Sheffield struggles to provide secondary school places due to cash shortfall from Government

Sheffield has received government funding to provide extra places in oversubscribed schools – but it’s not enough money to actually pay for the building work.

Tuesday, 23rd November 2021, 11:12 am
Updated Tuesday, 23rd November 2021, 11:28 am

Secondary schools in the south west of the city are facing a decade of being oversubscribed after birth rates rose by 25 per cent between 2002 and 2012.

Demand is due to peak in 2023/24 and Silverdale and King Ecgbert are currently in ongoing negotiations with Sheffield Council about possibly expanding.

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Silverdale and King Ecgbert could expand as Sheffield struggles with rising dema...

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Sheffield Council says it has received government funding to provide extra places in oversubscribed schools but it's not enough money to actually pay for the building work

Nothing has been confirmed yet but the council approached the government for funding and received around £16,000 per place needed.

But the cost of the building work is much greater which means the council will have to add £1.5m from its own budget to plug the gap.

The council is looking at selling vacant caretaker properties on school sites, including Wisewood, Gleadless and Netherthorpe, to generate up to £750,000

Officer Nicola Shearstone told an Executive meeting: “The allocation we receive is based on the number of places they expect us to develop but the costs don’t actually cover that.

“We have raised it with the government that it doesn’t meet our requirements. There’s a different allocation per local authority and Sheffield is not one of the top allocations, it’s one of the lower ones.

“I don’t quite understand how they calculate their formula but they are very aware we are looking for contributions to support our school places.”

Coun Jayne Dunn, Executive member for education, has written to the government to complain about the “major under investment”.