Extra government funding will ensure that every child in England has access to a school place, it has been announced.
A further £1.6 million will be invested as the government seeks to deliver local school places to pupils - a central part of the long-term plan for education put forward by the coalition.
Some £1.3 billion has been earmarked for 2017 and 2018, and this money will be used by local authorities to boost school places ahead of the September 2018 intake. An additional £300 million is also being allocated between 2015 and 2017 to help those locations dealing with significant and unexpected increases in their pupil numbers.
It means that since 2010, the government has funnelled £5 billion into this particular project, creating more than 445,000 new school places across the country in the process. Funding for new places is also being provided through the free schools programme.
"Delivering the best schools and skills is a key part of the government's long-term economic plan and ensuring we can provide enough school places for the growing population is an essential part of this," said education secretary Nicky Morgan.
Schools minister David Laws believes a strong education system is vital for building a "stronger economy and fairer society", adding that the latest investment will "ensure every child has the opportunity to succeed".
It represents the latest funding initiative for English schools. Last week, a £6 billion package of measures was announced to improve the condition of schools across the country, including £2 billion for rebuilding or refurbishing buildings 277 schools.
This funding allows local authorities to plan ahead for the next three years and removes much of the uncertainty they faced. The government is hoping this will drive good investment decisions.
Posted by Theo Foulds