An extra £92 million has been allocated to KCC by the Department for Education to help it meet the need for more school places across the county over the next three years.
This funding from the Basic Need Allocations is in addition to the £27.5million already promised for 2015-17.
It follows vigorous efforts by KCC to gain increased schools funding because of anticipated demand through population growth, housing developments and inward migration.
“We had serious concerns over the allocations for 2015/16 and 16/17 because of the significant increase in the demand for primary school places and we voiced those concerns quite forcibly. So we are delighted with this outcome.
“It means we will be able to implement plans which provide the required school places, wherever possible. However we are far from complacent about it as the scale of this task is still huge.
“For the next few years the pressure will be predominantly for primary school places, but the need for extra secondary school places will then start to come through.”
Across Kent 15,000 extra primary school places are needed over the next five years.
The Basic Needs Allocations will help KCC continue with its school-building programme.
Current projects include seven new primary schools – Knights Park in Tunbridge Wells; Kings Hill Primary, Leybourne Chase Primary and Holborough Quarry Primary, all in Tonbridge and Malling; East Folkestone Primary in Shepway; Thistle Hill Primary, in Swale; and a primary school on the Finberry development at Cheeseman’s Green, Ashford.
Kent’s allocation from the Basic Need Allocations is the highest for any local authority in the country, the second highest being Manchester’s £84.9 million.
Kent’s figures are as follows:
- 2015/16 top-up £16.25 million in addition to £13.4 million already allocated;
- 2016/17 top-up £34.62 million in addition to £14.1 million already allocated;
- 2017/18 £38.55 million, plus an extra £2.27 million for new primary schools.