Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Education and Skills
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: Yes
The proposal is being brought forward by the Governing Body of the school, with the support of KCC. The final decision will be taken by the Cabinet Member for Education and Skills.
To determine the statutory public notice published by the Governing Body on the following proposed changes:
· Change the age range of the school from 4-17 years to 4-18 years
· Change the designated number of the school from 178 to 188
Reason for the decision:
As the strategic commissioner of school provision, the Local Authority has a duty to ensure that there are sufficient school places for the residents of Kent, including sufficient special educational needs places. The Commissioning Plan outlines the requirement for the need to significantly increase the number of supported internships and study programmes that include personalised support and high-quality work experience placements post 16. The post-16 provision will give the students the additional time they need for a more successful transition into college and reduce the current dropout rate.
Laleham Gap School is a Special School and has a designated number of 178. The school specialises in providing education for pupils aged 4-17 years who have Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) with Speech, Language and Communication Needs. All pupils have a statement of special education need or an Education, Health & Care plan. The proposal is that in addition to the existing year 12 provision, they will offer a limited number of up to 5 year 12 and up to 5 year 13 places. These will be two-year placements, for young people that have been identified through the annual review process. This new, two-year programme, in addition to transition work, will provide more opportunities for the young people to gain qualifications which will assist them in their next educational placement or employment.
Options (other options considered but discarded):
Other options were not considered as Laleham Gap is a Specialist School proving education and support to pupils with special needs and the proposal is specific to the school.
How the proposed decision meets the objectives of ‘Increasing Opportunities, Improving Outcomes: Kent County Council’s Strategic Statement (2015-2020)’:
This proposal will help to secure our ambition “to ensure that Kent’s young people have access to the education, work and skills opportunities necessary to support Kent business to grow and be increasingly competitive in the national and international economy”
The proposal also supports KCC’s SEND Strategy 2021-2024. The aim of the SEND strategy is to improve the educational, health and emotional wellbeing outcomes for all of Kent's children and young people with special educational needs and those who are disabled.
As Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, I agree to:
I. determine the statutory public notice published by the Governing Body on the following proposed changes:
• Change the age range of the school from 4-17 years to 4-18 years
• Change the designated number of the school from 178 to 188
Publication date: 02/08/2022
Date of decision: 02/08/2022
Effective from: 10/08/2022