The postwar baby boom is over, people have fled from inner London to the suburbs, and central areas of the city face a situation in which the numbers of young people are being virtually halved.
As a result, enrollment in London schools has dropped dramatically, and schools are unable to provide the wide range of subjects they once offered.
But now London has a new school, organized on federal lines. Education experts believe it will help cope with this crisis in the city's teaching system.
North Westminster Multicampus Community School has been designed as an answer to the sudden fall in pupil numbers in London. It consists of what were three separate schools, each suffering from low enrollment and teaching standards. The three schools have been brought together under a single headmaster.
Michael Marland, the man chosen to run the new school, believes that in the future, pupils will be able to move through its classes without any break in continuity --
Mr. Marland says that when his school is operating at planned capacity of 2, 000 pupils, it should be possible for young people to stay within it up to the time of university entrance.
The school will have 14 subject departments ranging from science to English as a second language, plus a special study-skills unit for teaching pupils such things as how to use a library.
Mr. Marland thinks that his three-site school will be in close touch with the surrounding community. He reports that the response of parents to the new program is enthusiastic.