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POPULAR SCHOOLS INITIATIVE LAUNCHED IN WALES

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Schools and local education authorities are invited to bid for a share of the additional funding being made availab...
Schools and local education authorities are invited to bid for a share of the additional funding being made available under the Welsh Office's Popular Schools Initiative, Welsh secretary John Redwood has announced.

'This is a major new initiative to expand those schools which are attracting more pupils than they can accommodate,' Mr Redwood said.

'I am making £23m available over the next four years to enable such schools to secure the additional facilities necessary to meet the demand for places.

'Some schools are unable to accept all the pupils seeking to take advantage of the first-rate education they provide and that many parents of pupils are unable to gain admission for their children to the first choice of school.

'This major investment is on top of the normal capital funding for local education authorities in Wales, which increases by over 3.4% next year. Separate additional funding will also be available to voluntary aided and grant-maintained schools.

'This initiative shows my determination to provide the necessary additional support and impetus for these schools which, by their very success, are under increasing pressure from parents and pupils. It is a clear demonstration of the government's firm commitment to promoting choice and diversity and to raising standards in our schools.'

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