Rising numbers of free schools and academies are leaving council bosses struggling to plan how many places it needs to cope with Birmingham's growing population, it has been claimed.
A baby boom and increasing immigration has left primary schools bursting at the seams, with Birmingham City Council having to build extra classrooms to cope with demand.
But now Coun Brigid Jones, cabinet member for children's services, claims the increasing number of free schools and academies opening in the city is making the council's job impossible to gauge where and how many places are needed.
Both free schools and academies are run independently of local authorities, reporting directly into the Department for Education (Dfe).
They enjoy greater autonomy to maintained schools, including deciding where they will be built and what class sizes to offer.
Coun Jones lashed out at the Government for not consulting enough with the local authority when new academies and free schools are planned.
It comes as the council is in loggerheads with the DfE over Perry Beeches V, a new free school set to open in Small Heath in September.
The school, for four to 19 year olds, will eventually offer 1,360 places to pupils by 2020 when it reaches full capacity.
However, the council claims it would create an "over-supply" of school places and argued the site should be used instead to relocate troubled Al Hijrah School which is £3 million in debt and currently housed in a crumbling building.
The council also claimed Perry Beeches V could jeopardise failing schools in the area, including Cockshut Hill College, The International School, Small Heath School & Sixth Form College and Oldknow Academy - all in special measures.
Coun Jones said: "It's no good having new schools opening in one part of the city when the places are needed elsewhere.
"And it is a very big problem if schools open where there are not enough children to fill all of the places in the area, as it spreads resources too thinly.
"As a council, we can't control numbers at academies and free schools. Some consult us about their intentions to expand or open but others don't, meaning it's very easy for us to waste money expanding a local authority-maintained school, only to find out that a new free school is opening up next door and our extra places aren't needed.
"This is a very real problem in some areas of the city at the moment and means we have an increasing number of schools struggling to keep up large buildings with low pupil numbers."
Coun Jones' comments came as nine new free schools are set to open in Birmingham in the next three years.
This week, the Conservative Party revealed it plans to open 500 free schools across the country by 2020 if it won the General Election.