More funding for school places

FUNDING for new school places worth more than �1.6million has been handed over to North Somerset Council by the Government.

The cash is in addition to more than �10million already set to be spent on adding extra places to schools in the area.

Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Education, has pledged �600million of funding for school places across the country, with �1,650,509 heading to North Somerset.

The council has not yet announced which schools will benefit from the money.

A spokesman for the Department for Education said: “Funding is targeted at areas where the pressures of soaring birth rates are being felt the most, and allocations are based on information that local authorities provide.

“In spite of the challenging economic climate, we have doubled the annual funding previously available to help create new school places.”

Last month, North Somerset Council announced more than �4million will be spent on providing more primary school places in Portishead, adding an extra 210 places at schools in the town.

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The council approved proposals to spend �1.18million in the next financial year to kick-start the project, with plans to spend a further �1million in each of the 2013/14, 2014/15 and 2015/16 financial years.

The scheme will be carried out in two phases but it has not yet been decided where the new places will be introduced.

The council also announced it will spend �210,000 on creating a further 105 places overall at Yatton Junior and Infant schools in High Street and �450,000 on improving Ravenswood Special School in Pound Lane, Nailsea.