Thames Valley & Hants: School Places Funded

Nearly 5,000 extra primary school places in Hampshire and the Thames valley will be funded by the Government.

The Education Minister's announced they will spend an extra £820 million to fund 74,000 new school places across the country.

David Laws said on Thursday the money will be provided through the Targeted Basic Need Programme and will see 45 new schools being built.

Due to rising birth rates a quarter of a million spaces are needed in England over the next year.

The money will also fund the expansion of 333 schools, which are rated as outstanding or good. 

8 bids for funding for more than 2,000 places in Reading have been successful, in Bracknell Forest it's 534, Hampshire 1295, Oxfordshire 247, Windsor 240, Wokingham 195 and West Berkshire 170.

The council's had collectively big for than £32 million in funding.

In a written ministerial statement, Mr Laws said: "I am delighted to announce that the Targeted Basic Need Programme will provide £820 million to fund an additional 74,000 high quality school places on top of those already created and funded - all in areas that face the greatest pressure on places. 

"These new places will be in 45 new schools and in 333 expanding schools that are rated as outstanding or good. The number of pupils in England will continue to rise and ensuring that every child is able to attend an outstanding or good school in their local area is at the heart of the Government's comprehensive programme of reform of the school system.'' 

He added: "We will continue to set up free schools where there is both demand from parents and where they can make the biggest difference to local provision through addressing basic need and improving the quality of local schools. 

"Over the longer term, we will also fund a further 500,000 places up to 2020-21, as announced in the recent spending round. 

"Again, we judge that this will be sufficient to meet the projected demand for school places.'' 

The funding programme, which was announced in March, will see local authorities bid for funding for new schools or expand existing schools.

More than £5 billion has been allocated over the spending review period, sufficient to provide 417,000 places needed by 2015. By September this year, the Government expects 190,000 extra places will have been created during this parliament.

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