SECONDARY schools face a places “crisis” within one year, according to an analysis by the Local Government Association.

There could be a shortfall of around 123,000 places within five years unless councils are given increased powers to open schools and direct academies to expand, the LGA said.

It said councils in England created 96,000 places last year - including 37,000 in secondaries - at existing schools, and by commissioning places in academies and free schools.

But the LGA has warned more places are needed to avert the “looming crisis” of children missing places.

Responding to the report, a Department for Education spokeswoman said: “Local authorities have the power to open new schools, and to create new school places, and must ensure there are enough school places to meet needs locally.”

The LGA report, published on Monday, said without action 15 councils will face a secondary school place shortfall in 2020/21.

The numbers will rise to 27, 49 and then 64 councils over each of the following three years, it said. By 2024/25, a total of 71 councils will struggle to meet demand for 123,195 places, the analysis said.

The LGA said Government should use September’s spending round to give councils the power to open new maintained schools and hand back responsibility for making decisions about opening new schools.

The DfE said there are already options for councils to open new schools if they are struggling.

“We are determined to create more choice for parents when it comes to their children’s education and we have created around 920,000 school places since 2010, and are on track to see that number rise to a million by 2020,” a spokeswoman added.

“Standards have also risen, with 85 per cent of schools now rated good or outstanding by Ofsted, compared to 68% in 2010.”

Cllr Anntoinette Bramble, who chairs the LGA’s Children and Young People Board, said: “Despite all odds, councils have been able to provide desperately-needed places for parents looking to secure their child’s place at secondary school in the past year.

“No family should face uncertainty over their child’s school place. But our secondary school places crisis is now just one year away and this will be the reality for thousands of families without action.

“Councils need to be allowed to open new maintained schools and direct academies to expand. It makes no sense for councils to be given the responsibility to plan for school places but then not be allowed to open schools themselves.

“The Government needs to work closely with councils to meet the challenges currently facing the education system.”

Shadow education secretary Angela Rayner said: “Under the Tories, councils have lost the powers and funding that they need to create enough school places for the children they serve, and thousands of parents and children could lose out as a result.

“A Labour government will give councils the power and funding to open new schools and create new places wherever they are needed, ensuring no parent faces the risk of missing out on a school place for their child.”

The LGA said it excluded areas with middle schools, which can be deemed to be either primary or secondary, and therefore 135 of 152 local authorities with education responsibilities were included in the analysis.