Property developers are to be offered loans to build schools alongside new housing developments.
Up to £20 million will be available per school in a new pilot scheme, the Department for Education (DfE) has announced today.
It says it wants housing developers to deliver thousands of school places up-front, so they are ready for communities before new properties are finished.
Education secretary Gavin Williamson said: “We’re already on track to create 1 million new school places nationwide this decade.
Building new schools
“But we know that in some cases, building schools and properties at the same time so they are ready for new communities can be challenging for housing developers. That’s why we are launching these loans today, to help parents secure a good school place for their child at the same time as moving into a new family home.”
The scheme, which will initially offer around 10 loans to successful bidders, means new school places are financed and delivered up-front.
The DfE says it will help to boost the viability of new housing estates, particularly those led by small and medium-sized developers where cashflow is a significant issue.
It also says the scheme will incentivise developers to build more properties in the areas most in need – including on sites that have stood empty for a long period of time.
Housing minister Esther McVey said: “It’s only right that infrastructure is delivered up front – including thousands of new school places – which supports existing communities and the new homes which we need building.
“I welcome this support being made available today – helping medium- and large-sized housebuilders deliver new schools as they deliver the homes we urgently need.”
The DfE says housing developers are already expected to contribute to the costs of new schools to help meet the need arising from new housing, but can struggle to raise the funds to get schools ready in time for families moving to new developments.