See also here for further details about Looked After Children demographics.
With a population of 433,100 people, Bristol is the largest city in the South West and one of the eight ‘Core Cities’ in England (excluding London). Following a period of population decline in the post war years, the population stabilised in the 1990s and, if recent trends continue, Bristol’s population is projected to increase by an additional 159,600 people by the year 2033, representing a 37.5% increase in the population. The total population is projected to reach 585,800 people by 2033. Population projections are based on the trends of the previous five years and thus are subject to change. Recent high levels of international migration may not continue and so future population projections for the city may be lower.
See here for more data on Bristol’s current and projected population.
Compared to the rest of the South West region, the population profile of Bristol is relatively young, with more children aged under 16 than people of pensionable age. This is similar to the national average and other Core Cities.
Local intelligence suggests that since 2001 there has been a significant increase in the number of international migrants coming to live in Bristol, particularly Somali communities and Polish residents coming to work in Bristol following the expansion of the EU.
Estimating and projecting the population of Bristol and areas within Bristol is important as it underpins local government finance, strategic and spatial planning and the provision of local facilities and services. The particular requirements and characteristics of different ethnic and cultural groups also need to be identified.
Population by Age and Gender
Overall the population of Bristol has increased by 11.0% since 2001, however this disguises both increases and decreases in population for different age groups (see Table 1).
Since 2001 there has been a small decrease in the number of children – down by an estimated 1,800 children (2.4%) – and also a decrease in the number of people aged 65 and over – down by an estimated 2,800 people (4.8%). The population aged 16-64 has risen by 48,000 people, an increase of 18.4%.
Looking at the change in numbers of children in Bristol in more detail, between 2001 and 2009 the population estimates show an increase in all age groups 0 to 5 and a decrease in the age groups 6 through to 16. This reflects the substantial increase in numbers of births in Bristol in more recent years.
Figure 1 – Bristol population by age and gender
Table 1 – Bristol Population by Age, 2001-2009
Table 2 – 2009 Population estimates for Core Cities by Age
|Percentage of total population|
|Core Cities||Aged 0-15||Working age||Retirement age and older||Total population|
Table 2 illustrates 2009 population estimates for Core Cites and the UK by broad age group. In 2009 the proportion of Bristol’s population that are children is slightly lower than the UK average with 16.6% compared with 18.7%. Of the Core Cities only Birmingham has a relatively high proportion of the population that are children with 22% of the population in 2009.
In 2009 the proportion of Bristol’s population that is of working age is higher than the national average with 68.5% and 61.9% respectively. 14.9% of Bristol’s population in 2009 are of retirement age and older. Having relatively low proportions of children and people of retirement age will reduce the dependency on Bristol’s working age population.
Local authority schools submit census data on a termly basis and January census data – specifically the numbers of pupils on roll – is regarded as the most robust and is used to form school and CYPS budgets for the following financial year. Table 3 represents pupil numbers for the last seven years.
Table 3 – School phase population comparison 2004-10
|School phase comparison 2004-2010||2004||2005||2006||2007||2008||2009||2010|
|Secondary (inc Academies)||16660||17331||16731||16513||16302||17296||17520|
Bristol has found it difficult in recent years to attract high levels of its own population into its LA run schools. With higher performing schools across the borders in South Gloucestershire, Bath & North East Somerset and North Somerset plus numerous local independent schools, Bristol has struggled to compete and migration to neighbouring authorities has been steady. Past levels of attainment have clearly been an issue but as the last few years have shown, when the attainment levels begin to rise, the popularity of schools rises with them. Since 2007, 579 more pupils are enrolled in the reception year (Table 3), an increase of nearly 15%. Pupil projections also estimate that nearly 6000 more pupils will join primary rolls by 2014, leading to a shortfall of over 3000 places (Table 4). In addition, expected new housing developments identified in the Bristol Development Framework will add a further 2400 places, primarily in East Central 2 & 3, and North 2 & 3.
Table 4 – Primary Schools Admissions Forecast 2009-2014
At the primary to secondary transition stage, in 2007 the retention of pupils was 77.6%. This has risen to 87.8% over the past three years. Since 2008 overall pupil numbers have risen by 1765. The addition of two academies (Colstons Girls/Bristol Cathedral) from the independent sector in September 2009 – who joined with a combined roll of 747 pupils – is partly responsible although their rolls are made up largely from pupils who attended Bristol’s LA primary schools and so have helped enhance the retention described above. In January 2010 their combined roll rose to 982, nearly 56% of the overall rise since 2008.
Table 5 – Retention of year 6-7 pupils
|Year Group||R||6||7||Yr 6-7 retention||Total pupils|
|2007-2010 % change||14.8%||-2.8%||10.0%||10.2%||3.3%|
Figure 2 – Retention of year 6-7 pupils
Figure 3 [to follow] shows the lower super output areas of Bristol and the change in reception age pupil population over the last three years.
Figure 3 – Population change in Reception age children 2008-10 [to follow]
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There are now 66 different ethnic groups making up the school population in Bristol. Black and minority ethnic groups (BME) have risen from 20% in 2006 to 25% in 2010, this represents an increase of over 2600 pupils. Pupils who are not White British have risen from 22% to 30% over the same period, and now account for over 4000 pupils.
