Surrey

Surrey school places 'not guaranteed' in 2015

School places are "not guaranteed" for children in Surrey due to a shortfall in funding, the leader of the county council has said.

Speaking at a meeting earlier, David Hodge said Surrey County Council may not be able to guarantee every child a school place next September.

He said its grant is currently £30m, however, the authority requires £84m.

The Department for Education said it was making "every effort" to stop class sizes increasing.

Mr Hodge said the county needs an additional 3,000 places for the academic year starting in September 2015, which would cost an extra £54m.

"Regrettably, without that £54m of fairer funding we may not be able to guarantee every Surrey child a school place in September 2015," he said.

"The scale of demand means that our funding is simply no longer enough."

'Free schools'

He said that in September 2014 the council provided an additional 4,100 spaces but did this only by "the skin of its teeth".

A Department for Education spokesman said: "As part of our plan for education we are making every effort to stop an unprecedented increase in pupil numbers affecting class sizes.

"We are giving Surrey County Council £104m from 2011-2015 to spend on new places - compared to just £24m by the previous government over an equivalent period.

"In addition, we have opened two free schools in the county - with one more due to open in September 2015.

"Once fully up and running they will provide over 1,800 additional places."

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