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Primary Education: Admissions

Volume 472: debated on Wednesday 20 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what account the Primary Capital Programme will take of the removal of surplus places; and if he will make a statement. (185333)

We believe it is right that we should challenge local authorities to make best use of resources by taking action to balance the demand and supply of school places. Our guidance Primary Capital Programme: Guidance for local authorities on developing their primary strategy for change makes clear that strategies that fail to commit to doing so will not be approved. However, the guidance also acknowledges that it will not always be practicable, or desirable, to remove all surplus places and that authorities should allow for parental choice, accessibility of schools and possible future increase in pupil numbers due to demographic changes. It also recognises that in order to preserve access for young children, there may be more empty places in schools in rural areas than in urban areas.