§ Mr. Pollard
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what steps his Department has taken to help ensure that Hertfordshire Local Education Authority is able to increase the provision of school places in St. Albans to match(a) current needs and (b) future requirements generated by new housing developments; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Ms Estelle Morris
It is the Local Education Authority's responsibility to ensure that there are sufficient school places within its area. It is under a duty to plan and keep under review the supply of school places, in the light of such issues as proposed housing development, so as to ensure that there is sufficient provision to meet demand.
The Department has supported bids for capital funding from Hertfordshire which met the published criteria for basic need. The Local Education Authority can make further bids for capital funding if need continues to grow. Such bids will be sought from Local Education Authorities in September through the Annual Capital Guideline process.