08/07/2024 - 24/00058 - Family hubs: Perinatal mental health and parent infant relationship five year strategy, 'Nurturing little hearts and minds'

Proposed decision

 

That the Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health approve the adoption and implementation of the Perinatal Mental Health and Parent Infant Relationships Strategy.

 

Reason

 

The requirement from the Department of Education (DfE) is to ‘establish a local perinatal and parent–infant mental health strategy (with sustainable plans beyond the funding period), to support strategic planning / delivery and joined-up working across the whole system.

 

Background

 

The requirement to develop a co-created Perinatal mental health and parent infant relationships strategy has provided opportunity to bring stakeholders together from across the system, to raise awareness of perinatal mental health, parent infant relationships and identify where there are gaps in knowledge and in support.  The strategy has been made available for public consultation for a period of eight weeks February – April 2024.

 

How the proposed decision supports the Council’s Strategy 2022-26

 

This service contributes to ‘Priority 1: Levelling up Kent’ of the Framing Kent’s Future Our Council Strategy 2022-2026 as providing parents/mums the support in giving their babies the best start in life to improve the population’s health and narrowing health inequalities. 

 

Securing Kent’s future

 

The proposed decision aligns with Objective 3 of Securing Kent’s Future:Policy choices and scope of Council’s ambitions

 

 

 

 

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health

Decision due date: Not before 17/07/2024 To allow 28 day notice period required under Executive Decision regulations

Lead officer: Wendy Jeffreys

Notice of decision: 18/06/2024

Anticipated restriction: Open


08/07/2024 - 24/00056 - Kent Young Persons Drug and Alcohol Service

Proposed decision

 

To agree the procurement and award of contracts of the Kent Young Persons Drug and Alcohol Service.

 

 

Reason for decision

Kent County Council has statutory responsibility as a condition of its Public Health Grant to provide specialist Substance Misuse Services aimed at reducing the harm caused by drugs and alcohol and to improve the health and wellbeing of Kent’s population. 

 

The Kent Young Persons Drug and Alcohol Service is due to expire on 31 January 2025 and therefore a key decision is required to plan for beyond this date.

 

Background

The provision of drug and alcohol services aligns with local and national strategies. Locally, the services support the levelling up agenda and integrated model of care outlined in the KCC Strategic plan 2022-26 (Framing Kent’s Future) as well as the improvement of the local early prevention and treatment and recovery system as outlined in the Kent Drug and Alcohol Strategy, 2023-2028.

 

The proposed decision supports Securing Kent’s Future 2022-2026 under Objective 3: Policy choices and scope of Council’s ambitions, by evaluating the statutory minimum requirements in order to create efficiencies.

 

Nationally, drug and alcohol services support the Government’s 10-Year Drug Strategy ‘From Harm to Hope’ (2021). The strategy is supported by a grant, the level of which has been confirmed for three years, whilst the remaining seven await confirmation. Kent has supported the implementation of the national strategy by investing this money into existing contracts.

 

Details of the contract are as follow:

 

-      Kent Young Person Drug and Alcohol Service (Drug and Alcohol Support for those aged under 25), delivered by We Are With You (With You)

-      Commenced on 1 January 2018 until 31 January 2025

 

Options

Kent County Council (KCC) Public Health is leading a transformation programme designed to improve service delivery to communities, particularly targeting underserved communities. The transformation work aims to ensure that services are efficient, evidence-based, deliver outcomes and best value.

 

Nationally, the drug and alcohol services support the 2021 10-Year Drug Strategy and associated investment linked to national objectives of improving numbers in treatment, continuity of care from prison to community, quality of treatment and reduction in drug and alcohol related mortality. The grant funding cannot be used to prop-up core service delivery and must be used for additional activity.

 

The service delivers various interventions in order to meet the objectives including:

·       Support in the community (youth hubs, community centres, cafes etc) offering advice and support with substance use through a trauma-informed, harm reduction approach and psychosocial interventions

 

·         Support in schools, running early intervention harm reduction groups and a preventative programme called RisKit, specifically for young people who engage in risk taking behaviours, including substance use

 

·         Re-Frame which works with Kent Police to identify young people, who come to the Police’s attention for Class B and C drug possession (excluding those where intent to supply is suspected) and works with the young person as an alternative to criminal proceedings, to educate them around substance use, with the intention of reducing their future offending.

 

·         The Sunlight Project which is a pilot aimed at supporting 7-11 year olds impacted by someone else’s substance use via a self-esteem / resilience building programme delivered in schools

 

As a result of the additional investment from Central Government to sustain these national strategic objectives, Kent is in receipt of £11,424,253 investment via a number of Office for Health Inequalities and Disparities (OHID) grants over the period April 2022 to March 2025. A condition of the additional OHID grant funding is that local authorities maintain their investment into the local substance misuse treatment and recovery system from their public health grant at or above the levels reported in 2020–2021. Therefore, whilst it was possible to consider efficiencies as part of the transformation, any savings made needed to remain invested in the services.

 

An options appraisal was developed which considered a range of changes to the service delivery model, based on collaboration with key stakeholders and young people with lived experience.

 

The preferred option identified was to procure Kent Young Persons Drug and Alcohol Service under the new Provider Selection Regime, with an enhanced service specification, underpinned by collaboration with stakeholders and young people with lived experience. The contract will be in place from 1 February 2025 to 31 January 2027 (two years with two additional extension options, one for two years and the second for one year).

 

Due to uncertainty as to whether OHID grant funding will continue post-March 2025, all enhancements made will be within the financial envelope of the Public Health Grant. Suggested changes include:

  • Refining pathways for 18-25 year olds so it is clear which service supports this cohort, depending on their circumstances
  • Specifying pathways for children impacted by someone else’s substance use. Adult and young persons’ services working together to identify these young people, develop pathways, and deliver joint interventions, thus expanding the impact on families.
  • Education around County Lines; this is a particular issue in Kent due to the proximity to London. Education from the provider may act as a preventative measure.
  • Added reporting of opportunistic smoking quits; there is not currently a stop smoking offer for those under the age of 18 in Kent. The service is positioned well to deliver stop smoking advice as part of Making Every Contact Count (MECC).

 

Advantages include:

  • The opportunity to draw upon local and front-line expertise when identifying potential service improvements
  • Increased buy-in of all stakeholders as a result of collaboration
  • Focus on achievable improvements, such as defining efficient pathways
  • Anticipated changes to the specifications are ones that can happen within the current financial envelope

 

 

Options considered but rejected included:

 

-      Keep current service the same - no change/ do nothing - The drug landscape has changed since the current service was tendered; it is important that services are fit for purpose and meet the young person’s presenting needs and therefore this was a non-viable option

 

-      Discontinue/ decommission current service - Decommissioning the service was concluded as a non-viable option that would place KCC in breach of the Public Health Grant conditions.

 

-      Combine the service with adult services – the offer for young people is distinct from that offered to adults and requires expertise and specialist knowledge i.e., delivering drug education and harm reduction in a way that is tailored appropriately. It was felt that combining the services ran the risk of diluting the offer.

 

-      Alignment with the Children and Young People (CYP) service transformation; the decision was made to proceed separately due to the imminent contract end dates for the Young Persons service. Implications and opportunities as part of the CYP transformation will be considered in due course.

 

Procurement

 

As of 1 January 2024, the recommissioning of drug and alcohol services falls under the new Provider Selection Regime (PSR) for procuring health care services in England by organisations termed relevant authorities, including NHS bodies and Local Authorities.

 

The PSR was introduced under the Health and Care Act 2022 with the intent to: introduce a flexible and proportionate process for deciding who should provide health care services; provide a framework that allows collaboration across systems; ensure that all decisions are made in the best interest of patients and people with lived experience.

 

Following approval of the key decision, a PSR-compliant procurement process will be run to select suppliers for the new service.

 

Financial Implications

 

The funding for this contract would be funded entirely from the Public Health Grant and, should OHID confirm additional grant funding beyond March 2025 linked to the 10-year national drug and alcohol strategy ‘From Harm to Hope’, this would be used for additional activity within the contract. The additional grant-funded activity could include a continuation of activity currently funded by the existing OHID grants but innovation would also be considered, should funding allow.

 

The estimated financial commitment  for a five year contract for the Kent Young Persons Drug and Alcohol Service is £4,099,533.88 This equates to an average of approximately £820,000 annually.

 

The above values reflect a 1% per year annual uplift to the contract (with the exclusion of the first year). The uplift reflects the need to retain the workforce; services have highly specialised roles and high, complex caseloads.

