Paul Whiteman, general secretary of NAHT, which represents the majority of school leaders in England and Wales, said: “The problem is that in an increasingly fragmented school system we lack a co-ordinated approach to place planning. Local authorities are responsible for ensuring sufficient school places, but the powers and resources necessary for them to do so were removed in 2011. Since then, planning has happened in a haphazard way; 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.
“The government’s own figures show that an extra 418,000 secondary school places will be needed in England by 2027, to meet the 14.7 per cent rise in pupil population. There is a desperate need for long-term planning that spans all sectors. Until the government creates a national strategy to guarantee there are enough school places for every child in England, parents and pupils will always end up being short-changed somewhere along the line.”
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