South Gloucestershire has a rich natural and cultural heritage. Attractive and historic landscapes link unspoilt market towns and villages and established rural and urban communities with major new residential areas and industrial and commercial developments. The area stretches from the Severn Estuary in the west to the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in the east, whilst its southern boundary borders the city of Bristol.
Much of our population (62%) lives in the suburbs to the north and east of Bristol. There are also the large towns of Yate, Thornbury and Chipping Sodbury, where a further 18% of our residents reside, plus the population centres of Winterbourne and Frampton Cotterell. Around 20% of our residents live in rural locations.
South Gloucestershire is home to 94 primary maintained schools and academies. There are 15 secondary maintained schools and academies, one University Technical College (UTC) and one Studio School. There are also five special schools which provide for a range of needs and the council is currently working with the Department for Education for the provision of a further free special school providing for children with Severe Learning Difficulties and Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties.
In South Gloucestershire a greater proportion of school age children identified with SEND have an EHC plan in place than the England national average (3.2% of school aged children in South Gloucestershire compared to 2.8% across England). In contrast, there is a lower proportion of children receiving SEND support in South Gloucestershire than the national averages. You can read more about our SEND Strategy here.
In October 2017, our overall school age population was counted as 39,030, with 4,391 receiving SEN support and 1,720 children with EHC plans. Our primary population was 23,326 and secondary was 15,704.
South Gloucestershire is an area of diversity and contrast with a mix of long-established urban communities, vibrant market towns, small villages and substantial new development. Its strong yet differing communities have individual needs and aspirations and the diversity of our landscapes and neighbourhoods contribute to a high quality of life.
We have a growing population of around 271,000 living in 113,000 households which is split roughly 50/50 between the sexes. According to the 2011 census, the area is predominantly white with a BAME population of 13,193, which amounts to around 5.0% of our total population.
Our residents enjoy a high-quality local environment and South Gloucestershire is relatively affluent, although there are some pockets of deprivation at a sub-ward level, mainly in our urban areas.
South Gloucestershire is one of the best connected areas in the country and within easy commuting access from Bristol, Bath, Wiltshire, Somerset, South Wales and beyond. It has excellent road and rail links including the M4 and M5 motorways and a major mainline rail station Bristol Parkway at Stoke Gifford providing fast links to London, Birmingham, Cardiff and Southampton.