Latest Public Sector News

07.04.14

Primary school places ‘crisis’in England – Labour

Labour has accused the government of creating a “crisis” for primary school placements, with many children facing the possibility of not being able to get a place in September.

However, the Department for Education (DfE) has dismissed the claims as “bogus”.

The opposition stated that Freedom of Information responses from 131 local authorities showed that 32 – a quarter of the total – believe that government funding for additional primary places is “insufficient” to meet demand for 2015/16.

But a DfE spokesperson said: “These figures are bogus. They are based on a completely false comparison and would only be true if local authorities had taken no action to create places since 2012/13, despite the huge amounts of money we have given them.

“We are giving councils £5bn 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.”

But Tristram Hunt MP, Labour’s shadow education secretary, responding to figures showing one in four English councils are forecasting a shortage of primary places, said that David Cameron is failing in his most important duty to children in this country: to ensure every child has a place at a good local school.

He defended Labour’s findings and added that the government’s policies are “damaging standards in our schools, with class sizes soaring, more temporary and unsuitable classrooms and children forced to travel further and further to get to school”.

Figures released by the DfE shortly before Christmas revealed that 3,514 schools across England had more pupils than their official capacity last May, but no councils reported having more pupils than places overall.

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email opinion@publicsectorexecutive.com

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

public sector executive tv

more videos >

last word

Prevention: Investing for the future

Prevention: Investing for the future

Rob Whiteman, CEO at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance (CIPFA), discusses the benefits of long-term preventative investment. Rising demand, reducing resource – this has been the r more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News

comment

Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >
How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

19/06/2019How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

Tom Chance, director at the National Community Land Trust Network, argues t... more >

interviews

Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need ... more >

the raven's daily blog

NSPCC: Working together to improve the support available for children who have been sexually abused

08/10/2019NSPCC: Working together to improve the support available for children who have been sexually abused

Hayley Clark, the acting head of development and impact at the NSPCC, talks about the significant gap in support services for children who have been sexually abused and the Ho... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this feeling of imminent change than the article James Palmer, mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, has penned for us on p28. In it, he highlights... read more >