’ll be consulting on reducing admissions by 75 places for 2025.

In Sutton in 2021, the Department for Education cancelled plans for an additional free school for mainstream secondary pupils.

At the time, the council said falling birth rates, Brexit and Covid were the three factors for the decision.

Cllr Ben Kind, Lambeth’s Cabinet Member for Children and Families, said: “We have a really successful network of schools across our borough and we are working hard to protect them in the face of this huge challenge.  

“I urge every primary in the borough to work with each other, together as a family of schools, to minimise the impact on children, parents, carers and school staff. Continuing with a shared, partnership approach between schools will help us to avoid closures and minimise the disruption caused to all.

“It was encouraging to have so many representatives from different types of school speak positively at the Cabinet meeting last year about the partnership approach to manage admissions across the borough. But this shared approach must continue.  

“Doing nothing is not an option, with schools continuing to struggle to remain viable with the threat of closures due to the real risk of declining pupil numbers. We are seeking to avoid significant interventions, such as closures as a worst-case scenario, but such interventions will increasingly have to be considered should schools decide not take a shared, borough wide approach. 

“But if all our schools work together, sharing the load, we can do all we can together to preserve our hugely valued primary schools and have our best chance of avoiding closures.” 

Lambeth has experienced a one third drop in the birth rate since 2009 and the cost of living crisis, the Covid19 pandemic and Brexit have led to considerable migration from the borough. 

Cllr Kind said: “On top of these issues, the government distributes school funding on a per pupil basis. This means many schools face spending more than they receive, putting them in a difficult financial position where they are in debt.  

“Without further government intervention, school closures will inevitably follow across London. We are calling on the Government to work with to find the financial support for schools most in need with funding that accurately reflects the higher costs associated with providing education in London.”  

To take part in the consultation visit: www.lambeth.gov.uk/consultations/.