A Strong Voice for Croydon Central - Gavin Barwell MP
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Funding for new school places in Croydon
09/12/2013 08:33:00


One of the biggest challenges that our borough faces at the moment is providing sufficient school places to cater for our growing population of school-age children.

I've spent the last three and a half years lobbying Government for more funding to help Croydon Council cope - we are under more pressure than any other local authority in the country.

Anyhow, my colleague Steve Reed recently asked a Parliamentary question about this and the answer provides a useful comparison of the support we've had from this Government compared to the previous one (whose immigration policies are in part responsible for the growth in the school-age population that we are currently seeing):

Mr Steve Reed: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what measures his Department is planning to take to address any shortfall of primary school places in the London Borough of Croydon over the next three years; and if he will make a statement. [177929]

Mr Laws: The Department for Education is investing significant amounts of funding to help local authorities across England to create new school places where they are needed.

On 1 March 2013, we allocated just under £63.3 million to Croydon for the financial years 2013-15 to help the local authority create the additional school places that would be needed by September 2015. Croydon's pupils will also benefit from £48.7 million invested through the Targeted Basic Need programme, which will support the local authority to build five new schools and expand three existing schools, creating a further 4,090 new places by September 2015.

This brings the total funding allocated for new school places during the period 2011-15 to £144 million, compared with £17.7 million provided to Croydon during 2007-11. In addition, three new free schools are due to open in September 2014. When full, they will provide an additional 2,410 school places in the area.

We have improved the way that basic need funding is allocated to target money at the areas that need new school places the most. We have secured a good settlement for the next spending period which confirms the capital funding available to us up to 2021. We expect to announce further funding for Croydon and other local authorities shortly.

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Gavin Barwell, House of Commons, SW1A 1AA, Tel  020 8660 0491      © Gavin Barwell  2017       Promoted by Ian Parker on behalf of Gavin Barwell, both at 36 Brighton Road, Purley, CR8 2LG