 

In terms of affordability, the annual increase in the Public Health Grant is only generally known for the current year, so it is not possible to know with certainty that there will be sufficient Public Health Grant to fund the increase. If the Public Health Grant increases prove to be insufficient then savings will need to be delivered elsewhere in the programme.

 

Additional OHID grant funding is only currently confirmed until 31 March 2025. Should this funding be extended beyond that point, it will be treated as a contract variation and will be in addition to the above estimated values and will require the providers to deliver additional activity.

 

A key decision (22/00041) has already been taken to accept and deploy the additional money received, therefore a further decision would not be required for deployment of further funding.

 

Legal Implications

 

Under the Health and Social Care Act 2012 [8], Directors of Public Health (DPH) in upper tier (UTLA) and unitary (ULA) local authorities have a specific duty to protect and enhance the population’s health.  

 

KCC commissions these services as part of its statutory responsibilities and as a condition of its Public Health Grant. Kent Drug & Alcohol Services aim to reduce the harm caused by drugs and alcohol and improve the health and wellbeing of Kent’s population. The local authority’s Public Health grant requires the Authority to “have regard to the need to improve the take up of, and outcomes from, its drug and alcohol misuse treatment services.”

 

The recommissioning of these services will fall under the Provider Selection Regime (PSR) introduced under the Health and Care Act 2022.  Appropriate legal advice will be sought in collaboration with the Governance, Law & Democracy team and will be utilised to ensure compliance with relevant legislation; the Provider Selection Regime is still in its infancy and so commissioners will be working closely with this team as well as the Commercial and Procurement Team.

 

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health

Decision due date: Not before 17/07/2024 To allow 28 day notice period required under Executive Decision regulations

Lead officer: Jessica Mookherjee

Notice of decision: 18/06/2024

Anticipated restriction: Open


08/07/2024 - 24/00055 - Kent Adult Drug and Alcohol Service

Proposed Decision

 

That the Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health agree to recommission the East and West Kent Drug and Alcohol Service

 

Reason for decision

Kent County Council has a statutory responsibility as a condition of its Public Health Grant to provide specialist Substance Misuse Services aimed at reducing the harm caused by drugs and alcohol and to improve the health and wellbeing of the people of Kent. 

 

The two contracts under the Adult Kent Drug and Alcohol Services are due to expire on 31 January 2025 and therefore a key decision is required to plan for beyond this date.

 

Background

The provision of drug and alcohol services aligns with local and national strategies. Locally, the services support the levelling up agenda and integrated model of care outlined in the KCC Strategic plan 2022-26 (Framing Kent’s Future) as well as the improvement of the local treatment and recovery system as outlined in the Kent Drug and Alcohol Strategy, 2023-2028.

 

The proposed decision supports Securing Kent’s Future 2022-2026 under Objective 3: Policy choices and scope of Council’s ambitions, by evaluating the statutory minimum requirements in order to create efficiencies.

 

Nationally, drug and alcohol services support the Government’s 10-Year Drug Strategy ‘From Harm to Hope’ (2021). The strategy is supported by a grant, the level of which has been confirmed for three years, whilst the remaining seven await confirmation. Kent has supported the implementation of the national strategy by investing this money into existing contracts.

 

The two contracts that make up the Adult Kent Drug and Alcohol Treatment Services in Kent, both of which are due to end on 31 January 2025, are:

 

·       West Kent Adult Drug and Alcohol Service (Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge & Malling, Maidstone, Gravesend, Dartford, Sevenoaks) - delivered by Change, Grow, Live (CGL). The contract commenced on 1 April 2016 until 31 January 2025

 

·       East Kent Adult Drug and Alcohol Service (Swale, Canterbury, Thanet, Dover, Folkestone and Hythe and Ashford), delivered by Forward Trust. The contract commenced on 1 May 2017 until 31 January 2025

 

 

Options

Kent County Council (KCC) Public Health is leading a transformation programme designed to improve service delivery to communities, particularly targeting underserved communities. The transformation work aims to ensure that services are efficient, evidence-based, deliver outcomes and best value.

 

Nationally, the drug and alcohol services support the 2021 10-Year Drug Strategy and associated investment linked to national objectives of improving numbers in treatment, continuity of care from prison to community, quality of treatment and reduction in drug and alcohol related mortality. The grant funding cannot be used to prop-up core service delivery and must be used for additional activity.

 

The service delivers various interventions in order to meet the objectives including:

·         Psychosocial support on both a group and one-to-one basis, utilising techniques such as motivational interviewing and cognitive behavioural approaches.

·         Clinical interventions include prescribing for detoxification, opiate substitution therapy, and relapse prevention medications

·         Harm reduction, including screening for blood borne viruses, vaccinations for hepatitis B, provision of needle exchange and Naloxone (used to quickly reverse an opioid overdose)

·         Access to community or inpatient detoxification, and to community or residential rehabilitation

 

As a result of the additional investment from Central Government to sustain these national strategic objectives, Kent is in receipt of £11,424,253 investment via a number of Office for Health Inequalities and Disparities (OHID) grants over the period April 2022 to March 2025. A condition of the additional OHID grant funding is that local authorities maintain their investment into the local substance misuse treatment and recovery system from their public health grant at or above the levels reported in 2020–21. Therefore, whilst it was possible to consider efficiencies as part of the transformation, any savings made need to remain invested in the services.

 

An options appraisal was developed which considered a range of changes to the service delivery model, based on collaboration with key stakeholders and people with lived experience.

 

The preferred option identified was to procure Kent Adult Drug and Alcohol Services under the new Provider Selection Regime, with an enhanced service specification, underpinned by collaboration with stakeholders and people with lived experience. The contracts for both East Kent and West Kent will be in place from 1 February 2025 to 31 January 2029 (four years with two additional two-year extension options).

 

Due to uncertainty as to whether OHID grant funding will continue post-March 2025, all enhancements made will be within the financial envelope of the Public Health Grant.

 

Suggested changes include:

  • Refining pathways for 18-25 year olds so it is clear which service supports this cohort, depending on their circumstances
  • Specifying pathways for children impacted by someone else’s substance use. Adult and young persons’ services working together to identify these young people, develop pathways, and deliver joint interventions, thus expanding the impact on families.
  • Clearly set out the offer for vulnerable groups, including the need for women-specific groups, particularly amongst those who may have experienced trauma
  • Outline the need for improved tier 4 pathways; tier 4 services include inpatient detoxification and residential rehabilitation. There is a need for Kent services to have a uniform approach and to ensure vulnerabilities are accounted for, such as those who are rough sleeping.

 

Advantages include:

  • The opportunity to draw upon local and front-line expertise when identifying potential service improvements
  • Increased buy-in of all stakeholders as a result of collaboration
  • Focus on achievable improvements, such as defining efficient pathways
  • Anticipated changes to the specifications are ones that can happen within the current financial envelope

 

Options considered but rejected included:

·         Keep current service the same - no change/ do nothing - the drug landscape has changed since the current service was tendered; it is important that services are fit for purpose and meet people’s presenting needs and therefore this was a non-viable option

 

·         Discontinue/ decommission the current service - Decommissioning the service was concluded as a non-viable option that would place KCC in breach of the Public Health grant conditions.

 

·         Split the service in two – one focusing on detox and treatment and the other focusing on recovery - it was deemed that this would add confusion to an already complex system within Kent.

 

·         Bring pharmacy contracting responsibilities in-house - established relationships are already in place with providers, bringing pharmacy provision in-house risks limiting the pool of available pharmacies, which in turn may create a barrier for people in terms of access.

 

·         Stop using fixed premises and move to a co-location model – it is important that drug and alcohol services have a physical presence in accessible areas in order to provide drop-ins and needle exchange. Removing this presence risks missing opportunities to help people at the point they are motivated to seek support.

 

Procurement

 

As of 1 January 2024, the recommissioning of drug and alcohol services falls under the new Provider Selection Regime (PSR) for procuring health care services in England by organisations termed relevant authorities, including NHS bodies and Local Authorities.

 

The PSR was introduced under the Health and Care Act 2022 with the intent to: introduce a flexible and proportionate process for deciding who should provide health care services; provide a framework that allows collaboration across systems; ensure that all decisions are made in the best interest of patients and service users.

 

Following approval of the key decision, a PSR-compliant procurement process will be run to select suppliers for the new service.

 

Financial Implications

 

Public Health estimate a financial commitment as below for each contract according to the recommended length of each contract:

 

·       The estimated financial commitment of £43,461,175.80 for an 8-year contract for the East Kent Drug and Alcohol Service.

 

·       The estimated financial commitment of £30,291,915.85 for an 8-year contract for the West Kent Drug and Alcohol Service.

