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.
More top news
Global warming and a strong El Nino weather system has sparked mass coral bleaching, experts warn.
Much of the commentary online focused on Chris Evan's co-host and former Friend's actor Matt LeBlanc.
The brother of a taxi driver killed alongside the Afghan Taliban leader has asked police to investigate his sibling's death.