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Primary School Places

Volume 511: debated on Monday 7 June 2010

9. How much funding he plans to allocate to (a) Slough borough council and (b) other local authorities where there are insufficient primary school places in order to increase the number of such places available in the current financial year; and if he will make a statement. (809)

School capital allocations announced in 2007 for the current spending period include £1.5 billion for new pupil places. Additionally, around £1.9 billion is allocated for primary school modernisation, some of which will fund new places. The capital support for Slough and its schools this year is some £25 million, including nearly £9 million specifically for new primary school places.

I am glad to hear that that £9 million is confirmed. It was given by the previous Government to increase the number of our primary places. We still have 60 reception and year 1 children who do not have places for next year and those funds are essential to provide them, but a note from the Library advised me that £32 million of Slough’s external finance, which includes a number of grants in relation to education, is at risk. As we have not had a detailed breakdown of what funds to local authorities have been protected by the Government, can the Minister assure me that £1 in £6 going from the Government to Slough borough council will not be cut by the coalition Government?

Despite the fact that the Government inherited a public finance deficit of £156 billion, we have been able to say that there will be no cuts in front-line funding for schools, Sure Start or 16-to-19 funding.