Commenting on the report by the Local Government Association warning of a £1 billion shortfall in funding for new school places, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union in the UK, said:
“Once again we see the stark reality of the Coalition Government’s savage cuts to local authority funding.
“Claims that the education budget has been protected are ringing increasingly hollow as more and more problems arise as a result of underfunding by the Coalition Government and a failure to use taxpayers’ money most effectively.
“Whilst councils struggle to provide school places for children and young people, millions of pounds have been spent on free schools which have undermined local authorities’ ability to undertake school place planning.
“The Coalition Government was repeatedly warned about the growing crisis in school places, but rather than addressing the needs of children and young people, it has decided it is more important to fund its ideological free school programme.”