Successful and popular schools that have been the victims of their own success, turning away pupils each year, can look forward to a less frustrating future. As a result of new guidance and funding they will find it easier to expand. The new arrangements flow from legislation that came into effect in June.Currently, local school organisation committees cannot agree to expansion proposals unless the required funding is in place. This means that proposals fail when they are not backed by local education authority funds. The government will now offer to fully fund the expansion so that local committees can evaluate all proposals on their merits.
To support the expansion 37m pounds has been allocated to local education authorities. There will be capital incentives to ensure that there are no capital barriers to local committees agreeing to the expansion of successful and popular schools.
The Government has also issued new guidance to the local committees and school adjudicators that decide these proposals to approve those for popular and successful schools unless there is evidence the school’s expansion will have a damaging effect on standards overall in the area.
New arrangements are also being introduced where a new school is needed to meet population growth. An open competition will be held so that parents,community groups, private and charitable companies, faith communities and other voluntary groups offering distinctive educational philosophies, as well as existing schools or consortia of schools, will be able to put forward their proposals for a new school.