Rugby MP Mark Pawsey has welcomed the news that the Government has announced an extra £2.35 billion to create more school places. This is in addition to the £5 billion that is already being spent in this parliament. This means that between 2014 and 2017 schools in Warwickshire will receive £3,465,289. This is part of the Government’s long-term plan to give every young person the opportunity to fulfil their potential.
It is the first time that councils have had 3-year allocations of funding to spend on school places, so Warwickshire County Council can plan ahead and ensure every child has a school place. This Government has already created 260,000 new school places and this announcement means thousands more are on the way.
“When the last Government was in power it ignored the fact that this country needed thousands more school places in the coming years, and did nothing to prepare. It is great news for young people in Rugby that this Government has found billions of pounds of extra funding to ensure every child has a place at school so that they can fulfil their potential.”
“Rugby has a very positive attitude to housing development and as more homes are built for hardworking local people more school places are needed. With this additional funding this Government is ensuring that our children have places at their local schools.”
Education Secretary Michael Gove said:
‘Labour were warned repeatedly that they hadn’t done enough to plan for a growing population – and once more it’s been left to the Coalition Government to clean up the mess.”
• Michael Gove announces over £2 billion for more school places. On 19 December 2012 the Education Secretary announced £2.35 billion to create more school places up to 2017 (Department for Education, 19 December 2013, link).
Labour’s record – cutting 200,000 primary places, cutting funding for extra primary places, and failing to control immigration
• Labour cut 200,000 primary places in the middle of a baby boom. The National Audit Office found: ‘the number of primary places fell by almost 207,000 (5 per cent) between 2003/04 and 2009/10. The challenge now is making sure there are sufficient places’. Labour cut places despite the fact that ‘between 2001 and 2011, the population of England and Wales showed the largest ten-year growth since the census began in 1801’ (National Audit Office, Capital funding for new school places, 15 March 2013, link).
• Labour cut funding for extra school places by a quarter. Between 2004 and 2009, Labour cut annual funding for new school places by £150 million, or 26 per cent. Funding fell from a peak of £566 million in 2004-05 to £419 million in 2009-10 (Hansard, 11 July 2011, Col. 96W, link).