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LGA responds to education announcement on selective schools

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Cllr Richard Watts, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Children and Young People Board, responded to the education announcement last week on selective schools by the Education Secretary 

“Councils are clear that they must have a say over whether or not selective schools are introduced in non-selective areas. As champions of local families and children, councils should have a say on the type of school introduced to their area. This should not be left to individual free school proposers. 

“To ensure new schools are established in the right places and meet the needs of local communities, councils must have a role in determining where new free schools are created. Local authorities know their areas best and are eager to work with applicants with a strong track record to identify potential school sites.  

“Councils have a statutory duty to ensure every child has a school place available to them but are under extreme pressure to accommodate rapidly rising numbers of pupils looking for a place. With 91 per cent of maintained schools now rated as either outstanding or good by Ofsted, now is the time for government to recognise councils as its education improvement partners.

“We agree that no child should be without a place but fear that they will no longer be able to meet the rising costs for the creation of spaces, nor find the space for new classes, if they aren’t given the money or powers to do so.

“The LGA is ready to work constructively with the Department for Education to ensure all children have the school places they need.”

Related information:  More than 130 new free schools to create more good places

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