 

The exact figures will be subject to factors such as costs of medications, pharmacy costs and staff retention for highly specialised roles. All funding will come from the Public Health Grant.

 

Additional OHID grant funding is only currently confirmed until 31 March 2025. Should this funding be extended beyond that point, it will be treated as a contract variation and will be in addition to the above estimated values and will require the providers to deliver additional activity.

 

A key decision (22/00041) has already been taken to accept and deploy the additional OHID grant money received, therefore a further decision would not be required for deployment of further OHID funding.

 

Legal Implications 

 

Under the Health and Social Care Act 2012 [8], Directors of Public Health (DPH) in upper tier (UTLA) and unitary (ULA) local authorities have a specific duty to protect and enhance the population’s health.  

 

KCC commissions these services as part of its statutory responsibilities and as a condition of its Public Health Grant. Kent Drug and Alcohol Services aim to reduce the harm caused by drugs and alcohol and improve the health and wellbeing of the people of Kent. The local authority’s Public Health Grant requires the Authority to “have regard to the need to improve the take up of, and outcomes from, its drug and alcohol misuse treatment services.”

 

The recommissioning of these services will fall under the Provider Selection Regime (PSR) introduced under the Health and Care Act 2022.  Appropriate legal advice will be sought in collaboration with the Governance, Law and Democracy team and will be utilised to ensure compliance with relevant legislation; the Provider Selection Regime is still in its infancy and so commissioners will be working closely with this team as well as the Commercial and Procurement Team.

 

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health

Decision due date: Not before 17/07/2024 To allow 28 day notice period required under Executive Decision regulations

Lead officer: Jessica Mookherjee

Notice of decision: 18/06/2024

Anticipated restriction: Open


02/07/2024 - 24/00068 - KCC Heritage Conservation Strategy Revision - Change to Windmills Policy

Proposed decision

 

KCC should seek to divest itself of the windmills it currently owns by a method that ensures that the windmills have a sustainable future in which they are appropriately cared for and maintained as community assets, and that the Heritage Conservation Strategy is updated to this effect.

 

Reason for the decision

 

This is a proposed change in the policy on KCC owned windmills as set out in the adopted KCC Heritage Conservation Strategy. The decision affects more than two electoral divisions.

 

The proposed decision would allow alternative ownership arrangements for the eight historic windmills which KCC owns to be explored whilst seeking to ensure a sustainable future for the care and management of the windmills as community assets with the aim of reducing KCC’s long term financial obligations.

 

The county is sensitive to the importance that communities and volunteers place on windmills, and wish to work with those who are committed to them to secure their future.

 

Background

 

KCC currently owns the freehold of eight historic windmills, located in eight different districts and boroughs across the county. The windmill properties, all of which are designated (listed) buildings of high grade, were acquired by KCC as ‘owner of last resort’ between the late 1950s and the mid-1980s. Financial responsibility for the maintenance and management of these eight windmill properties rests solely with KCC, apart from small-scale investment by the volunteer mill groups.

 

KCC’s approach to the management and maintenance of the windmills is set out in the adopted KCC Heritage Conservation Strategy.

 

A strategic review of KCC’s windmill assets was undertaken in 2022-23 by a task and finish group comprising officers from Infrastructure, Environment and Circular Economy and Finance (see report for ETCC on 15 11 2023). Five key considerations were evaluated:

A) The heritage value of the windmills,

B)   Current arrangements for managing the windmills,

C)   The potential for divestment of the windmills,

D)   The potential for alternative uses for the windmills,

E)    KCC’s current financial situation

 

Divestment of each of the eight sites was identified as the most financially advantageous option for KCC.

 

Divestment of the windmills would be a change to the policy set out in the adopted Heritage Conservation Strategy. As the Heritage Conservation Strategy was adopted following a public consultation, a public consultation is required in advance of a final decision on the change in policy. Agreement was given at a meeting of the Environment and Transport Cabinet Committee on 15th November 2023 that this public consultation should go ahead.

 

The subsequent public consultation ran for nine weeks from 28th November 2023 to 29th January 2024. On the proposal to amend the windmill policy section of the Strategy. There were 2,330 responses to the consultation. 11% of respondents agree in principle with KCC’s proposal to find alternative arrangements for the ownership and/or financial responsibility for KCC owned windmills and 87% of respondents disagree (79% strongly disagree).

 

Options considered:

 

Option 1: Do nothing and retain ownership of the windmills. This option does not reduce the cost to KCC of maintaining the windmills. Option rejected.

 

Option 2: Retain the windmills but look to reduce the financial input from KCC. No new proposals for how this might be achieved came forward through the consultation process and the deliverability of this is unclear. It is likely that more options would be available to a trust or similar body than to KCC. Option Rejected

 

Option 3: Recommended Option - KCC divests itself of the windmills. Officers are proposing to explore the most effective way to divest, based on the local circumstances of each windmill, and mitigating as far as possible the concerns raised during the consultation and the unique character of each windmill. The consideration of divestment options would be subject to feasibility and alignment with KCC’s objectives, KCC’s Property Assets Disposal Policy where applicable and KCC’s Heritage Conservation Strategy. There will be small-scale costs associated with obtaining legal and other professional advice as divestment options are explored.

 

How the proposed decision supports Framing Kent's Future

 

The proposed decision aligns with the Strategic Statement by aiming to reduce KCC’s financial burden and at the same time meeting the commitment under Priority 3 to consider Kent’s environment as a core asset that is valued, strengthened, and protected.

 

How the proposed decision supports Securing Kent’s Future 2022 -2026:

 

The proposed decision is compliant with the Strategic Statement in that it aims to reduce KCC’s financial expenditure whilst meeting the strategic priority of protecting, valuing, and strengthening Kent’s environment.

 

Financial Implications

 

The total annual revenue budget within the service and Corporate Landlord amounted to £236,800 in 2022/23 which was inclusive of a £200,000 annual revenue contribution to capital outlay (RCCO); this RCCO reduces to £150,000 in 24/25. It should be noted that the 2022/23 revenue outturn includes £13,143 for marketing advice, valuations and legal costs associated with this project that do not form part of the normal running costs or budgets of windmills.

 

Expected capital costs in the next five years for essential safety related works at the windmills which would be funded through the RCCO are shown below:

 

2024/25

2025/26

2026/27

2027/28

2028/29

Total

Total

£150,400

£100,000

£185,700

£100,000

£121,600

£657,700

 

In the long term if all the windmills were divested there would be savings to the revenue budget of between approximately £124,000 and £220,000 per annum if the windmills which still require urgent work were divested without the work being undertaken.

 

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Environment

Decision due date: Not before 31/07/2024 To allow 28 day notice period required under Executive Decision regulations

Lead officer: Lis Dyson

Notice of decision: 02/07/2024

Anticipated restriction: Open


02/07/2024 - 24/00067 - Kent Couty Council Adoption of the 4th Revision of the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Management Plan 2024-2029

Proposed decision

 

Adoption of the revised High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Management Plan 2024-2029

 

Reason

The Countryside and Rights of Way (CRoW) Act 2000 requires local authorities within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) to act collaboratively to prepare and publish an up-to-date plan, which ‘formulates their policy for the management of the area and for the carrying out of their functions in relation to it’.

 

Background

The High Weald AONB Management Plan 2024- 2029 has been prepared by the High Weald AONB Unit and the High Weald AONB Joint Advisory Committee, a partnership which includes all 15 local authorities that have land within the High Weald AONB together with community, environment and land-based sector representatives for, and on behalf of, the borough and district councils of Tunbridge Wells, Sevenoaks, Ashford, Tonbridge and Malling, as well as Kent County Council, and councils across Surrey, West Sussex and East Sussex.

 

In November 2023 all designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty in England and Wales became National Landscapes. This change was brought about as a result of recommendations published in January 2022 following the Governments Landscapes reviews (National Parks and AONBs). The new name reflects the national importance of these protected landscapes and is endorsed by Natural England. The High Weald National Landscape remains an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty insofar as all policy, legislation and guidance applies to the designated landscape. For this reason, the management plan document is still titled and refers to the High Weald AONB Management Plan. Reference is made in the document to both the AONB and the High Weald National Landscape interchangeably. The statutory purpose of the designated landscape “to conserve and enhance the natural beauty of the designated landscape” remains unchanged.

 

The High Weald AONB Management Plan was originally adopted by the County Council in April 2004 and set out a 20-year vision for the AONB. Revisions to the Management Plan were subsequently adopted in 2009, 2014 and 2019. This is the fourth revision.

 

Options

This is a statutory obligation. 

