By victoria leggett Education correspondent
Thursday, March 7, 2013
An announcement worth around £32m will help Norfolk make “significant inroads” into providing extra school places.
The Department for Education has revealed the capital funding for each council to cover work to increase the number of pupils at schools and even build some new schools.
Norfolk County Council will get £32.27m – to last through to the end of 2015 – as part of its “basic need” funding for supplying the places for a growing number of school-aged children.
Earlier this year, the council published a “wish list” of projects to cope with a predicted increase in the school population of 9,000 by 2019.
It included new primary schools in Sprowston, Old Catton, Rackheath, Thetford, Wymondham and Attleborough.
A new secondary school is likely to be needed to the north of Norwich, with King’s Lynn, Hethersett, Cringleford, Bradwell, Fakenham and central Norwich all possible areas where new homes could lead to the need for new schools.
Chris Hey, head of places, planning and organisation for the county council, said the money would help the council make “significant in-roads”.
He added: “We will be looking at areas such as Norwich and Great Yarmouth where numbers are increasing, and those areas of the county where housing development plans put pressure on the existing system.”
Alison Thomas, cabinet member for children’s services, said she thought the settlement was “good and fair” for Norfolk and reflected both the short and long-term pressures on its school places.
Norfolk County Council will receive a further £12m in maintenance funding for ongoing improvements at its schools to cover the year 2013/2014.
Local authority-run schools and voluntary aided schools – like church schools – will also share a pot of about £4m for capital projects and improvements of their choosing. Academies and free schools will receive their maintenance funding directly from the government.
Suffolk will receive just under £22m in basic need funding over the next two years and £14m for maintenance and improvements in 2013/14.
Cambridgeshire gets nearly £20m over two years for the provision of school places plus just over £8m in 2013/14 for maintenance.