NAO head: 'Real challenge' for school places

National Audit Office head Amyas Morse said:

The Department has ambitious objectives to provide school places, and to enable parents to have some choice of school for their children.

However, despite increases in places and funding over the last two years, it faces a real challenge, with 256,000 places still required by 2014/15. Furthermore, there are indications of strain on school places.

The Department needs a better understanding of costs to improve value for money, as well as a better understanding of the impact its funding contribution is having on the ground.

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'Real strain' on school places

A quarter of a million extra school places will be needed in England by next year to meet rising demand, the spending watchdog has warned. It one in five primary schools in England was full or near capacity and there were signs of a "real strain."