In response to the National Audit Office's (NAO) report on schools capital funding, Cllr Peter John OBE, Deputy Chair of London Councils and Executive member with responsibility for education, said:
“We welcome the NAO’s report on school capital funding, which highlights how London in particular has experienced soaring demand for school places – our own figures show that more than 110,000 school places need to be created in London between now and 2021/22. In this decade alone London’s pupil population will have grown by 25 per cent.
“The NAO report shows that Government does not fully cover the cost of creating school places. As a result, councils are redirecting funding from other key services to ensure children’s educational needs are met, but this is simply unsustainable.
“It is also deeply worrying that free schools are not always being built in areas experiencing high demand for school places. London Councils has consistently been calling for free schools to be located in areas of demand for places to ensure that in these financially straitened times, Government investment in expanding school capacity does not go to waste.
“Enabling London boroughs to use their knowledge and expertise to help determine where new free schools should be built would be a positive first step towards ensuring better value for money from the free school programme.”
Notes to Editors:
London Councils Do The Maths report, published in September 2016, analyses demand for school places, school capacity, pupil population growth and available funding for school places in London.