 

The decision supports Framing Kent’s Future 2022-2026 which makes specific reference to protecting and enhancing protected landscapes.

 

The decision supports Securing Kent’s Future as adoption of the plan does not place any additional financial obligations on Kent County Council.

 

 

 

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Environment

Decision due date: Not before 31/07/2024 To allow 28 day notice period required under Executive Decision regulationss

Lead officer: Helen Shulver

Notice of decision: 02/07/2024

Anticipated restriction: Open


02/07/2024 - 24/00066 - Local Flood Risk Management Strategy 2024-2034

Proposed decision

 

·         To adopt the Kent Local Flood Risk Management Strategy 2024-2034 on behalf of Kent County Council.

 

·         To delegate authority to the Corporate Director of Growth, Environment and Transport in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Environment to refresh and/or make revisions to the Strategy as appropriate during the lifetime of the strategy.

 

·         To delegate authority to the Corporate Growth, Environment and Transport to take relevant actions, including but not limited to finalising the terms of, and entering into required contract or other legal agreements, as necessary to implement the decision.

 

Reason for the decision

 

-      KCC has a statutory duty to maintain and Local Flood Risk Management Strategy, under the Flood and Water Management Act 2010. The current Local Strategy was adopted in 2017 and ran until 2023. We have drafted a new Local Strategy to replace the previous one.

 

Background – Provide brief additional context

 

-      KCC is the Lead Local Flood Authority for Kent with a strategic overview for local flooding, flooding from surface water, groundwater, and ordinary watercourses. As part of this role we have to maintain and strategy that sets out how we will manage local flooding.

 

Options (other options considered but discarded)

 

-      This is a statutory duty, there are no other options.

 

How the proposed decision supports the Framing Kent's Future - Our Council Strategy 2022-2026

 

-      The Local Strategy is a key part of helping KCC achieve objective 5 of our commitment “to ensure the county is well placed to adapt to climate change”:

o      Working with partners, improve the safety and wellbeing of Kent’s residents and the economy of Kent through appropriate flood risk management, including the promotion of sustainable flood risk management practices in development, regeneration and land management, utilising natural processes where appropriate.

 

How the proposed decision supports Securing Kent’s Future 2022 -2026: Securing Kents Future - Budget Recovery Strategy.pdf

 

-      The Local Strategy sets out objectives for managing local flood risk in the county. It will primarily be delivered by the Flood and Water Management Team (FWM) alongside partners. It sets some high-level targets and ambitions for flood risk management in Kent.

-      The FWM team is funded from the core KCC budget. The Local Strategy can be delivered within this budget. External funding is available to support the delivery of flood risk management measures, which the FWM team will secure as part of delivering the Local Strategy.

-      The Local Strategy will not place any additional burden on the budget. An ambition of the Local Strategy is to increase investment in the county and support economic growth.

 

 

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Environment

Decision due date: Not before 31/07/2024 To allow 28 day notice period required under Executive Decision regulations

Lead officer: Max Tant

Notice of decision: 02/07/2024

Anticipated restriction: Open


02/07/2024 - 24/00065 - Processing of Dry Recyclables (With Fibre and Glass) - SC 240042

Proposed decision

 

To award a contract to N+P via the CSKL Framework for the receipt and processing of dry mixed recyclables for an initial period of 24 months, with up to a further 36 months extension period

 


Reason for the decision

A key function of the Waste Disposal Authority operating under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, is to provide outlets for the processing of dry recyclables. The current three year (plus one year extension) is due to expire on 21 October 2024, with no further extension permitted

 

Background

Dry Mixed Recyclables (DMR) are a mix of recyclable items which typically arise from local authorities collecting co-mingled waste from households, such as paper and card, cans, plastics and glass.

 

These materials are collected together in the same kerbside container to be sorted at a material recycling facility (MRF).

 

At the MRF there are various mechanical and hand sorted processes to ensure the waste is correctly segregated.

 

Once the waste streams are separated, they are distributed to reprocessing plants where they are fed back to manufacturers to be processed into new products as demonstrated in Appendix 1.

 

The technology to sort the materials is extremely sophisticated and can sort over 95% of the materials that are processed at the facility for onwards recycling.

 

The sorting and processing of DMR falls under KCC’s statutory remit to make provision for the receipt and treatment of this material under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

 

The current three year (plus one year extension) is due to expire on 21 October 2024, with no further extension permitted.

 

Options

 

o   Option 1:Do nothing and discontinue accepting the DMR waste from the collection authorities; this is not an option as when the contract ceases on the 21st October 2024, KCC will be in breach of its statutory duty under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

 

o   Option 2:Continue to accept the waste, but utilise alternative disposal methods by using landfill or incineration; this is not an option as there is a priority to move this material up the waste hierarchy to meet landfill diversion targets, improve recycling rates, achieve better value via a contractual arrangement with a contractor who specialises in managing DMR waste, and avoid incineration as it is costly in comparison.

 

Option 3 - To award a contract via the CSKL Framework to the incumbent contractor N+P for seven years via CSKL Framework -  for 7 years via the CSKL Framework –The new legislation poses unquantified outcomes which will impact the risk profile of the contract post 2026. These risks will be costed into the pricing mechanism to minimise risk for the contractor, making this a more expensive option.

 

Option 4:– To award a contract via the CSKL Framework to the incumbent contractor N+P for 24 months with a 36-month extension via the CSKL Framework. via the CSKL Framework – This shorter-term contract will allow for the outcomes of the reforms to be assessed without the risk being costed into the contract - Preferred Option

. 

 

The commission of this contract will meet KCC’s Strategy – Framing Kent’s Future 2022 – 2026 one of the four key priorities:

Priority 3: Environmental step change: Continue to work with our commissioning partners to create the infrastructure and jobs that enable us to reprocess waste materials and produce energy within the county, in order to maintain a closed loop local economy

 

The commission of this contract will meet KCC’s Budget  Strategy – Securing Kent’s Future by seeking best value via the commissioning and procurement route consistent with  the prioritisation of the Council’s best value duty.

 

Financial Implications

o   The 2024/25 revenue budget is £1,831,400 p/a based on 69,882 budgeted tonnes.

 

o   The annual cost of the commission is £1,566,300 based on current market prices processing 75,000 tonnes.

 

o   The total cost of the commission for the 24-month initial period is projected to be £3,132,600 based on 75,000 tonnes pa,

 

o    Growth is based on an increase of tonnage anticipated through population growth and increased outputs due to increased performance.

 

o   The markets for recyclables can fluctuate as they are market driven, and as such predicting the extension value accurately is challenging.

 

o   KCC will be seeking a contractual arrangement which offers the benefit of a rebate on the sale of the commodities. These rebates are influenced by factors such as material quality, volume, and market values.

 

o   It should be noted that there would be significant haulage costs should there be a requirement to travel out of the County, as well as an environmental impact with regard to higher emission outputs. It is also necessary for the fleet to be available to service other contracts therefore, it is desirable to have disposal outlets that are as local to Kent as possible.

 

o    Haulage costs will be evaluated so that the full cost of the contract is considered.

 

 

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Environment

Decision due date: Not before 31/07/2024 To allow 28 day notice period required under Executive Decision regulations

Lead officer: Kay Groves

Notice of decision: 02/07/2024

Anticipated restriction: Part exempt


02/07/2024 - 24/00064 - Receipt and processing of organics for south west Kent - gw/2004/01

Proposed decision

 

The Cabinet Member for Environment is requested to approve the extension of the contractual arrangement for receipt and processing of organic waste in south west Kent (including Maidstone green waste) collected by Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge & Malling, and Maidstone Waste Collection Authorities, as well as green waste deposited at North Farm household waste recycling centre.

 

The extension is proposed to be for a 19 month term to align with the expiration of other organic waste contracts and to allow for a commissioning activity to be undertaken. The extension period is for continuity of service to fulfil the statutory duty of KCC as the Waste Disposal Authority operating under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

 

Reason for the decision

KCC currently has in place a contractual arrangement that is due to expire 31st August 2024, and therefore is seeking an extension for the processing of organic waste material currently collected by the  waste collection authorities in south west Kent and Maidstone.

 

Background

·         As the waste disposal authority, KCC has a statutory responsibility for the processing of organic waste collected by a number of borough and district councils from households at the kerbside, and from residents depositing green waste at household waste recycling centres.

·         KCC currently operates three contracts with Envar Composting Ltd in West Malling for the processing of green waste, one of which is due to expire in August 2024.

·         KCC had been in negotiations with the previous owner of the Blaise composting facility to secure more favourable terms for the extension. However, during these negotiations the facility was sold to Envar Composting Ltd.

