School places
We are spending £5bn by 2015 on creating new school places — more than double the amount spent by the previous Government in the same timeframe. By September, we expect 190,000 extra places will have been created, with many more still to come, and are working with councils to ensure funding is targeted where it is most needed. And recently we announced a further £7.5bn will be spent on funding 500,000 school places by 2021. We are building more schools, letting the most popular schools expand. Some weaker schools have thousands of empty places, so we are driving up standards so that more parents want to send their children there. Labour cut funding for extra school places by 26 per cent. The Department for Education provides funding for extra school places through ‘basic need’ funding. ‘Basic need’ funding is allocated to and distributed by local authorities, enabling schools to expand capacity by building new classrooms. Between 2004 and 2009, Labour cut basic need funding by £150m, or 26 per cent. Funding fell from a peak of £566m in 2004-05 to £419m in 2009-10. Mark A Williams, Chairperson of Chester Liberal Democrats said: “I am sure that every family is glad that we are increasing the number of school places to cope with demand, ensuring that their child gets the all important school place and preferably at the location of their choosing”

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