Today I am announcing £1.15 billion of capital funding for 2018-19 to support the creation of the new school places needed by September 2019.
Ensuring that every child is able to attend a good or outstanding school in their local area is at the heart of the Government’s comprehensive programme of reform of the school system and vital for delivering educational excellence everywhere. We know that our growing population means that new school places are needed in many parts of the country and the Government is committed to providing capital investment to ensure every child has a place at school. The previous Government more than doubled funding for new places to £5 billion in the past Parliament. We are committed to investing £7 billion in this Parliament, and delivering 500 new schools. By May 2015, this investment had already helped to create nearly 600,000 additional school places since 2010, with 150,000 delivered in 2014/15 alone. Many more places are in the pipeline and still to come – with local authorities already having firm plans for 260,000 more places. This progress follows a decrease of 200,000 primary places between 2004 and 2010.
Today we are announcing £1.15 billion of funding for local authorities in 2018-19. This is in addition to the £3.6 billion already announced for 2015-18, taking total investment through this Parliament to £4.8 billion. In doing so, we continue to recognise that good investment decisions require certainty. Announcing allocations for 2018-19 today means local authorities can plan years ahead with confidence, and make good strategic investment decisions to ensure they deliver good school places for every child who needs one.
In making these allocations, the Government is continuing to target funding effectively, based on local needs, using data we have collected from local authorities about the capacity of schools and forecast pupil projections.
Most local authorities are successfully delivering additional school places – as the nearly 600,000 new places created since 2010 clearly demonstrates. However, where authorities are not delivering for parents, we will not hesitate to intervene.
Details of today’s announcement will be sent to local authorities and be published on the gov.uk website. Copies will be placed in the House Library.
This statement has also been made in the House of Commons