£1.6 billion to help ensure school places


Details of how £1.6 billion will be invested to create thousands of new school places across England have been outlined by Education Secretary Nicky Morgan and Schools Minister David Laws.

The government ministers have confirmed that:

  • a further £1.3 billion will be provided in 2017 to 2018 to help ensure every local authority has the school places they need ready for September 2018
  • an additional £300 million will be allocated in 2015 to 2017 to help provide school places in areas experiencing significant and unexpected increases in their pupil numbers - this is in addition to the £2.05 billion already allocated for this period.

The £1.3bn will be paid to English councils in 2017-18 to ensure they have enough school places in September 2018.

The allocation is based on information provided by councils on the number of extra places they will need.

Local councils said they needed powers to open new schools to avoid a pupil places crisis.

The funding is part of £7bn announced by the government in 2013 to provide enough places from 2015 to 2021.

Of this some £2.05bn has already been allocated for 2015-17.

This will be topped up by an extra £300m to help provide school places in areas experiencing significant increases in pupil numbers, say ministers.

The government says that since 2010 it has so far spent more than £5bn to create more than 445,000 school places.

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said: “Since 2010 we have more than doubled the funding for new school places to £5 billion, helping to create almost half a million places. And thanks to the free school programme we are providing additional schools - the majority of which are in areas of need - and giving thousands more parents the choice of a high-quality local school.

“This new £1.6 billion investment for school places will ensure local councils can plan ahead and guarantee that there is a school place for every child that needs one in the years to come.”

School Leadership Today