Department for Education
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£1.6 billion to help ensure every child has a school place

Details of local funding allocations to support the creation of the new school places needed by September 2018.

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 recently (12 February 2015).

Making sure there is a good local school place for every child in England that needs one is a key part of the government’s long-term plan for education.

Since 2010, the government has invested more than £5 billion which has helped to create more than 445,000 new school places across the country. A further £2.05 billion has already been allocated for 2015 to 2017.

Nicky Morgan and David Laws 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.

As well as this sustained investment going to local authorities, funding for new places is also provided through the free schools programme. Over 100,000 mainstream school places have already been created by more than 250 open free schools. In addition, around 100,000 more will be provided by free schools that have been approved but not yet opened. As well as ensuring more parents have the choice of a great local school, the vast majority of open and approved free schools are in areas facing a shortage of places.

Announcing the detail of funding allocations for 2017 to 2018 today means that local councils across the country will continue to benefit from a 3-year funding commitment, giving them certainty so they can plan ahead, make good investment decisions, and ensure every child that needs one has a school place in the coming years.

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said recently:

Delivering the best schools and skills is a key part of the government’s long-term economic plan and ensuring we can provide enough school places for the growing population is an essential part of this.

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.

Schools Minister David Laws said recently:

If we are to build a stronger economy and a fairer society it is crucial that every child has a place at a good local school.

The latest figures show local authorities are rising to the challenge and making great progress in ensuring there are enough places to meet demand.

The £1.6 billion we are allocating today is the next step in making sure local councils can plan for and create the new places that will be needed all the way up to September 2018.

This investment in education will ensure every child has the opportunity to succeed.

The recent announcement builds on the major funding boost outlined earlier this week detailing how more than £6 billion will be invested in improving the condition of schools across England. This includes £2 billion for rebuilding or refurbishing buildings at 277 schools under the second phase of the government’s flagship priority school building programme, and over £4 billion to schools, councils, trusts and others for local improvement projects.

Notes to editors

  1. The government has more than doubled the funding for new school places to £5 billion in this Parliament. By May 2014, this investment has already helped to create an additional 445,000 school places with many more created since then and in the pipeline.

  2. The government announced in June 2013 that it would commit to investing an additional £7 billion in new school places in 2015 to 2021. £3.6 billion of this funding has now been allocated to local authorities across 2015 to 2018 with more to follow in subsequent years.

  3. £300 million was held back from the 2015 to 2017 allocations announced in December 2013. £276.7 million of this has now been allocated to local authorities facing significant and unexpected increases in pupil numbers. £23.3 million was funded for adjustments to the 2015 to 2017 allocations.

  4. Once fully operational, all open and pipeline free schools will provide around 200,000 places. This includes over 160,000 school places from reception year to year 11 in mainstream schools and around 40,000 places for sixth forms, 16 to 19 colleges, and other non-mainstream schools (such as special schools or alternative provision schools).

  5. The criteria for the free school programme are clear that, alongside parental demand, we expect free schools to be meeting a recognised need, providing new places where there is a shortage, or where standards in existing schools are low. 94% of mainstream free schools approved in the past 3 application rounds serve areas where there is a projected shortage of places.

  6. Details of the local funding allocations are available.

  7. Details of the methodology used to calculate the recent allocations are available

  8. Details of the underlying data used for the allocation of pupil places are available.

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