Child Demographics

See also here for further details about Looked After Children demographics.

Population
Population by Age and Gender
School Population
Ethnicity
English as an Additional Language
Special Educational Needs
Free School Meals

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Population

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.

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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

Source: Bristol City Council

Table 1 – Bristol Population by Age, 2001-2009

Source: Bristol City Council

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
Bristol 16.6 68.5 14.9 433,100
Newcastle 16 67.2 16.8 284,300
Nottingham 16.4 70.2 13.4 300,800
Liverpool 16.9 66.2 16.9 442,300
Manchester 17.6 70.1 12.2 483,800
Sheffield 17.1 64.7 18.2 547,000
Leeds 16.9 66.4 16.7 787,700
Birmingham 22 62.6 15.4 1,028,700
UK 18.7 61.9 19.4 61,792,000

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.

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School 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
Nursery 1377 1497 1304 1319 1353 1277 1429
Primary 30332 29808 29366 29034 28972 29106 29502
Secondary (inc Academies) 16660 17331 16731 16513 16302 17296 17520
Special 787 725 740 762 799 800 740
Bristol LA 49156 49361 48141 47628 47426 48479 49191
ACTUAL PROJECTED
NC Year 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Rec-NC6 28055 27748 27366 27253 27342 27686 29477 30794 32300 33495
NC7-NC11 16051 15430 15093 14715 15280 15365 15761 15962 15865 15986

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

Source: Bristol City Council

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 3916 3863 2998 77.6% 47629
2008 4192 3993 2913 73.0% 47426
2009 4279 3895 3262 83.7% 48479
2010 4495 3753 3297 87.8% 49191
+/- 579 -110 299 1562
2007-2010 % change 14.8% -2.8% 10.0% 10.2% 3.3%

Figure 2 – Retention of year 6-7 pupils

Source: Bristol City Council

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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Ethnicity

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

Source: Bristol City Council

Figure 5 – Non-White British Pupils by ethnic group – Bristol LA schools

Source: Bristol City Council

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
2010 939 1453 1140 2237 1177 1500 825 34238 5682 49191
2009 888 1388 1109 1964 1118 1441 752 34472 5347 48479
2008 831 1327 1066 1813 1085 1367 650 34576 4711 47426
2007 803 1293 1046 1369 1085 1308 365 36020 4340 47629
2006 777 1226 1036 1052 1251 37176 5623 48141
2007-10 136 160 94 868 92 192 460 -1782 1342 1562
2006-10 162 227 104 125 249 -2938 59 1050

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

Source: Bristol City Council

Figure 7 – Percentage of non-white British pupils, Jan 2010

Source: Bristol City Council

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English as an additional language (EAL)

Figure 8 – Most prevalent non-English languages

Source: Bristol City Council

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

Source: Bristol City Council

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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
Nursery 147 10% 83 6% 37 3% 1163 81%
Primary 3305 11% 1404 5% 545 2% 24273 82%
Secondary 2366 13% 516 3% 490 3% 14575 81%
Special 2 0.3% 8 1% 735 99% 0 0%
2010 Total 5820 12% 2011 4% 1807 4% 40011 81%
Jan 2007
Nursery 68 5% 100 8% 44 3% 1107 84%
Primary 3839 13% 1415 5% 514 2% 23301 80%
Secondary 2043 12% 602 4% 407 2% 13570 82%
Special 2 0.3% 12 2% 748 98% 0 0%
2007 Total 5952 12% 2129 4% 1713 4% 37978 79%
Difference 2007 – 2010
Nursery 79 5% -17 -2% -7 -1% 56 -3%
Primary -534 -2% -11 -0.1% 31 0.1% 972 2%
Secondary 323 1% -86 -1% 83 0.3% 1005 -0.4%
Special 0 0% -4 -1% -13 0.5% 0 0%
Total difference -132 -1% -118 -0.4% 94 0.1% 2033 1%

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

Phase ASD BESD HI MLD MSI OTH PD PMLD SLCN SLD SPLD VI Total
Nursery 20 12 1 3 0 4 7 2 46 24 0 1 120
Primary 125 364 54 284 2 65 87 16 714 41 179 18 1949
Secondary 92 300 28 243 0 65 52 0 94 11 107 14 1006
Special 113 236 36 69 1 1 39 59 47 137 3 2 743
Bristol LA 350 912 119 599 3 135 185 77 901 213 289 35 3818

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

Source: Bristol City Council

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.

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Free School Meals

Table 10 – Free School Meal Eligibility

Free School Meals?
Phase No Yes %
2010
All 38275 11374 22.9%
Nursery 1087 343 24.0%
Primary 22536 6991 23.7%
Secondary 14248 3699 20.6%
Special 404 341 45.8%
Diff 2008-2010
All 942 1112 1.3%
Nursery 87 -10 -2.1%
Primary -199 733 2.1%
Secondary 1109 389 0.5%
Special -55 0 3.1%

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.

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One Response to Child Demographics

  1. Anne James says:

    I think this a good section on demographics for children with SEN. I would suggest a) Language is checked to ensure children are not labelled by their impairments i.e add in the capital letters type ‘proportion of CHILDREN WITH Speech, Language, Communication and Autistic Spectrum Disorder, with a decrease in CHILDREN WITH Moderate Learning Difficulty.’
    I presume achievement is elsewhere. b) I would like to see some correlation between SEN and disabled children on this page. I would suggest you note the number of disabled children recorded in the census, identify the SEG groups who would be covered by the equalities act definition of disabled.

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