A baby boom has left Falkirk Council schools bursting at the seams with the largest ever intake of P1 pupils recorded.
Education officials have had to find space for 12 additional classes for four and five-year-olds – at a cost of £600,000 for the buildings alone.
Although the local authority said it cannot currently reveal the exact number of new starts for another month, it has said there are around 1920 pupils enrolled in P1. This is a 2.5 per cent increase on last year’s official tally of 1874.
It is the highest intake of children starting school, beating the previous record of 1907 in August 1995.
However, officials cannot reveal how many P1 classes there currently are in its 50 primary schools – but have revealed they have been forced to increase the number by 12 from last year.
Councillor Alan Nimmo, education spokesman, said the situation had been closely monitored and officials were prepared for the large influx of new starts.
He said: “It is something that they have been keeping a close eye on and are able to project when intake numbers are likely to go up. This allows them to take action to ensure that schools affected have the capacity to deal with the additional numbers.
“We are committed at a national level on our teacher numbers which is what we do to ensure that we have the staff for all our classes.”
An education spokesperson said: “To cope with the increase in primary school rolls we had to ensure that there was sufficient capacity to accommodate an additional 12 classes from August 2014. Provision of that additional capacity was delivered in a number of ways: utilising unused existing classrooms or space; internal alterations within schools which includes converting other rooms into classrooms; and installation of new modular accommodation.”