Free school funding will create fraction of places pledged in budget, says Labour

The Guardian reports that party claims Cash Philip Hammond committed for Conservatives’ flagship policy will pay for just 13,000 new places.

The government’s flagship education policy announced in the budget, to spend £320m creating 70,000 free school places, is likely to deliver only about a fifth of that number, according to the Labour party.

Such a cost would thus instead bring between 13,000 and 15,000 places rather than the number billed by Theresa May in a pre-budget article on new education spending.

The DfE said it disputed the calculation, and that the £320m was for this parliament only, with the full amount to be spent “set out at a later date”.

The £320m for another generation of free schools has proved controversial, in part because some will be the first wave of new grammar schools in decades, despite grave doubts over their effect on social mobility.

A DfE spokesman said: “Free schools are playing a vital role in creating more good school places and are 29% cheaper to build than schools built under the previous programme.

More at Free school funding will create fraction of places pledged in budget, says Labour

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Categories: Budgets, Free Schools and Learning.


  1. And how many of these new schools will be in the wrong place and close because of undersubscription like so many which have been opened and closed within a couple of years at great wasted expense? Isn’t this why local authorities should be given the role of planning and providing schools places?

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