Dozens of councils face a shortfall in school places despite creating 96,000 new places last year alone, town hall chiefs warn today.
The Local Government Association said unless more secondary school places are created, 15 councils will face a shortfall in 2020/21.
That would rise to 27 in 2021/22, 49 in 2022/23 and 64 in 2023/24 without new capacity.
The LGA warned that without extra places, this would leave 96,834 children at risk of not having a school place by 2023/24.
The association warned the rise of academies has stripped councils of the authority to open schools or expand – and said some powers must now be handed back to town halls.
Anntoinette Bramble, Chair of the LGA’s Children and Young People Board, said school places had been created last year “despite all odds”.
She added: “Our secondary school places crisis is now just one year away.
“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.”
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.”
A Department for Education spokeswoman said: “We are determined to create more choice for parents when it comes to their children’s education.
“We have created around 920,000 school places since 2010, and are on track to see that number rise to a million by 2020.
“Standards have also risen, with 85% of schools now rated good or outstanding by Ofsted, compared to 68% in 2010.
“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.”