·         Although, the contract allows for an extension up to 60 months, KCC is seeking an extension period of 19 months to align to the expiration of other organic contracts and to pursue a full procurement exercise across all organic (green waste) contacts.

Options

1.    Option 1 - Do nothing – the current arrangements will cease and KCC will be unable to accept the waste - this is not an option due to KCC’s obligation to receive this material under waste legislation and dispose of it as per the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

 

2.    Option 2 - Continue to accept the waste but utilise alternative disposal options by using landfill or incineration - This is not an option as there is a desire and obligation to move material up the waste hierarchy where possible, and to meet recycling and landfill diversion targets. Furthermore, to send this material to incineration would be costly against a treatment option.

3.    Option 3 - Commence a full procurement exercise before the end of the contract – this is not an option as there is insufficient time to undertake a commissioning activity due to the unforeseen sale of the facility and subsequent cessation of negotiations.

4.    Option 4 - Extend for a period between 24 and 60 months (full extension) - This is not discounted and has been considered as a proposal put forward by the new owners; however, it is felt that to align all organic contracts to one end date may produce economies of scale when a full county re-procurement is undertaken.

5.    Option 5 The recommended option - Extend for 19 months (to April 2026) and undertake a commissioning activity. This is the preferred option to enable the undertaking of market research and a commissioning activity to secure a provider who can treat and utilise the waste material meeting the circular economy desired outcomes.  The procurement of the full suite of organic waste contracts aims to deliver greater value for money as the bids should be more competitive.

 

Preferred Option

·         Option 5 is the preferred option. The Authority is seeking to extend with the incumbent for 19 months, with a full commisioning activity undertaken that will benefit and achieve the best outcomes for the Authority and Kent households, and fulfil the statutory duty of KCC operating under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

The commission of this contract will meet KCC’s Strategy – Framing Kent’s Future 2022 – 2026 one of the four key priorities:

·         Priority 3: Environmental step change: Continue to work with our commissioning partners to create the infrastructure and jobs that enable us to reprocess waste materials and produce energy within the county, in order to maintain a closed loop local economy.

The commission of this contract will meet KCC’s Budget Strategy – Securing Kent’s Future by seeking best value via the commissioning and procurement route consistent with  the prioritisation of the Council’s best value duty.

 

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Environment

Decision due date: Not before 31/07/2024 To allow 28 day notice period required under Executive Decision regulations

Lead officer: Kay Groves

Notice of decision: 02/07/2024

Anticipated restriction: Part exempt


02/07/2024 - 24/00063 - Disposal of Boughton Mount, Boughton Lane, Boughton Monchelsea ME17 4NA

Proposed decision:

 

The Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance, Corporate and Traded Services to agree to:

 

1.       the disposal of the property, Boughton Mount, Boughton Lane, Boughton Monchelsea ME17 4NA; and

 

2.       delegate authority to The Director of Infrastructure, in consultation with the Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance, Corporate and Traded Services, to finalise the terms of the disposal and execution of all necessary or desirable documentation required to implement the above.

 

Reason for the decision

The property is surplus to the Council’s operational requirements and due to its projected value, a key decision will be required as per Kent County Council’s constitution.

 

Background

The site is a former hostel and special care unit within parkland/gardens. It has been declared surplus by the Council as it is no longer required for operational purposes.

 

The Council intends to openly market the site and advice provided from agents regarding anticipated values indicates that a key decision is required.

 

A decision is therefore sought to authorise the disposal of the site and to delegate authority to the Director of Infrastructure to finalise the terms subject to consultation with the relevant Cabinet Member.

 

Options (other options considered but discarded)

As the property is not required for the Council’s operational purposes, the main alternative option is for the site to be sold as the existing buildings are too dilapidated to bring back into beneficial use.  The disposal will provide a capital receipt to reinvest in the Council’s priorities, as set out in its Capital Programme.

 

How the proposed decision supports the Framing Kent's Future - Our Council Strategy 2022-2026

This decision supports Framing Kent’s Future as the disposal will, along with other assets within its disposal programme, contribute to the Council’s aim to become carbon neutral. It will also release brownfield redevelopment opportunities, helping towards the County’s housing targets.

 

How the proposed decision supports Securing Kent’s Future 2022 -2026: Securing Kents Future - Budget Recovery Strategy

This decision supports Securing Kent’s Future 2022-2026 by securing a capital receipt to invest in KCC’s priority projects and programmes whilst also streamlining KCC’s property portfolio, achieving financial and efficiency benefits.

 

Decision Maker: Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance, Corporate and Traded Services

Decision due date: Not before 31/07/2024 To allow 28 day notice period required under Executive Decision regulations

Lead officer: Mark Cheverton

Notice of decision: 02/07/2024

Anticipated restriction: Part exempt


26/06/2024 - 24/00062 - Implementation of Standardised School Led Home to School Transport Offer for all Home to School Transport

Proposed decision

 

 

That the Cabinet Member for Education and Skills agree to:

 

a)    Approve the Implementation of a standardised School Led Transport arrangement for schools, settings and other independent third party support agencies.

 

b)    Delegate authority to the Corporate Director for Children, Young People and Education,  to enter into relevant contracts or other legal agreements, including Service Level agreements (SLAs),and ensure sufficient administrative capacity, as necessary to implement this decision

 

Background

 

In line with the council’s Transport Policy for Children and Young People aged 4 to 16 and Post 16 Transport Policy Statement including Post 19, a proposed standardised approach for School Led Home to School Transport has been developed. This will facilitate direct provision of school transport to entitled pupils via their school, setting or other independent third party support agencies, at a reduced cost to the KCC arranged alternatives.

 

Reason

 

Historic non-standardised arrangements are currently in place with three schools who provide transport support for all entitled pupils that attend their setting. These schools report that these direct arrangements allow for a more responsive transport offer, which improves not only the child’s journey to and from school, but also their learning experience throughout the school day. From a Local Authority perspective, school led arrangements are more cost effective  than the market equivalent and ensure that limited capacity remains available for other pupils. It is therefore prudent for Kent to implement standardised arrangements and make this opportunity available for all qualifying Kent schools.

 

Options (other options considered but discarded)

 

Kent County Council is undertaking a full review of Home to School transport arrangements to identify potential opportunities to deliver it’s statutory duties in a more cost effective manner. Consideration was also given to the potential to secure savings following retendering exercises within the existing network. This option was discounted as a system wide retendering exercise was recently completed in 2022/23 academic year and recent higher levels of inflation significantly reduce the potential for this to reduce current spend.

 

How the proposed decision supports the Framing Kent's Future - Our Council Strategy 2022-2026

 

This decision supports Framing Kent’s future priority 2 – Infrastructure for Communities, in particular making use of innovative transport opportunities to ease pressures on pre-existing transport networks.

 

How the proposed decision supports Securing Kent’s Future 2022 -2026: Securing Kents Future - Budget Recovery Strategy.pdf

 

This decision supports Securing Kent’s Future both in terms of supporting the objective to ensure the in-year budget remains in balance (objective 1) along with identifying and delivering saving opportunities to support the setting of a sustainable budget and MTFP (objective 2) through providing alternative commissioning arrangements for Home to School Transport. This will contribute towards the delivery of the £6.3m savings attributed to Home to School Transport in 24-25 where new arrangements are entered into during the new academic year. 

 

 

Financial Implications

 

The cost of home to school and college transport is funded by the Council Tax General Fund and totalled £67.9m in 2023-24 of which £2.4m was spent on existing school led transport agreements.

 

The intention of all school led transport arrangements is that they will only be organised where there is a financial benefit in addition to the opportunity to provide more flexible options for eligible pupils. Given the nature of operator provided transport, it is likely that most school led arrangements will meet this requirement. Additional staffing administration requirements are expected to be funded from securing new agreements. Based on proposals put forward by providers to date, it is estimated this will be achieved with the securing of one additional agreement, with additional agreements contributing towards the wider savings targets related to Home to School.

 

Legal Implications

 

Sections 508B and 508C of the Education Act 1996 explain how Council tax funded  school transport should operate across the UK for 4 to 16 year olds.

 

Under the Act, a parent is responsible for ensuring that their child attends school regularly. However, Section 444(3B) provides that a parent will have a defence in law against a prosecution by a Local Authority (Council) for their child’s non-attendance at school, where the Local Authority has a duty to make travel arrangements in relation to the Children and Young People (CYP) under Section 508B and has failed to discharge that duty. 

 

Local Authorities do not have a general obligation to provide Council tax payer funded  or subsidised post 16 travel support in the same way as for pupils aged 4 to 16, but do have a duty to prepare and publish an annual transport policy statement specifying the arrangements for the provision of transport, or other support that the authority considers it necessary to make to facilitate the attendance of all persons of sixth form age receiving education or training.

