New government funding for schools places ‘not enough on its own to cover places needed in some areas of Norfolk’

James Joyce

James Joyce - Credit: Archant

Education chiefs have warned that new government money will not be enough to cover all the cost of providing new school places over the coming years.

The Department for Education has announced that Norfolk will receive £33.6 million for new school places over the next three years, the first time it has given a three-year settlement to help councils plan ahead.

Suffolk will receive £13.1 million, while Cambridgeshire will receive £14.3 million.

James Joyce, deputy leader of Norfolk County Council, said: 'Hundreds of school places will be needed in the coming years to help with pressure of growth, particularly in primary schools. Although we already knew our allocation for 2014-15, the funding for the following two years means that we can plan with more certainty.

'This grant alone will not be enough to fund the places that are needed in some areas of the county and we will still need to secure developer contributions in areas where new housing puts extra pressure on places.'

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Ministers also announced money to help schools provide the kitchen facilities needed when free school meals are given to all infants from September 2014.

South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon said: 'It is great news for young people, both in my constituency and across Norfolk, that this Government has found extra funding to ensure every child has a place at school so that they can fulfil their potential.

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'This is the first time that councils have had three-year allocations of funding to spend on school places. This will help to provide Norfolk County Council with added stability and allow greater certainty when planning ahead to ensure that every child has a school place.

'This is very good news which will cheer parents, teachers, governors and anyone who cares about education in Norfolk.'

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