Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Education and Skills
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: Yes
Kent County Council (KCC) as the Local Authority has a statutory duty to ensure sufficient school places are available. The County Council’s Commissioning Plan for Education Provision in Kent 2019-23 is a five-year rolling plan which is updated annually. It sets out our future plans as Strategic Commissioner of Education Provision across all types and phases of education in Kent. A copy of the plan can be viewed from this link:
It is anticipated that there will be significant short and medium-term pressure for additional Year 7 places in the Gravesham and Longfield Non-Selective Planning Group which indicates that additional capacity will be needed for 2021 and in later years.
Therefore, KCC has asked Meopham School to provide additional places for local children by expanding the school.
KCC propose increasing the accommodation and the amount of school social space including, dining, recreational and circulation space over the expansion period. This work would be completed before the September 2021 intake. This build would enable the school to offer 210 Year 7 places for September 2021.
Meopham School is a popular school that was judged ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted in February 2019.
There are seven secondary schools in the Gravesend and Longfield Non-Selective Planning Group. These are: Longfield Academy, Meopham School, Northfleet School for Girls, Northfleet Technology College, Saint George's CE School (Gravesend), St. John's Catholic Comprehensive School and Thamesview School.
Of these, Thamesview School, St George’s CE School, Northfleet School for Girls are either being expanded, or are the subject of a future proposal to expand. Northfleet Technology College is under feasibility for an expansion and Longfield School has been offering additional places under local arrangements for several years. Meopham School is the only remaining candidate for expansion.
Meopham School is a popular and successful school and the proposal to increase the number of secondary places at the school is therefore, in line with the expectation of expanding popular & successful schools. The proposal is to add an additional 70 places taking the school PAN up to 210 for September 2021. It will be achieved through building additional accommodation and service space on the Meopham School site.
The Cabinet Member for Education and Skills is asked to:
i. agree to expand Meopham School, Wrotham Road, Meopham, Kent DA13 0AH by increasing the Published Admission Number (PAN) from 140 places to 200 places from September 2021;
ii. agree to fund the expansion from the schools’ basic need capital budget; and
iii. delegate authority to the Corporate Director for Children, Young People and Education to take necessary actions, including but not limited to entering into necessary contracts or taking other legal actions as required, to implement the decision.
Publication date: 25/03/2020
Date of decision: 25/03/2020
Effective from: 02/04/2020