 

The requirements placed on a Local Authority are defined in the Education Act 1996 (as amended), Education and Skills Act 2008, Education and Inspections Act 2006, Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009 and the Equality Act 2010.

 

There are legal implications in relation to compliance with the Public Contract Regulations 2015 in relation to Economic Operators as well as compliance to our internal policy Spending the Council’s Money.

 

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Education and Skills

Decision due date: Not before 25/07/2024 To allow 28 day notice period required under Exeuctive Decision regulations

Lead officer: Craig Chapman

Notice of decision: 26/06/2024

Anticipated restriction: Open


18/06/2024 - 24/00061 - Early Years Review: Implementation of a revised model of Early Years Education in Kent.

Proposed decision

 

That the Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Integrated Children’s Services, approve the implementation of the five key recommendations and six key changes proposed during the public consultation into Early Years Education in Kent.

 

Reason for the decision

 

At the Children, Young People and Education Cabinet Committee on 16 January 2024, the findings of a review into the current strengths and challenges within the Early Years education sector in Kent were presented. At that time, the intention to undertake a public consultation on a revised model of universal, targeted and specialist support for Early Years settings and a new process to apply for Special Educational Needs Inclusion Funding (SENIF)  was shared.

 

An eight-week public consultation has been completed. Five  recommendations and six key changes  focused on addressing a lack of inclusive culture, disjointed services and bureaucratic processes identified within the review where shared for comment. These were:

 

Key Recommendations

 

  1. The Early Years education system needs a shift in culture towards one of greater inclusion and achievement for all children and specifically for those with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND)
  2. Improved leadership is needed with clear lines of responsibility and accountability as the Early Years education system is disjointed due to services being delivered across multiple partners (KCC, KCC commissioned partners, and Health)
  3. Any future model of Early Years education must place children and their families at the centre i.e. a child and family-centred approach.
  4. There is a need for greater alignment of Early Years services with more resources working directly with children, families and in settings with early education practitioners
  5. Improved communications are needed, with a single, reliable source of information available to families and professionals.

 

Key Changes

 

  1. Early Years and Childcare Service (EYCS) will move to a Link Worker model, providing universal support and removing the need for settings to self-refer to the service
  2. SENIF Practitioners to focus more on delivering targeted support within settings for individual children.
  3. Specialist Teachers from the Specialist Teaching and Learning Service will continue working in settings with individual children and groups of children identified as having similar needs. They will no longer be required to provide evidence of level of need as part of the SENIF process
  4. Specialist Nursery Intervention will continue to work with individual children but will provide support directly to children in their mainstream settings without the need for the child to attend a special school setting, as is (predominantly) the current model.
  5. The process to apply for SENIF will change and move away from settings being reliant on additional evidence provided by professionals.
  6. The model proposes a core offer of training available to settings and childminders that will be designed with input from settings themselves.

 

The responses to the consultations have been analysed and the recommendations identified regarding the implementation of this revised model are being bought for decision.

 

Background – Provide brief additional context

 

In November 2022, the Director of Education and SEND requested a comprehensive review of Early Years education in Kent. Findings of the review were presented to Children, Young People and Education Cabinet Committee on 16 January 2024. https://democracy.kent.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=894&MId=9301&Ver=4

 

At that time, the service stated its intention to undertake a public consultation on a new model of universal, targeted and specialist support for settings, including a new process to access Special Educational Needs Inclusion Funding (SENIF).

 

An eight week public consultation was launched on 11 March 2024 and ended on 5th May 2024 which sought views on five key recommendations identified as part of the review in response to key issues identified (lack of inclusive culture, a disjointed system and too much bureaucracy within the system) and on six proposals related to how a refreshed model of universal, targeted and specialist support could work in the future to address these issues.

 

 

Options (other options considered but discarded)

 

For each recommendation and proposal identified within the Public Consultation, the option to not implement the proposal was considered and dismissed.

 

All proposals and key changes presented for consultation received a majority of ‘agree’ responses when strongly, and ‘tend to agree’ responses where combined. Additional consideration was given to the proposed revised model for Specialist Nursery Intervention given the small majority of agree responses and the concerns raised. The two main concerns raised in relation to this model where that specialist nurseries would be closed and that some children cannot be supported in mainstream settings. Under the proposal however, children who require specialist support will be able to access this while in their mainstream settings and those children who require prolonged support in a specialist setting will still be able to access this.

 

How the proposed decision supports the Framing Kent's Future - Our Council Strategy 2022-2026

 

These actions will support Framing Kent’s Future through:

 

  • Priority 1: Levelling Up Kent and our commitment to maintain KCC’s strategic role in supporting schools in Kent to deliver accessible, high quality education provision for all families, specifically: Maintain improvement support services for all Kent schools, including maintained schools and academies, to maintain Kent’s high-quality education system.

 

  • Priority 4: New Models of Care and Support and our commitment is to support the most vulnerable children and families in our county, specifically in relation to responding to national policy changes on SEND provision, work with SEND families to rapidly improve the service provided to SEND children and work with mainstream schools so more can accept and meet the needs of children with SEND, increasing choice and proximity of school places.

 

While both above priorities apply directly to schools, it is reasonable to extend the application of these to the earliest years of children’s education provided through early years settings and childminders.

 

These actions will support Securing Kent’s Future by:

·         Supporting Objective 1 in bringing the budget back into balance through cost avoidance achieved by supporting more children in mainstream schools from the outset of their statutory education and avoiding the use of non-maintained independent special school placements. 

·         Further transforming the operating model of the Council (Objective 4). By making processes less time-consuming and bureaucratic we can free up our resource to focus on working directly with children and the providers that support them. A greater focus on understanding and demonstrating impact will enable more effective decision making about how and where to focus the use of resources.

 

Equalities implications

 

The Equalities Impact Assessment has been updated to reflect the feedback provided through the public consultation.

 

Key issues identified from the public consultation are:

·   children with English not their primary language need to be able to access services.

·   cultural issues meaning that parents do not want to acknowledge that their children have SEND.

·   impact on staff delivering Specialist Nursery Intervention if they need to move to an outreach model.

 

The following mitigating actions have been identified in relation to the above:

·   this will be considered in relation to Recommendation 5 which relates specifically to communication.

·   Key Change 1 proposes that Early Years and Childcare Service move to a link worker model will ensure that more robust universal practice is embedded within settings meaning that children with SEND can be identified earlier and discussions had with parents sooner.

·   Key Change 4 proposes the move to an outreach model. Each school will need to consider the individual needs of their staff in relation to implementing this model.

 

Data Protection implications

 

Data protection implications will be considered as part of the implementation of the revised model, specifically in relation to the development of referral pathways and funding applications processes.

 

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Education and Skills

Decision due date: Not before 17/07/2024 To allow 28 day notice period required under Exeuctive Decision regulations

Lead officer: Christy Holden

Notice of decision: 18/06/2024

Anticipated restriction: Open


18/06/2024 - 24/00060 - Proposed Increase of a Designated Number of Nexus Foundation Special School

Proposed decision

 

The Cabinet Member for Education and Skills is asked to:

 

a)      approve the increase the Designated Number of places at Nexus Foundation Special School, Upper Haysden Lane, Tonbridge, Kent TN11, from 228 to 330 from September 2024.

 

b)      authorise the allocation of £1,260,000 in funding from the Children Young People and Education Services Basic Need Capital Budget to fund the first phase of works to permanently expand Nexus Foundation Special School.

 

d)      authorise the Director of Infrastructure, Strategic and Corporate Services in consultation with the Director of Education to enter into any necessary contracts or other legal agreements , as required to implement the decision.

 

e)      authorise the Director of Infrastructure, Strategic and Corporate Services to be the nominated Authority Representative within the relevant agreements and to enter into variations as envisaged under the contracts.

 

Reason for Decision and Background

Kent County Council (KCC), as the Local Authority (LA), has a statutory duty to ensure sufficient school places are available. The County Council’s Commissioning Plan for Education Provision in Kent 2024-28 (KCP) 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:

http://www.kent.gov.uk/about-the-council/strategies-and-policies/education-skills-and-employment-policies/education-provision

 

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 demand for special school provision within Tonbridge and the wider West Kent area has increased commensurately, and in recent years KCC has commissioned additional places at Nexus without providing additional accommodation.  Since the academic year 2021/22 Nexus has temporarily increased its intake to average of 16 on its main campus and to 6 for the Wouldham satellite to meet the commissioned demand.  The demand for places at Nexus is set to remain for the foreseeable future and therefore the proposed scheme provides the physical capacity to continue to admit the increased intakes on a permanent basis.

