William Eichler 04 April 2016

Tory academy plans face ‘funding blackhole’, say Labour

The Government’s plans for forcing schools to become academies are facing a ‘funding blackhole’ of over £1bn.

In the last budget, the chancellor allocated £140m in order to fund the Conservative’s academisation plans.

Labour, however, argued at the time this was £560m short of the true cost of converting 15,632 schools into academies.

New figures, published in response to a Parliamentary Question, reveal an even bigger funding shortage.

The real cost, Labour now argues, will be £1.3bn — which means the Government needs to find an extra £1.1bn of cash.

Lucy Powell, Labour’s shadow education secretary, said: ‘These new figures show the real cost of this re-organisation and leads me to ask the question, yet again, why?

‘Schools don’t need this and parents, communities, teachers and school leaders don’t want it and now we find that it’s going to cost over £1 billion, money which could be better spent driving up standards.’

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