Resetting the relationship between local and national government. Read our Local Government White Paper

Growing Places: the best start for children

To properly support children and young people to achieve their full potential, Government must urgently meet the £2 billion gap in children’s social care and give back to councils the power and funding to open new schools.


We're calling on the Government to:

Government should:

  • rapidly establish a fair national funding formula for schools which retains an element of local flexibility
  • provide councils with sufficient funding to reflect the rising demand to support SEND pupils
  • give schools greater certainty of funding, with three year budgets, to help them plan for the funding pressures they face.
Government should be:
  • giving councils and maintained schools the power to set up Multi Academy Trusts and take over failing academies and free schools if they have an excellent track record in school improvement
  • giving councils powers and duties on place-planning, schools admissions and protecting vulnerable children that apply equally to all schools, including free schools and academies
  • changing legislation to give councils the power to direct academies to expand to meet local demand for new places and admit vulnerable and excluded pupils
  • urgently reviewing the system for allocating schools capital to allow schools and councils to work together to join up fragmented funding streams locally in a single local capital pot to meet the demand for new places, repair and rebuild dilapidated schools and provide best value for money
  • giving councils the lead role in commissioning new free schools to make sure they provide places where they are most needed and do not destabilise existing good and outstanding schools.
Government must:
  • close the £2 billion funding gap in children's services funding by 2020
  • invest in early intervention approaches to improve outcomes for children and young people by restoring the cuts to early intervention funding to local councils

Government needs to support children's services by:

  • committing to devolve a proportion of DfE's £300 million budget for improvement and innovation in children's services to councils.

Download the full publication Growing places: building local public services for the future to learn more.