Croydon to get £8million for additional school places
THE Government has provided £8 million for additional school places in Croydon this year.
Education Secretary Michael Gove said the money would alleviate pressure in areas with the most significant shortfall in pupil places, though Croydon Central MP Gavin Barwell said it is a 'fraction' of what is needed.
The cash is part of an additional £500m made available to local authorities and funded through savings made when the Government halted the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme.
Croydon had won a joint bid with Kingston for £800m funding from the BSF scheme, established under the previous Labour Government, of which £500m would have gone to Croydon schools.
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Instead that figure will now be shared across the country, with schools in London granted more than half of the England-wide allocation, including Redbridge (£28.6 million), Barking and Dagenham (£23.8m) and Newham (£18m).
Neighbouring Sutton received £12m, with Bristol (£18.3m), Manchester (£10.1m) and Surrey (£11m) among the areas outside the capital to receive more money than Croydon.
Reacting to the announcement on his blog, Mr Barwell said: "The previous Government spent a lot of money on improving schools but the vast majority of it was spent on refurbishing secondary schools as opposed to primary schools or providing additional places and not a penny of that money came to Croydon so we are facing a backlog of work at a time when there isn't much money available.
"I am therefore delighted that Michael Gove has today announced a further £8 million for Croydon this year to provide additional places.
"It's only a fraction of what we are going to need to spend over the next few years but it’s a significant sum of money that will help the council address this problem."