Revealed: The 20 councils eligible to share a new £50m free school funding pot

The government has announced the names of 20 local authorities that can bid for a share of £50 million to build new schools and create 15,000 new places.

Ministers say the areas, which will be allowed to bid for money from the new presumption free school grant, are those with the biggest need for new schools.

Under current rules, councils wanting to open new schools must seek proposals for new free schools through what’s called the “free school presumption process”. This is separate to the central free school route, which involves applications from groups of parents, teachers or existing academy trusts.

The presumption free school grant was announced by the government in May, and will be given to councils to help them build schools proposed through the presumption process.

Funding will be allocated on a flat rate per pupil basis, amounting to around £3 million for a 900-place secondary school.

The councils were selected because they have a “significant” need for new school places and low standards in existing schools. They will now have to decide whether to “opt in” to the funding scheme, which is a one-off.

Schools must enter the “pre-opening phase” by January 2021 to be eligible for the grant. The entry deadline is November 16.


The full list

  • Barnsley
  • Birmingham
  • Bolton
  • Buckinghamshire
  • Devon
  • Enfield
  • Leeds
  • Leicester
  • Liverpool
  • Manchester
  • Northamptonshire
  • Oldham
  • Rochdale
  • Salford
  • Sandwell
  • Southend on Sea
  • Stockton-on-Tees
  • Telford and Wrekin
  • Thurrock
  • Wolverhampton

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