Commenting on an FOI request response detailing the cost to Government of purchasing freehold sites for free schools in London, Cllr Peter John OBE, Deputy Chair of London Councils and Executive member with responsibility for education, said:
“We have been concerned for a number of years about whether the free school programme is delivering value for money. The recent closure of Southwark free school is a stark example of this.
“The issue is particularly urgent for London’s schools as they are experiencing huge pressure on school places. They also stand to lose £360 million next year due to the new National Funding Formula for schools and wider costs.
“As councils have the legal duty to provide school places we strongly believe that Government should work more closely with councils and devolve funding for the free school programme.”
London Councils has also submitted written evidence to a Public Accounts Committee enquiry on capital funding for schools.