On Monday in Parliament Kevin Hollinrake, MP for Thirsk and Malton, addressed the issue of primary school funding as pupil numbers rise in the constituency. He asked the question in the House of Commons,
“What plans does the Government have to meet the demand for school places in Thirsk and Malton?”
The MP raised the point because, due to a 10% increase in children studying primary education in North Yorkshire, the local authority is anticipating an immediate £21 million shortfall due to difficulties arising in supplementing its capital resource through developer contributions.
Education Minister, Nick Gibb responded by informing the House that,
“North Yorkshire received £12 million in funding for new school places between 2011 and 2015 and has been allocated a further £40 million to create the further places required by 2018.”
Kevin Hollinrake continued to question the Minister informing him that many of his constituents are concerned that the infrastructure is provided to meet rising populations and the increased numbers of houses being built. He asked,
“Will the Minister confirm that the capital funding will be provided to meet that ongoing demand for new places?”
“As I said, the Department has allocated £40 million to North Yorkshire for places required by 2015. This is based on the local authority’s own forecast of how many places it will need. We encourage local authorities to negotiate significant developer contributions for new places where they result from developments. I would be delighted to meet my hon. Friend to discuss this matter in more detail. Perhaps, through him, I can persuade North Yorkshire County Council to encourage more free school applications.
“Our children’s education is of the upmost importance for both their and our country’s future. With the local population rising and more homes being built we need to ensure all our youngest residents get access to good schools. If yearly intake continues to increase we need the funds so everyone can receive quality teaching in good sized classes with the relevant equipment at hand, whether it be enough laptops at the desks or balls for sport. Parents need to be confident their children can get into the best local school for them. I look forward to meeting with the Education Minister to see what can be done for schools in the Thirsk and Malton Constituency. ”