There is nothing to prevent local authorities from using the funding delivered for the Primary Capital programme to provide new primary school places where there is need. The Primary Capital programme challenges local authorities to join up funding streams in support of a long term strategic approach to capital investment across the primary school estate, which will include providing sufficient permanent school places where they are wanted. Our expectation, therefore, is that all investment in primary schools should support the strategic objectives outlined in each authority’s primary strategy for change. Decisions about investment priorities and how these should be funded are rightly matters for local determination.
On 30 November 2009, the Department confirmed funding of up to £300 million to support the provision of additional primary places in authorities experiencing exceptional growth in the number of primary pupils. This is on top of more than £1.2 billion already available to local authorities collectively from 2008 until 2011 to help them provide permanent new places in areas of population growth.