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Manchester to run out of Primary school places

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Manchester will RUN OUT of primary school places in this Parliament, even if they deliver existing plans

Ahead of national offer day (18th April) when parents find out which primary school their child will be attending in September, new analysis published by the Labour Party reveals the strain on the system caused by the Government’s failed approach to planning for school places which will leave Manchester short on places by next year.

  • New figures reveal that around half of councils will run out of primary school places in this Parliament – even after their plans for more primary places are taken into account.
  • Manchester will have a shortfall of 6696 places by 2020.
  • Councils can’t direct academies to expand to take more pupils. With the Tories’ plan to force every school to become an academy, the already broken system for school places will implode.
  • New analysis also shows that the Government’s flagship Free Schools programme – where Free Schools can be opened where there are no shortages – is not addressing the pressure on schools places. By the end of the last Parliament, Free Schools had only been opened in 4 per-cent of local planning areas that were in need of more primary places.

Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary and MP for Manchester Central Lucy Powell, said:

“Parents will be distressed to learn that on the Government’s current plans, half of local areas will not have enough school places to cope with demand by the end of this Parliament. This Government has tied the hands of councils when it comes to opening and expanding schools, and now we are see that the very serious consequences of this for children and families.

“At the same time, the Tory plan to force every school to become an academy will not only fail to tackle the crisis in school places, but will cause the system for planning for new places to implode, as councils are unable to direct to expand to take more pupils. With such huge challenges facing our schools, the Government must immediately U-turn on their costly, reorganisation of the schools system, which has widespread opposition from parents, school leaders and even Tory MPs, and remove the bureaucracy that councils face when it comes to opening and expanding schools, so that every child is guaranteed a good school place.”

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