Barry Sheerman – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Department for Education

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Barry Sheerman on 2016-04-08.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what her policy is on ensuring that co-ordinated school place planning is retained in the event of all state schools becoming academies.

Edward Timpson

Local authorities (LAs) have a legal obligation to ensure that there are sufficient local schools to provide a primary and secondary place for all children needing one. Supporting LAs to do this continues to be one of the Government’s top priorities. That is why we have committed to spending £7 billion on school places up to 2021, which, alongside investment in the free schools programme, we expect to create 600,000 new places. This is on top of the £5 billion the Coalition Government spent between 2011 and 2015, which helped to create 600,000 additional places between 2010 and 2015.

LAs have always relied on their strong relationships with local schools to deliver the places needed and this will remain the case in a fully academised system. For example, many local authorities are recognising the opportunity that the free schools programme provides and are encouraging new and existing high quality education providers to apply to set up a new school in their area. We encourage all local authorities to do likewise.