SCHOOLS across Cornwall will receive a £32 million cash boost to provide hundreds of extra places over the next three years.
Cornwall Council announced yesterday that it had been allocated the money under the government’s Basic Need Capital funding programme.
It is the largest sum the unitary authority has received in recent years, and will soften the blow dealt in October when education chiefs were told they would receive less than expected from a different funding pot.
The council had originally expected £18.8 million in Targeted Basic Need funding, only to be informed it would actually receive just £7.8 million.
Areas such as Newquay, St Austell and Bodmin will benefit most from the extra money, as they have been identified as having significant pressure on school places.
Andrew Wallis, the council’s cabinet member for children and young people, said: “This is very good news for Cornwall and will provide much needed funding to meet the increasing number of children requiring school places in Cornwall.
“The amount allocated for 2015-17 is significantly higher than received in previous years and, as a result, will mean that the authority can now plan effectively to provide much needed school places.
“Areas such as Newquay, St Austell and surrounding areas, Truro, Launceston, Camborne, Bodmin and schools in west Cornwall are already under severe pressure to provide school places, together with forecasts of rising school numbers in other areas. This funding will enable us to address these pressures by building new schools and providing additional classrooms.”
The level of Capital Basic Need funding allocated to individual local authorities is based on information submitted to the Department for Education on current and forecast pupil numbers, which was submitted by Cornwall during the 2013 summer term.
Trevor Doughty, the council’s director of children’s services, said: “We are pleased that the Department has recognised the significant pressures we are facing in Cornwall and has awarded us such a high level of basic need funding.”