MILLIONS of pounds is to be invested in schools in Warrington to create more school places in the future.
Warrington Borough Council will receive almost £10.5m to pump into schools between 2014 and 2017.
The Government’s announcement of an extra £2.35b across the country, in addition to the £5b that is already being spent, was welcomed by David Mowat MP for Warrington South.
Mr Mowat said: “The last Labour Government ignored the fact that rising birth rates meant we will need thousands more school places in the coming years, and did nothing to prepare.
“It is great news for young people in Warrington that this Government has found billions of extra funding to ensure every child has a place at school so that they can fulfil their potential.
“This is part of our long-term plan to create an education system that gives young people who want to work hard the skills they need to get on in life and have a more secure and better future.”
This is the first time councils have had a three-year allocation of funding to spend on school places, which can allow Warrington Borough Council to plan ahead.
Although Helen Jones MP for Warrington North also welcomed the news, she claimed it ‘doesn’t go anywhere near far enough to properly invest in our future’.
She added: “It was this Government who scrapped Labour’s Building Schools for the Future programme which, just prior to the last election, had allocated £45m to Warrington, showing a real determination to invest in our schools.
“Four years on and only a quarter of the allocation doesn’t suggest a real commitment from the Coalition Government.”
Christine Blower, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said the funding started to address the ‘schools crisis’ but argued that the current situation is the Government’s own making.
She added: “Population changes are not a new phenomenon and local authorities, who are responsible for providing sufficient school places, have traditionally been able to plan to meet rising and falling demand.
“The significant factor in the current situation is that, since 2010, the Government has removed and undermined local authorities’ legal powers to deliver new school places.”