Leeds funding bid successful for more school places
Funding to expand seven schools has been secured by Leeds City Council which will help create an extra 1,250 school places for Leeds pupils by 2015.
It has been announced today that Leeds was successful in its bid for funding through the government’s Targeted Basic Need programme.
Councillor Judith Blake, executive member responsible for children’s services said:
“We welcome this funding which will help us continue our on-going city-wide school expansion programme which has already created 1020 school places since 2009.
“Ensuring we have enough school places for all children and young people is a high priority in Leeds and we have been working very hard to mitigate the impact of rising pupil numbers across the city.
“The increasing birth rate, along with people moving into the city, and cross-border movement between neighbouring authorities, as well as new housing developments means there are still ongoing pressures we need to address over the next four years.
“This funding will enable us to allocate more of our existing capital to other schools in areas where demand for places is high. We are especially pleased that two of the schools we have received funding for are for children with special educational needs.
“We are disappointed that our bid for a further four schools was not successful, but we are constantly working to ensure no child is without a school place.”
The Department for Education’s Targeted Basic Need Programme will fund the provision of new, high quality school places in locations experiencing basic need pressures in order to prepare for future rises in pupil numbers. It gives additional support to those local authorities experiencing the greatest pressure on places by funding new academies and free schools as well as enabling investment to expand outstanding and good schools with high levels of demand.
Bids submitted to the Targeted Basic Need Programme had to meet specific criteria including:
• Schools proposed for expansion must be rated good or outstanding by Ofsted and significantly oversubscribed.
• Any new school must be proposed on land owned by or readily available to, the local authority.
• An assumption that where the local authority seeks to create a new school it is under a duty to seek proposals to establish that school as a free school or academy.
• Providing an initial assessment of how we propose to ensure quality and diversity of new schools and evidence of a range of potential sponsors
• There needed to be a reasonable degree of certainty that any highways and planning issues could be overcome.
• The places must be available for September 2014 or 2015 at the latest.
For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713