Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Education and Skills
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: Yes
KCC, as the Local Authority (LA), has a statutory duty to ensure sufficient school places are available. This duty applies to Special Educational Needs (SEN) provision, as well as mainstream settings. The County Council’s Commissioning Plan for Education Provision in Kent 2020-24 is a five-year rolling plan which is updated annually. It sets out KCC’s 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:
The Commissioning Plan highlights the SEN place pressure that Kent has experienced, with the number of Education Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) increasing significantly in recent years. The most prevalent and fastest growing need type is ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder) and data indicates that 40% of children and young people aged 0-25 years with EHCPs have ASD as their primary need type.
The demand for ASD places at Broomhill Bank School has increased commensurately, with strong parental preference. Broomhill Bank has a Designated Number of 210, but there is pressure for the school to accept additional pupils to meet demand in both West and North Kent. The Broomhill Bank Governing Body, with support from KCC, is proposing to increase the school’s Designated Number from 210 to 318 places from September 2020.
Feasibility work and curriculum analysis has been undertaken across both school sites to ensure the school can meet the needs of the additional number of pupils proposed. This work indicates that the school will need increased classroom provision, car parking and school access changes; alongside enhancement of existing sports provision at the Broomhill Bank North site at Swanley, and additional sports provision at the West site in Tunbridge Wells. Additional modular accommodation will be required on both the West and North sites as well as internal reconfiguration within existing buildings.
The Cabinet Member for Education and Skills is asked to:
a) increase the Designated Number of places at Broomhill Bank School, Broomhill Road, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Tunbridge Wells, TN3 0TB from 210 to 318 places from September 2020.
b) agree to fund the expansion from the CYPE Basic Need Capital Budget.
c) authorise the expenditure of up to £2m to deliver the additional accommodation required for the first phase of building works, required for the School Year commencing in September 2020.
d) 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: 24/06/2020
Date of decision: 24/06/2020
Effective from: 02/07/2020