Several secondary schools in Stroud are full or over capacity, figures reveal.
The Association of School and College Leaders said a record rate of overcrowded schools nationally is being driven by increased demand for secondary places, compounded by “perceptions linked to Ofsted reports”.
In Gloucestershire, the busiest secondary school was Stroud High School, which had 935 school places but 1,079 children on its roll – meaning it was 15 per cent over capacity.
This was followed by Marling School (11 per cent over capacity) and The Crypt School, Gloucester (6 per cent over capacity).
Department for Education data shows that seven secondary schools in Gloucestershire were at or above full capacity as of May 1 last year.
In 2018-19 – the most recent comparable year due to coronavirus pandemic restrictions – there were nine overcrowded schools.
It meant 8,781 pupils in the area were affected by overcrowded schools last year – among around 880,000 nationwide.
A school is at or in excess of capacity when the number of pupils enrolled is greater than or equal to its number of places.
Geoff Barton, general secretary of the organisation, said: “The increasing demand for secondary places is complicated by perceptions linked to Ofsted reports with higher-rated schools often heavily oversubscribed and significant spare capacity at lower-rated schools.
“The current approach needs a rethink so that it is more supportive and less punitive, and so that every family has access to a good local school place.”
Jon Andrews, head of analysis at the EPI, said more pupils means schools are more likely to be oversubscribed leaving pupils at less preferred schools or going through the appeals and waiting list systems.
He added: “Our research shows that pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds are less likely to be successful than others via these routes.”
A DfE spokeswoman said: “The vast majority of pupils will be offered a place at one of their preferred schools this coming year.
“Pupils are also now more likely to have a place at a good school now – with 87 per cent of schools rated good or outstanding now compared to 68 per cent in 2010.”