Figure 4 – Ethnicity of Bristol school population
Figure 5 – Non-White British Pupils by ethnic group – Bristol LA schools
Table 6 – Numbers on roll by ethnicity, 2006-10
|Year||Indian||Pakistani||Black Caribbean||Somali||Other Mixed||White & Black Caribbean||Eastern European||White British||All other||Total|
The table above shows the seven highest BME groups from the Bristol LA school population as at the January 2010 Census. In 2007, data for Black Somali pupils was collected separately for the first time. Prior to that they were included under the main group of Black African. Data since 2007 shows that numbers of Somali pupils is still on a steady rise with 868 more pupils in 2010 (63.4%). Numbers of White Eastern Europeans have increased over 125% (460 pupils) since separate data was collected for this group, also in 2007.
White British pupils have declined by nearly 3000 (7.9%) since January 2006.
Figure 6 – Highest BME groups in Bristol 2006-10
Figure 7 – Percentage of non-white British pupils, Jan 2010
English as an additional language (EAL)
Figure 8 – Most prevalent non-English languages
With Bristol having such a wide range of ethnicities, inevitably the variety of languages is similarly diverse. The table above shows the top five home languages – other than English – of pupils in LA schools over the last three years. The Somali group has the biggest increase over the period with over 400 more pupils identified.
Note: There are a number of pupils still showing as ‘Somali’ for their home language and ‘Other’ as their ethnicity (and vice versa), the above chart is sourced from analysis of census data on those pupils identified in the specific language groups, it’s possible actual numbers are higher.
Figure 9 – Percentage of EAL by school
Special educational needs
Census data also collects details of a pupil’s educational needs. The SEN Code Of Practice sets out guidance on policies and procedures aimed at enabling pupils with special educational needs to reach their full potential, to be included fully in their school communities and make a successful transition to adulthood. For the vast majority of children with SEN a mainstream setting will meet all their special educational needs. Some children will require additional help from SEN services or other agencies external to the school. A very small minority of children will have SEN of a severity or complexity that requires the local authority to determine and arrange the special educational provision their learning difficulties call for.
The SEN Code of Practice recommends that schools adopt a graduated approach to match provision to children’s SEN so that, where necessary, increasingly available specialist expertise can respond to a child’s individual needs if they do not make adequate progress.
The guidance document can be found at: http://www.teachernet.gov.uk/docbank/index.cfm?id=3724
The stages of the code of practice are:
– School Action Where schools target individuals who are not progressing along with their peers, provide Individual Educational Plans (IEPs) and/or concentrated support.
– School Action Plus Where a child at the School Action stage continues to make little or no progress in specific areas over a long period and is working at National Curriculum levels substantially below that expected of children of a similar age, a request for help from external services is often required. They can advise on new and appropriate targets for the child’s IEP and on accompanying strategies whilst acknowledging previous methods of targeted help.
– Statemented If arrangements under the School Action and School Action Plus stages have still failed to address a child’s needs then an LA will consider the provision of a statement of special educational needs. A parent or school can apply to the LA to carry out a statutory assessment if they feel that the previous stages and help provided are inadequate to meet a child’s needs. If the criteria are met for a statutory assessment, the LA must seek written:
A. Parental advice
B. Educational advice
C. Medical advice
D. Psychological advice
E. Social services advice
If there is sufficient evidence from the professionals involved that a child’s needs cannot be met in the school they attend under normal arrangements, a statement is issued identifying the specialist support a child requires – this can be provided in their current school with additional funding or, if necessary, via transfer to another school with the appropriate provision available. This could be in a different mainstream school that has a resource base or in a specialist school.
Despite there being a 3.9% (1877 pupils) rise in overall roll numbers, there are 156 fewer with SEN than in 2007, a drop from 20.5% to 19.4%. The most significant changes in the last three years are:
– in primary schools, 534 fewer pupils are on ‘school action’ (-13.9%)
– in secondary schools, 323 more pupils are on ‘school action’ (+15.8%)
Table 7 – Numbers on roll by SEN
|Jan 2010||School Action||School Action Plus||Statemented||Not SEN|
|Difference 2007 – 2010|
Note: data includes all enrolment groups in nursery, primary, secondary and special schools.
Table 7 shows numbers of pupils at each stage of the SEN code of practice from 2007-2010.
Bristol had a total of 9638 pupils assigned to a stage of the SEN Code Of Practice in the January Census in 2010. 3818 pupils are School Action Plus or Statemented and have their types of need specified in the census. Over 1000 of these pupils have more than one need type and so to distinguish a pupil’s greatest needs, they are categorised as primary and secondary need types. The table below shows the primary needs of each of those pupils and as you can see nearly half of all cases are either behaviour, emotional & social or speech, language and communications difficulties.
Table 9 – Category of need of pupils with SEN
The chart below shows the January SEN cohort from the 2007 & 2010 census and the number of pupils with each primary need type.
Figure 10 – Number of each SEN primary need, Jan 2007 & 2010
This chart only shows pupils who are School Action Plus or Statemented. Although overall numbers are similar, there has been an increase in the proportion of Speech, Language, Communication and Autistic Spectrum Disorder, with a decrease in Moderate Learning Difficulty.
Free School Meals
Table 10 – Free School Meal Eligibility
|Free School Meals?|
Note: data includes all enrolment groups in nursery, primary, secondary and special schools.
The number of pupils eligible for free school meals has risen by over a thousand pupils since 2008, the majority in the last year alone. The most significant rise is in primary schools where 733 more pupils are eligible and an overall rise of 2.1%. With only 534 additional pupils in primary schools in the period with 23.7% rate of eligibility in 2010, this shows that the recession has probably had a significant effect on families in Bristol.