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Volume 493: debated on Tuesday 2 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what (a) financial and (b) other assistance his Department gives to local authorities in which numbers of children on primary school rolls rapidly increase. (275998)

[holding answer 15 May 2009]: To provide for growth in pupil numbers the Department has allocated over £1.2 billion capital funding to fund extra school places between 2008-09 and 2010-11. Because primary pupil numbers are rising faster in some areas than previously anticipated, the Department are currently considering what additional support it can offer those authorities in greatest need.

School revenue funding to local authorities is based on actual pupil numbers recorded in the January School Census. For 2009-10, an authority’s funding will be based on pupil numbers from January 2009. As a result, increases in pupil numbers up to that point will be reflected in authorities’ revenue funding. In addition, authorities that have significant increases in pupils between April and September of each year may be eligible for an exceptional circumstances grant. For each authority experiencing an increase in overall pupil numbers above 2.5 per cent. between the January and autumn censuses, the grant will be an amount equal to 7/12 of their Guaranteed Unit of Funding per pupil for each pupil above the 2.5 per cent. threshold.