 

Options

Nexus is the only special school for children with Profound Severe and Complex needs in Tonbridge and, without the provision of permanent additional provision, pupils would need to travel further to access appropriate Special Education Needs (SEN) placements or be placed in expensive independent special needs provision.  Both options would increase the on-going financial pressure on the authority.

 

Financial Implications

Feasibility work has been undertaken which estimates the total cost of additional accommodation to be circa £4m.  This sum was included in the CYPE High Needs Provision Capital Budget agreed at County Council as at February 2024.

 

The delivery of the additional accommodation to provide capacity for the increased Designated Number is proposed to be delivered over two phases. The first phase of works will deliver the accommodation required for the September 2024 school year.  Costings and a tender process have been undertaken for the first phase of the works and an estimated cost of £802,400 identified.  This is to provide a modular building comprising 2 classrooms and dining hall.  The cost identified also includes design and management, planning application/building control, surveys, installation, and all associated works to construct and deliver the modular build.  This would provide the school with the initial capacity it would need to accommodate a staggered increase in pupil numbers.

 

It is proposed that the first phase of works will be a school managed scheme, with the roles and responsibilities of each party formally set out through a legal contract between KCC and Nexus. KCC will monitor progress regularly during the building works to ensure that the accommodation needs are being met.

 

A second phase of works would be undertaken to provide the school with the remaining additional accommodation it requires to admit a total roll of 330 pupils in subsequent years. An early estimate of the cost of Phase 2 is £2.88m, detailed costings will be developed as a design is progressed and planning permission sought. The pre-construction design costs associated with Phase 2 are approximately £420,000; this sum combined with the Phase 1 costs of £802,400 reaches the threshold for a Key Decision and therefore a total of £1,252,400 is being sought; with the capital cost of Phase 2 subject to a subsequent Key Decision.  

 

Revenue Funding:

 

There is no General Fund revenue funding requirement expected for phase 1 of the project as the scheme does not currently include the need for temporary mobiles to be hired based on the anticipated programme. Should the scheme not proceed through to completion, any costs incurred at the time of cessation would become abortive costs and are likely to be recharged to Revenue. This would be reported through the regular financial monitoring reports to Cabinet

 

Should the scheme progress, £6,000 per new learning space would be provided towards the cost of furniture and equipment. This would be provided to the school to purchase required equipment. In addition, an allowance of up to £2,500 may be payable to outfit each new teaching room with appropriate ICT equipment, such as touch screens or projection equipment.  The school would receive funding for the additional pupils that it admits in line with the funding allocated to special schools through KCC’s funding formula. All school related revenue costs highlighted will be met from the Dedicated Schools Grant, a ring-fenced grant from the Department of Education.  

 

 

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Education and Skills

Decision due date: Not before 17/07/2024 To allow 28 day notice period required under Executive Decision regulations

Lead officer: Nick Abrahams

Notice of decision: 18/06/2024

Anticipated restriction: Open


18/06/2024 - 24/00059 - Proposed expansion of New Line Learning Academy, Boughton Lane, Maidstone, Kent, ME15 9QL

Proposed decision

 

The Cabinet Member for Education and Skills is asked to:

 

a)      authorise the allocation of £6,900,000 from the Children Young People and Education Services Basic Need Capital Budget to fund the permanent expansion of New Line Learning Academy by 1FE, increasing its Published Admission Number (PAN) from 180 to 210 from September 2025.

 

b)      authorise the Director of Infrastructure, Strategic and Corporate Services in consultation with the Director of Education to enter into any necessary contracts/ agreements on behalf of the County Council with The Future Schools Trust.

 

c)      authorise the Director of Infrastructure, Strategic and Corporate Services to be the nominated Authority Representative within the relevant agreements and to enter into variations as envisaged under the contracts.

 

 

Reason for Decision

 

The expansion of New Line Learning Academy is proposed in response to the significant demand for places within the Maidstone non-selective planning group indicated in the County Council’s Commissioning Plan for Education Provision in Kent 2024-28 (KCP).  The planning group has a forecast deficit of 129 places in 2024-25, which is set to increase throughout the Plan period.

 

In recent years, schools within this planning group have admitted over PAN, creating additional capacity.  We anticipate this pattern to continue and will accommodate some of the forecast deficit.  However, up to 90 temporary places via bulge provision within the existing Secondary schools will be needed to meet the demand initially, prior to permanent expansion works of up to 3 FE from 2025-26.  The proposed expansion of New Line Learning by 1FE, increasing the Published Admission Number (PAN) from 180 to 210 from September 2025, will form part of Kent County Council’s (KCC) co-ordinated response to the forecast demand.

 

Background

New Line Learning is a co-educational non-selective school for students of 11-16 years that converted to academy status in September 2007 and is now part of The Future Schools Trust.  The academy was rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted at its November 2019 inspection.  The academy and the trust are keen to expand the school and welcome the opportunity to temporarily expand in September 2024 prior to the proposed permanent expansion in September 2025.

 

Following discussion regarding the accommodation needs of the school, KCC has agreed with TheFuture Schools Trust that, should this proposal go ahead, it will be a trust managed scheme, with KCC providing the Basic Need funding and the Trust undertaking the necessary capital works. The Trust has previously undertaken capital works relating to school improvement and maintenance and has the organisational infrastructure to manage such schemes.

 

Securing Kent’s Future

 

The 'Securing Kent's Future' strategy outlines the measures that KCC intend to take to ensure that Kent remains financially stable, now and in the future.  It describes the statutory priorities, one of which being the statutory duty, as the Strategic Commissioner of Education Provision in Kent, to ensure sufficient school places are available to any child or young person who requires one. 

 

The KCP is a five-year rolling plan which is updated annually that 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:

http://www.kent.gov.uk/about-the-council/strategies-and-policies/education-skills-and-employment-policies/education-provision

 

The KCP highlights significant demand for additional places in the Maidstone non-selective planning group over the coming years.  Therefore, the proposed expansion to New Line Learning is necessary for KCC to continue to deliver its statutory duty, in a cost-effective way, in line with the guidelines described in the Securing Kent's Future strategy. It will help to maintain KCC’s strategic role in supporting schools in Kent to deliver accessible, high quality education provision for all families.

 

Options

The short to medium term expansion options within existing Maidstone schools are limited, with 2 of the town centre schools having already expanded in recent years, whilst others are constrained by site and infrastructure limitations.  KCC are working with a number of schools within the planning group to formulate expansion proposals over the coming years and New Line Learning is the first scheme to proceed to the detailed feasibility stage.

 

Financial Implications

 

Capital Funding:

In depth feasibility work has been undertaken which estimates the total cost of additional accommodation to be £6,888,200.  The cost of this project will be funded through the CYPE Basic Need Capital Budget that was agreed at County Council in February 2024. 

 

It is proposed that it will be a trust managed scheme and The Future Schools Trust have engaged a suitable contractor who has completed previous building work for the trust.  KCC will monitor progress regularly during the building works to ensure that the accommodation needs are being met.

 

Revenue Funding:

There is no General Fund revenue funding requirement. Should the scheme not proceed through to completion, any costs incurred at the time of cessation would become abortive costs and are likely to be recharged to Revenue. This would be reported through the regular financial monitoring reports to Cabinet

 

Should the scheme progress, £6,000 per new learning space would be provided towards the cost of furniture and equipment. This would be provided to the school to purchase required equipment. In addition, an allowance of up to £2,500 may be payable to outfit each new teaching room with appropriate ICT equipment, such as touch screens or projection equipment.  The school would receive funding for the additional pupils that it admits in line with the funding allocated to schools through KCC’s funding formula. All school related revenue costs will be met from the Dedicated Schools Grant as ring-fenced  from the Department of Education, the expansion will fall into Kent’s Growth Funding Policy.

 

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Education and Skills

Decision due date: Not before 17/07/2024 To allow 28 day notice period required under Executive Decision regulations

Lead officer: Nick Abrahams

Notice of decision: 18/06/2024

Anticipated restriction: Open


18/06/2024 - 24/00057 - Family hubs: Infant feeding five year strategy, 'Nourishing the next generation'

Proposed decision

 

That the Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health approve the adoption and implementation of the Infant Feeding Strategy

 

 

Reason

 

The requirement from the Department of Education (DfE) is to co-create and embed an infant feeding strategy which ensures services are tailored to the local communities and there is a coherent and joined-up approach between staff and organisations.

