4,300 extra school places needed in Norfolk

Norfolk County Council needs is creating more than 4,000 new places in schools, but admits it does not know if government cash will cover the cost. Norfolk County Council needs is creating more than 4,000 new places in schools, but admits it does not know if government cash will cover the cost.

Friday, August 29, 2014
10:04 AM

Norfolk’s booming population means council bosses are planning for an extra 4,300 school places within four years - but they admit it is unclear if government money will cover the cost.

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As research was published which indicated local councils are having to plug a shortfall of at least £1bn to provide new school places, Norfolk County Council revealed it is planning for 4,337 extra places by 2018.

And the council says, while it has been handed almost £34m from the Department for Education to create new school places, it cannot be sure if that will be enough.

Research by the Local Government Association (LGA) suggested more than three quarters of council had not received enough government money to create extra school places between 2011 and 2016.

More than a third of the councils who said they did not receive enough funding said they had borrowed money, two thirds used money from developers, over a fifth took funds from other building programmes and half used cash from other school projects, such as school building maintenance, the LGA said.

But a spokeswoman for Norfolk County Council said: “We received £33.599m (split £16.135m, £8.519m and £8.945m) capital grant from government to be used over 2014/15, 2015/16 and 2016/17.

“We do not yet know whether the Department for Education money is sufficient to last until 2016/17, but we have the opportunity to plan and prioritise where we spend the money.

“We also haven’t yet allocated £5.390m of the overall £33.599m which will allow us to address additional pressures should they arise.”

The council said all children set to start registration year in a Norfolk school from next month had been allocated a place.

The spokeswoman added the council had not been forced to borrow extra money to support growth in pupil numbers and had not cancelled or changed any school capital projects to address growth in other schools.

But the council has used money from developers to help build schools and provide places - £2.4m in 2010/11, £793,000 in 2012/13 and £3.4m in 2013/14.

David Simmonds, chairman of the LGA’s children and young people’s board, said of the report: “The scale of this black hole is such that the cost of the creation of new school places cannot be met by council taxpayers.

“The lack of school places is no longer confined to primary schools but is spreading to secondary schools, and across the country we estimate more than 200,000 places will be needed.

“Councils face a challenge to create places on time and in the right areas, in a climate where they are also short of money to do so.”

The Department for Education has previously said it is making around £5bn of funding available to councils to create new school places, with around 212,000 new primary places created between May 2010 and May last year.

• Do you have a schools story? Call education reporter Martin George on 01603 772468 or email martin.george@archant.co.uk

13 comments

  • Starve and die off, when we are one of the most arable regions, inbreeding with millions in the area? As you obviously are incapable of a discussion without reasoning, and resort to little insults. I think I'll leave it here as the inbreeders are better then your family line.

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    WTH

    Saturday, August 30, 2014

  • WTH think you have a problem if they took your approach and others and closed off norfolk to others it would starve and die off, and during that time the amount of inbreeding would grow likely topsie-. I suggest you vent your frustration to the new CEO of NCC. ANOTHER person moving to norfolk to take up a job. I have to say though probably being overpaid as the rest of the massive structure at county hall.

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    JB

    Saturday, August 30, 2014

  • JB, so no claimants will live in them as buy to let properties? We have close to 800,000 a year coming here, whilst we have over 2 million unemployed, and 1 million of our youth as neats. We can not provide 3 million jobs as it is, not alone a further 800,000 a year forever more. This in turn is driving down wages(as being felt by most), and if we can't give them jobs, then just more benefit claimants, that will put more pressure on taxpayers, then less wealth. Most are NMW workers, and once they have children, cost this country a fortune in costs, that they will barely ever contribute towards. The pension argument for it is rubbish, as based on them coming and working 10 years, to then go home..Well 80% want to stay, pension myth blown out the water. The true answer is, there is not enough proper jobs out there that don't need topping up by tax credits etc. If immigration is such a benefit, how come our debt keeps getting bigger with 8 million new immigrants? If a 2 child family on NMW, they cost the taxpayer close to £20k a year in costs, but our governemnt clap in glee as they only count the £20 a week they may pay in tax towards the economy..As for mainly being for locals, it's about 5050 moving in where I live, and they are immigrants.

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    WTH

    Saturday, August 30, 2014

  • WTH, if you were to look around you, most,of developments are being built for private developments, with only limited joint housing association. They tend to be filled by locals. Therefore it is families moving for lifestyle. When returned to norfolk for a while we lived in wymondham a small town with great schooling. All or new friends on the estate were people who moved into the area. All with good jobs and all,with good spending power as a norfolk boy returning home, I welcomed them, they were open minded not stuck n the rut. If these people didn't come in then the county would be hugely worse off. Subsequently they along with me now live in different parts of the world! It's called progression and it won't go away. Read again my previous posting, the problem is internal, huge bureaucratic structures costly millions!,,,,

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    JB

    Saturday, August 30, 2014

  • I find it amazing some peoples heads are in the sand. WAKE UP. Can you imagine where we will be in a few years time if nothing is done.

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    sharky

    Friday, August 29, 2014

  • JB, we want to keep it nice! How do we know they will have wealth? They could mostly be those on benefits being moved on from london due to the benefit ceiling for all we know. They are trying to ship them all over, and a quick link to London will help sell it..Not like we would ever be told.

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    WTH

    Friday, August 29, 2014

  • Well that is what you get for having such a nice area to live. What you have to consider is that the influx is mainly people moving into the area because they want to get away from the rat race. Having that choice means they have some wealth and can afford to do it. The wealth in turn is spent locally which in turn provides a good economy, jobs and everything else which goes with it. there is no question that the public services personnel numbers need reducing getting flatter structures with quicker responses to decision making. too much bureaucratic chitchat to justify their jobs. that saving would go well towards the funding required for additional classes and teaching jobs which matter.

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    JB

    Friday, August 29, 2014

  • Wonder why it doesnt give the reasons for this. Oh!! maybe its the R word they are frightened of. Another R word comes to mind. Rotherham.

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    sharky

    Friday, August 29, 2014

  • We shall NEVER see the end to the urbanization of Norfolk and our country. When its gone its gone.

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    guest

    Friday, August 29, 2014

  • Make London pay for it all, I bet it is due to their social engineering for their little social playthings of the moment.

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    WTH

    Friday, August 29, 2014

  • Here we go...here we go.... here we go ! Give it a rest John.

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    LARSON.E. WHIPSNADE

    Friday, August 29, 2014

  • Exactly why there must be more cuts to public pensions and benefits to pay for more schools, roads and hospitals to treat and educate the millions of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants now coming to our country, we must all be a bit more tolerant and prepared to wait a bit longer for treatment and pay a bit more from our wages in tax etc

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    blister

    Friday, August 29, 2014

  • This is getting crazy, we keep building houses and bringing people into the county when we simply haven't got the infrastructure to handle it.

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    Catton Man

    Friday, August 29, 2014

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