Pages 14 – 17

May 1st, 2011 | Filed under Part 1: The Problems

Chinnor C. of E. Primary School Population

In January 1968 Mr. G. E. Manser, headmaster of Chinnor Primary School (which also caters for some of the needs of the hamlets) prepared a report for the School Managers and the County Education Department which disclosed an alarming discrepancy between the size and facilities of the new school, opened only in 1967, and the number of children who were materialising (see above) to use it in the future. This number exceeded the figures allowed for in planning the school by a considerable margin and one result of the material in the earlier part of this section has been to enhance the credibility – if it ever needed doing – of the figures in the Headmaster’s report.

The figures given by the Headmaster in his 1968 report have had to be revised in the report of January 1969 which shows that the number of children has been increased over the number forecast in 1968. The latest numbers are given below and they form the best basis so far for an estimate of the number of teenagers expected in the village in the next decade.

Number of children aged 5 to 11 incl. in Chinnor School
Estimates made Nov. 1966 Actual numbers & estimated
future numbers
For Jan 1968 – 381 – 453
For Jan 1969 – 397 – 518
For Jan 1970 – 435 (- 586)
For Jan 1971 – 484 (- 660)
For Jan 1972 – no estimate (- 731)
For Jan 1973 – no estimate (- 834)

These exclude a small number of children who are attending private schools.

The number of children of ages 5 to 11 (span 7 years) in the school in any one year can be expected to be roughly the same as the number of children in the same span 7 years later, i.e. 453 children aged 5 to 11 in 1968 will become 453 children aged 12 to 18 in 1975. But this number wil be increased each year by a small number of teenagers moving into Chinnor and its hamlets with their parents. In December 1968 the children aged 12 to 18 inclusive formed 7.5% of the total population of Chinnor. Bearing in mind that abougt 20% of the children under 5 have ‘moved in’ (see above) it would seem reasonable to add a conservative 5% for teenagers ‘moving in’ between 1975 and 1979 and this gives an estimate of the teenage population for these years as follows:

Children aged 5 – 11 incl. Teenagers aged 12-18
incl. plus 5%
1968 – 453 1975 – 476
1969 – 518 1976 – 546
1970 – 586 1977 – 618
1971 – 660 1978 – 693
1972 – 731 1979 – 767
1973 – 834 1980 – 876

The only factor by which this estimate of the number of teenagers could possibly be reduced would be the rate of migration of families from the village and the assumption that they will continually be replaced and their houses bought by similar young couples who are only just starting their childbearing or by elderly couples who have finished theirs.

However, the apparently high removal rate of 1 in 14.2 households per year on the Cherry Tree/Beech Road estate in 1968 only represents 7% of the households and it is clear that the majority of families in the new housing are likely to settle more or less permanently and become stable social units as the new houses themselves mature into older houses and estate society consolidates itself with stable patterns of relationships. The rate of removal in the pre-1960 housing is much lower and the majority of the present generation of teenagers come from this pre-1960 housing.

Numerical evidence confirming or modifying the expected increase in teenagers will be available in October 1969 and will be comparable on a statistical basis with the predicted number.

Studies carried out in other communities, although showing that inward and outward rates of migration are notoriously difficult to predict accurately, also show that the method we adopted (see above) of making a static forecast and then adding a conservative figure for net inward migration are likely to be accurate in an expanding community. What is more important is that there is evidence that the problem will increase beyond the decade with which we have concerned ourselves and that there will still be a preponderance of teenagers in 15 to 25 years time. The basis for this statement arises from the fact that not only has the age of marriage fallen consistently in the last 20 years generally but that child-bearing and rearing is beginning and ending earlier and earlier within these marriages.

It would therefore be foolish to bury our heads and limit our provision for teenagers in 1970 – 1980 on the bland assumption that the wave will pass. The available evidence from elsewhere suggests that it probably won’t, providing that other economic and social factors remain broadly unchanged.

In conclusion we want to emphasize that the figures we have given for teenage population are probably the best that can be arrived at and our feeling is that they may prove to be on the conservative side but they indicate the real numerical core of the problem that Chinnor and its hamlets have to grasp and contend with as urgently as possible.

No comments yet.