Despite finding a suitable site and provider, Kingston’s new secondary school is now in jeopardy again, because its bid for funding from central Government was unsuccessful.
“Kingston Council is more prepared than most for the increase in the number of children needing a school place; spending £46m on permanent primary school expansion and ready to go on the new secondary school.
However Michael Gove seems to prefer to fund his pet projects of unnecessary free schools,” says Liz Green, Deputy Leader of Kingston.
“Speaking for the Lib Dem administration I am pleased to support the parents petition for funding for a
and encourage everyone to sign the petition on the Council website. We will continue to work, cross party and with both our MPs, to secure the necessary funding. The petition is just the start.”
- non-selective school
Kingston Borough has seen an increase of school age children entering reception class since 2008. By 2012, this increase required 14.5 extra reception classes (30 pupils per class) made up of 8.5 classes of permanent expansion and 6 ‘bulge’ classes.
From 2015 onwards these pupils will reach secondary school age, needing an extra 7 classes in 2015 rising to over 16 extra classes by 2021.
Kingston Council was accepted into Building Schools for the Future ahead of schedule to build the new school. When this programme was stopped, Kingston bid for Priority Schools Building Programme in 2011. The rules for this programme were changed by the Department for Education so that no new build schools were included in the funding.
Kingston Council has spent £46m on permanent primary school expansion, receiving only £21m back from central Government for ‘basic needs’ funding. The new secondary school is estimated to cost £25-30m for a new build 8 form of entry on the North Kingston Centre site.
In 2011, Central Government allocated £600m over the following 3 years for this funding, but Kingston only received £5m of this, despite having a high population growth. The method for calculating this funding allocation is unclear, so impossible to check. Also allocated was £500m for free schools, which only need to demonstrate a desire by parents for the school rather than a need for school places.