Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders' union NAHT, said:
“The lack of school places is an issue which isn’t going away. The massive increase in pupil numbers over the next few years, particularly at secondary age, will only make it harder. Integrated local planning of school places across maintained, academy and free schools is vital to ensure sufficient provision in all areas of the country.
“Local authorities are responsible for ensuring sufficient school places but the powers and resources necessary to do so have been removed. They are unable to require academies to expand, for example. In an increasingly fragmented school system we lack a co-ordinated approach to place planning. Instead it’s haphazard; decisions are being made in isolation and new schools and new school places are not always being commissioned in the areas they are most needed.
“Until the government sorts its act out and comes up with a national strategy to guarantee there are enough school places for every child in England, parents and children will always be unsure that the system will give them what they want.”
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