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Over 10,000 vacant secondary school places in Suffolk

Suffolk schools have more than 10,000 vacant secondary school places. This is nearly one in six of the available capacity, according to Department for Education figures.

Suffolk has the 17th highest proportion of vacant spaces out of 153 local education authorities.

My thanks to @placefarm, from whose Google map I drew the figure given in my previous post. That, I now know, was for one year only. The education debarment’s spreadsheet, dated May last year, with all the details can be downloaded here.

This makes it even more ridiculous that Free Schools are being planned to add to the 10,632 places already vacant in the county.

Perhaps some of Michael Gove’s cabinet colleagues would like to talk to him about waste in the public sector. His education department now funds directly the many schools which have become academies and free schools.

There is not a lot the local education authority can do now. The buck stops in Whitehall.




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  1. Anonymous says

    It’s not too difficult to imagine what the Gove/DfE response to over-provision of secondary places will be.

    The numbers going to Free Schools will be adduced as a good reason for fewer State places to exist; as parents want the wonderful education that the Free Schools will give.

    The State places will then be reduced by at least two obvious methods.

    Firstly, they will be starved of funds which will be redirected to Free Schools, existing and opening. It will be the Death of a Thousand Cuts. Funding will probably be made conditional on taking Academy status and jumping through other hoops. Doubtless there will be cunning formulae which state that for every FS place, £x will be removed from State schools and £y given to the FS.

    Coupled to this will be a draconian Ofsted regime under the politicised Wilshaw, which will be used firstly to back up the flawed assertion of FS “quality” versus State school “failure”; and secondly to demoralise heads and teachers so that failure becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. This will happen whilst no inspections have taken place of Free Schools. The extended range of education from State schools, as against the limited Ebacc of the FS, obviously means more opportunity for lower grades and will no doubt be used as a stick to beat them with.

    Gove isn’t really Machiavellian – just Malevolent.