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New £2.4bn funding announced for new school places and building upgrades

05/04/2017 Joanna

The Department for Education has announced the allocation of £2.4 billion of funding to help schools upgrade their premises and create additional student places.

This consists of £980 million of funding for local authorities to help them create more than 60,000 school places between 2019 and 2020, coming as part of a wider investment of £7 billion in the course of the current parliament. The goal remains to create an additional 600,000 places by 2021.

Additionally, £1.4 billion will be handed over to schools, local authorities and academy trusts to invest in improving the condition of their school estates, with the total including £466 million offered through the Condition Improvement Fund to fund 1,435 projects across 1,184 academies and sixth-form colleges.

It was also confirmed that the government is still looking to lift the ban on new grammar schools to improve the supply of high-quality places across the country. This would be done on the strict condition that any new grammar schools improve the education of other pupils in the system.

Education secretary Justine Greening said: "Our Plan for Britain is to build a fairer society, with a good school place available for every child. This £2.4 billion investment, together with our proposals to create more good school places, will help ensure every young person has the opportunity to fulfil their potential."

Government data indicates that almost 735,000 additional school places have been created since 2010, with 92 per cent of new primary places and 89 per cent of secondary places created in schools rated as good or outstanding by Ofsted in 2015 to 2016.

Local councils have said they need to create more than 230,000 primary and secondary school places nationally between 2017 and 2020, which the new funding will help to deliver.

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