Council gets £58m to provide up to 3,000 extra school places in North Yorkshire

Darlington and Stockton Times: Council to plough £58 million into schools in North Yorkshire to provide extra places Council to plough £58 million into schools in North Yorkshire to provide extra places

NORTH Yorkshire County Council will be spending £58m in the next five years in creating up to 3,000 extra school places.

The authority estimates it will need to provide the extra places in primary schools, as the birth rate increases and more houses are built, but officers believe they will still be up to £13m short of the money they need.

Extra cash has come from the Government, with £18m for this year and a further £39.3m to provide extra places up to 2017.

In the past two years an extra 900 places have been added to 24 primary schools with another 230 places already allocated in six primary schools up to 2015.

No details have yet been revealed of where the extra places will be provided. The council has 318 primary schools, with 36 secondary schools and ten academies.

Suzanne Firth, of Children and Young People’s Services told members of the council’s executive committee: "Although the additional £39.3m allocated for 2015/16 and 2016/17 will go a long way towards meeting this need it is unlikely that it will fully fund the requirements.

“On current estimates a further £13m would be needed to fully deliver the required primary places.”

Councillor Arthur Barker, North Yorkshire’s executive member for schools said: “The county council obviously faces significant challenges in the creation of additional school places, in maintaining the fabric of school buildings and in creating improvements in facilities to support high standards of teaching and learning.

“As an authority we have one of the largest number of schools in the country and as the country’s largest rural authority we must address complex issues in planning for additional school places.

"However, we are confident that the capital programme we have set will go a long way to supporting our immediate capital priorities.

“We welcome the opportunity to use the additional £40m provided by the Government.”

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