Local Authorities are responsible for providing enough school places for pupils in their area. The Department provides capital funding through the Basic Need grant to support Local Authorities to provide school places, based on their own pupil forecasts and school capacity data. This funding supports the Government’s priority to ensure that every pupil has the opportunity of a place at a good school, whatever their background.
The Department has announced a total of £2 billion for places needed for the academic years starting in 2023, 2024, 2025 and 2026. This funding is on top of our investment in the Free Schools programme and means the Department has now committed Basic Need capital funding of over £14 billion to support the creation of new school places between 2011 and 2026.
The Department regularly engages with Local Authorities to review their plans for creating additional places and to consider alternatives where necessary. When Local Authorities are experiencing difficulties, the Department supports them to find solutions as quickly as possible.