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School place shortage concerns

Under-performing schools could be forced to expand to deal with a chronic shortage of places for children, MPs have warned.

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Government has 'failed to identify demand for places'

Commons Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chair Margaret Hodge said the Department for Education has "failed to identify in time the rising demand for school places." She added:

Growth in demand is concentrated in particular areas of the country. Without enough resources to provide new places, some authorities are forced to sacrifice facilities like music rooms or expand classes beyond the statutory 30 children per class.

The inability of local authorities to require academies and free schools to expand further constrains them.

The department does not understand the costs for local authorities in delivering places or the relative value for money of different approaches around the country.

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