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Good School Places

Volume 670: debated on Monday 20 January 2020

14. What steps his Department is taking to increase the number of good school places in England. (900252)

Delivering good–quality school places is a top priority for this Government. We are on track to create 1 million places between 2010 and 2020, with 920,000 already created. That is the largest increase in school capacity for at least two generations. As at August 2019, 86% of schools inspected by Ofsted were rated good or outstanding, compared with 68% in 2010.

A huge number of new homes are being built in my constituency, and parents are genuinely worried that the school places to accommodate them will not be built in time. What assurances can the Minister give me that that is not the case?

We are providing funding to local authorities for every place that is needed, based on local authorities’ own data. In addition, when future housing developments are driving pupil numbers, we expect the local planning authority to negotiate significant developer contributions to help to meet the demand for new schools. In our manifesto, we committed to amending planning rules so that the infrastructure, including schools, comes before people move into new homes. I know that my hon. Friend is concerned about this issue, and I would be happy to meet him and his local authority to ensure that the right action is being taken in his area.