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Secondary Education

Question for Department for Education

UIN 15418, tabled on 9 November 2015

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many planning areas in England are in need of additional secondary school places by September 2016; in how many of those planning areas has there never been an application to open a secondary or all-through mainstream free school; and in how of those planning areas there are no secondary or all-through mainstream free schools.

Answered on

19 November 2015

The Department collects information from each local authority on the number of available school places and pupil forecasts through the annual school capacity survey (SCAP). The main tables contain local authority level data. The underlying data on school capacity is published at school level and pupil forecasts at planning area level. The latest published data, relating to the position as reported at May 2014, can be found on GOV.UK [1].

The Department also publishes local authority basic need scorecards for primary schools. The latest scorecards relate to 2014 capacity and contain departmental estimates of the number of additional primary school places needed to meet demand in 2016/17, once existing plans for new places have been factored in. The latest data and details of the methodology used for the estimates can be found on GOV.UK [2]

The scorecard summary data shows that across England around 63,000 additional primary places were estimated to be needed to meet demand in 2016/17, based on capacity and planned places at May 2014. The Department does not publish data on the number of additional primary places needed to meet demand at planning area level.

The Department does not currently publish basic need scorecards for secondary school places.

Between 2003/4 and 2009/10 the total number of school places in the system reduced by 200,000, against a backdrop of rising birth rates. That is why the Coalition Government doubled the funding available to create new school places during the last Parliament to £5 billion, and this Government has committed to invest a further £7 billion during this Parliament. The latest published information shows there were 445,000 more school places in May 2014 than in May 2010, and we know that many more places have been delivered since then or are in the pipeline.

Over this Parliament, we have committed to open at least 500 new free schools.