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Primary Education: Greater London

Volume 501: debated on Wednesday 2 December 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families when his Department plans to announce allocation of funding to primary schools in the London boroughs of (a) Richmond and (b) Kingston upon Thames in respect of the September 2010 intake. (303018)

We announced on 30 November 2009 the allocation of £271 million of capital funding for the provision of additional primary places by 2011, to 34 authorities including both Richmond upon Thames and Kingston upon Thames. Richmond is allocated £3.3 million and Kingston £8.2 million. This will enable these authorities to start projects to provide additional permanent places for 2010 and beyond. This allocation is in addition to over £1.2 billion allocated nationally from 2008-11, to support the provision of additional school places.

It is the responsibility of local authorities to forecast and plan to provide school places where they are needed. The Government allocate capital funding to support their provision, based on local authority forecasts. However, we accept that in some areas there have recently been local demographic and other pressures which have made this unusually difficult. Therefore, in July, we invited all authorities which are experiencing exceptionally high and unpredicted increase in demand for additional primary school places to apply for additional funding.

Initially, we secured £200 million for this need, but when evaluating applications, and from discussions with authorities and representative bodies, we concluded that a larger sum, and more flexibility in our eligibility and allocation criteria, would provide appropriate support to a wide range of the neediest authorities.

The Department does not allocate revenue money directly to schools. Local authorities need to allocate budgets to schools for the 2010-11 financial year before the 31 March 2010.