Yesterday parents in England found out whether their child got into the primary school of their choice.
Michael Gove’s Department of Education announced this week that places in 90% of free primary schools are ‘over-subscribed’. The increase in demand for primary school places is said to be due to a surge in birth rates over the past decade. A fifth of England’s primary schools are over-subscribed and according to a recent report.
Across the UK there are more primary school places this year (4.4 million) than there are primary-age children (4 million). However people want their kids to go to school near to where they live and those spare places available aren’t necessarily where the children live.
Labour accused the Government of creating a “crisis in school places” but the Department for Education dismissed the figures as “bogus”, saying that they did not take into account new places created since 2012/13.
A Department for Education spokesman said the following:
We are giving councils £5 billion to spend on new school places over this Parliament – double the amount allocated by the previous government over an equivalent period.
This funding has already led to the creation of 260,000 new school places, all of which are in areas where there is a shortage of places. All councils should now have plans in place to meet the need for this September and we will hold to account any that fails to do so.
In addition we have also confirmed a further £2 billion for basic need up to 2017. Investment in free schools is on top of this funding, and in fact seven in 10 free school places are in areas of basic need.