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Local planning over school places and admissions is essential, says NAHT

Russell Hobby, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT said: “Tomorrow parents will discover if they’ve secured the right secondary school place for their children. It’s a stressful time for many families.

“NAHT believes it would be less stressful if better planning at the local level ensured there were sufficient places where and when we need them. This is not rocket science. It is easy to predict the need for secondary places; and it just needs co-ordination across all the different school types to meet the demand. 

“Since 2011, the powers of local authorities in planning school places have been significantly reduced without an alternative system to take their place. As things stand, authorities, academies and central government are taking too many decisions in isolation. This is confusing for parents and is unreliable.

“The government’s own figures show they are expecting that 80,000 more secondary school places and 200,000 primary places will be needed in the next five years. The Local Government Association puts the cost of creating all the necessary places in Primary and Secondary over the next decade at £12 billion. With growth of this scale, the government’s laissez-faire approach is both inadequate and expensive.

“Until some agency at the local or regional level has the information and the clout to prioritise school places where they are most needed, parents and children will always be unsure that the system will give them what they want. This does not necessarily need to be a local authority, but someone does need to do it."


Page Published: 27/02/2016

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David Boot
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