Issue - decisions

Furness School, Swanley - Redesignation from BESN to ASD provision

11/06/2014 - Furness School, Swanley - Redesignation from BESN to ASD provision

The Cabinet Member for Education and Health Reform has agreed to:


Redesignate Furness School from a school for pupils with Behavioural, Emotional and Social Needs (BESN) to one for pupils with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) with effect from 1 September 2014.


Reason(s) for decision:

Kent’s Strategy for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) aims to address, amongst other things, gaps in provision.  The Commissioning Plan for Education Provision in Kent (2013-18) sets out the intention to commission 96 additional places for pupils with ASD.  This proposal will provide 60 additional ASD places in North Kent.  This proposal is linked to a proposal to expand Goldwyn School by 55 places, taking the number of places from 60 to 115.  Expanding Goldwyn School will effectively replace the unfilled BESN places lost at Furness but in an area where BESN places are needed


In reaching this decision I have taken into account:

  • the views expressed by those attending the public consultation meeting on 6 May, and those put in writing in response to the consultation;
  • the views of the local County Councillors; Headteacher and Interim Executive Board of Furness School;
  • the Equalities Impact Assessment and comments received regarding this; and
  • the views of the Education and Young People’s Services Cabinet Committee which are set out below

Financial Implications

a.         Capital – There are no capital costs involved with this proposal.   

b.         Revenue - The school will receive increased funding through the Delegated Budget as follows:-

            Special schools are funded using the DfE Place Plus funding methodology for High Needs Pupils.  For September 2014 the Local Authority has agreed to purchase 50 places at Furness School. 

c.         Human – There will be no changes to current staff numbers.