Released on 27 February 2013
Continued delays at the Department for Education risk adding to London’s shortage of school places, councils in the capital warned this week.
Local authorities have been waiting since November for the Department for Education to publish basic need allocation funding, which councils use to invest in new classrooms to meet rising demand in the capital. To be ready for the September 2014 intake, boroughs need to begin the construction process now.
Cllr Peter John, London Councils’ Executive Member for Children and Young People, said:
“London boroughs are doing their utmost to provide every child with a school place, but this is becoming increasingly difficult with ongoing increases in demand and a lack of surety of funding from the Department for Education.”
“The government needs to reassure worried parents by announcing how much money is available and so allowing boroughs to get on with building much-needed classrooms.”
Demographic pressures mean that by 2015, 90,000 extra places will be needed in London. Boroughs have seen a decline in the number of families moving areas due to the stagnation of the housing market as well as a decline in numbers of pupils attending private schools. These factors, coupled with the rising birth rate in London, have led to the shortage of school places.
Boroughs need to know how much they are getting to meet this rising demand. Without this certainty, schools may be forced invest in temporary facilities rather than permanent classrooms.
NOTES TO EDITORS
The timeline of London Councils’ correspondence with the DfE is outlined below:
To date, no further announcement has been made.