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PORTSMOUTH schools have room to spare – as statistics show there are thousands of surplus places.

According to new figures released by the Department for Education, seven secondary schools in the city have 994 empty places between them, and 44 primary schools have 2,010 seats that are not yet filled.

The figures account for 10.2 per cent and 13.1 per cent of the total number of places available in secondary and primary schools in Portsmouth, compared with the national average of 9.1 per cent and 10.8 per cent respectively.

Across Hampshire, 10.9 per cent of their secondary school places are being left unfilled and 9.7 per cent of primary school places are going spare.

Mike Fowler, head of transforming education services, has already proposed cutting school places to bring them in line with the number of pupils. From 2011/12 to 2014/15 Mr Fowler has suggested a reduction in the number of primary school places on offer, by 937 from the current 15,572 to 14,635 places.