 

Background

 

The requirement to develop a co-created Infant feeding strategy has provided opportunity to bring stakeholders together from across the system, to raise awareness of infant feeding and identify where there are gaps in support.  The strategy has been made available for a period of eight weeks for public consultation during February – April 2024.

 

How the proposed decision supports the Council’s Strategy 2022-26

 

This service contributes to ‘Priority 1: Levelling up Kent’ of the Framing Kent’s Future Our Council Strategy 2022-2026 as providing parents/mums the support in giving their babies the best start in life to improve the population’s health and narrowing health inequalities. 

 

Securing Kent’s Future

 

The proposed decision aligns with Objective 3 of securing Kent’s Future: Policy choices and scope of Council’s ambitions

 

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health

Decision due date: Not before 17/07/2024 To allow 28 day notice period required under Executive Decision regulations

Lead officer: Wendy Jeffreys

Notice of decision: 18/06/2024

Anticipated restriction: Open


11/06/2024 - 24/00046 - KCC CLS Adult Education Funding Reform

Proposed decision

 

For KCC Community Learning and Skills (CLS) to change its delivery model to meet its contractual obligations as set out under the new Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) rules which come into effect from 1st August 2024.

 

Reason for the decision

 

Following funding changes by the Department for Education (DfE) / Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), which will come into effect from 1st August 2024, KCC Community Learning and Skills (CLS) must undertake significant reform if it is to continue to deliver vital core skills to the residents of Kent and remain within the new terms of the funding contract.

 

While much of the provision will remain the same, it is expected that the reforms would alter some of the types of courses offered, the customer base and the delivery locations particularly for the Creative and Personal Development components.

 

A decision is required in response to the Department for Education (DfE) reforms in relation to further education funding, which will require a change to KCC CLS service business model.

 

 

Background

 

Community Learning and Skills (CLS) is KCC’s internally commissioned department to deliver Education and Training to adults and young people over 16. It delivers core subjects like English and maths, and has a long history of a creative arts curriculum as well as languages, fitness and humanities. CLS are responsible for delivering the Education & Skills Funding Agency Adult Education Budget (AEB) on behalf of KCC, which support the goals and objectives of Framing Kent’s Future. 

 

CLS provide and secure learning opportunities for Kent’s residents which:

·         engage and build confidence, preparing them for further learning and employment,

·         improve essential skills in areas such English, ESOL, maths, digital skills,

·         equip parents/carers to support children’s learning,

·         improve health and wellbeing to develop strong, integrated communities.

 

From the new academic year, starting on 1st August 2024, the DfE/ESFA are changing the AEB to become the Adult Skills Fund (ASF) which introduces significant alterations to the funding rules and how the funding should be utilised.

 

These reforms refocus how funding is used with the new focus being to reskill and upskill adults for work, and to move funding away from courses taken purely for leisure / pleasure purposes. The reforms will benefit learners through the stronger link between the training available to them and the employment opportunities in their local area. New Annual Accountability Statements for grant-funded FE providers, like KCC/CLS, requires them to outline their plans to contribute to local and national skills needs.

 

Other key points to note from the funding reforms:

 

·         Learning for leisure and pleasure is no longer fundable or to be subsidised via the Adult Skills Fund.The courses impacted include many of the creative (art / crafts) and language courses.

·         Learners classified as repeat learners (learners who have attended the same type of course, completing a full level) will be expected to progress to the next level, move to a different type of course or move into ‘self-organised learning’ which may be at an increased cost to the learner.  This accounts for around 41% of KCC/CLS current learners.

·         All learning by an individual must be categorised into a ‘Primary Purpose’ from one of the following seven areas: Engaging and/or building confidence; Preparation for further learning; Preparation for employment; Improving essential skills including English, ESOL, Maths and Digital; Equipping parents/carers to support children's learning; Health and well-being; Developing stronger communities.

 

KCC CLS is proposing to make changes to its delivery model to ensure itmeets contractual obligations and gives even more focus to Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP) priorities around skills gaps, and local needs. This would also include qualification and non-qualification courses leading towards working in Creative industries, as well as for example, language courses to support work in employers who require bi-lingual skills e.g. Border Force. Whilst learning for leisure/pleasure would not be included in this option, Creative and Fitness courses as a vehicle to support health and wellbeing would be delivered, and Creative and language courses would still be included for an individual for a defined period, as they sit within ESFA funding rules. Examples of the learning aims possible would be provided in the report presented to Cabinet Committee.

 

Sub-contracting opportunities will be explored where CLS do not have existing staff base, for example, particular vocational sectors.

 

This is the preferred option, on the basis that this option holds fewer financial risks for KCC long term and will also enable an undivided focus on achieving the KCC strategic aims and those outlined within the ESFA contract.

 

 

Options (other options considered but discarded)

 

Option 2 – Contract plus Learner Funded Business Unit

This would be as option 1, alteration of our business model to meet the terms of the new contract, but with the addition of a commercial unit in the form of Learner Funded Business Unit (LFBU). The LFBU could help replace the offer for learners whose courses are now excluded from ESFA funding. These learners would pay for their courses without recourse to concessions or discounts. KCC CLS would deliver in each district according to identified demand and building suitability. Estimates for fees are variable, but biggest increases would be for specialist courses requiring specialist equipment at circa 100% higher than the equivalent subsidised course rate.

 

Option 3 – Close KCC CLS

This option has two variables, as KCC could a) return the contract to DfE/ESFA or

b) commission/sub-contract delivery to external providers. With ‘b’, KCC would still, as the contract holder, retain the responsibility for quality, data, compliance, OFSTED inspections etc.

 

Option 4 - Do nothing:

CLS would continue with the present offer including courses for learners which will be precluded from funding but with equivalent course pricing structures as now and in the buildings presently occupied.

 

 

 

How the proposed decision supports Framing Kent's Future - Our Council Strategy 2022-2026

 

The changes will support KCC’s ambitions by:

  • focussing on demographics within local communities to deliver improvements in adult educational attainment, skills and employment rates and economy.
  • forging a greater relationship and joint working with Public Health to improve the health of the population.
  • supporting KCC Infrastructure in strategic planning of new housing developments to ensure the provision of education is available at the point of need.
  • supporting rural communities in their access to education
  • providing opportunities for people to develop their confidence and ability to build a stronger community.
  • reviewing the CLS occupied KCC freehold estate and relocate to more carbon efficient premises.
  • offering more provision within local communities, thereby reducing carbon emissions through customer travel.
  • continuing to deliver the highly successful Family Learning and Response programmes which support many of the most vulnerable.


How the proposed decision supports Securing Kent’s Future

 

Implementing the proposals will contribute towards Objective 3 of securing Kent’s future:

- The transformation of the service, in line with the requirements of the grant funding and in response to changes in Government priorities, will aim to return the service to a self-funded model of delivery within 3 years and achieve financial sustainability in the longer term (recognising there will be a short-term pressure whilst this transformation takes place). The proposed model of delivery was considered the most cost effective option over the next 3 academic years. 

 

Financial Implications

 

 

The proposal involves changing the delivery model to adhere to the changes in funding. A restructure would be required which would result in a financial pressure to the Council in the region of £0.6m - £0.9m in 2024-25 financial year whilst the service adjusts to the new delivery model, with the expectation this pressure would be reduced in 25-26, and the service returning to a self-funded model by 2026-27 

 

 

It is anticipated there will be an initial reduction of enrolments but there would be future growth across the three years to mitigate the risk of contract reduction.

 

This model of delivery would still expect KCC CLS to seek opportunities to attract additional funding and additional fee income, through delivery of bespoke courses, for example to employers. There would be some fee income (earned outside of ESFA contract, where courses/need aligned with the Primary Purposes) and estimates circa £1.3m. Based on this assumption and the occupation of buildings suited to the new offer, it is anticipated that KCC CLS would be returning to a small surplus within three years.

 

The Revenue Budget for 2024-25, agreed by the Council in February 2024, expected CLS to be fully funded from a combination of external grants and fee income with the delivery of a small surplus of -£0.1m to support wider indirect overheads. When assessing the different options for the future of CLS, due to the estimated impact of the government funding from August 2024, it is likely there will be a short-term financial pressure on this service during 2024-25, this will be reported in the financial monitoring report presented to Cabinet. The Directorate will look to see what mitigating actions could be taken to offset this possible overspend. 

 

Staffing

 

There will be an impact to the CLS staffing base and particularly for tutors in the biggest impacted areas of Creative/CPD courses.There would be no implementation of staff changes prior to 1st August 2024, and headcount changes would not likely take place until the end of the year. This would add financial pressure which will be managed through a programme of activity to best utilise paid hours.

 

Property Assets

 

A reduction in set property assets will be vital for CLS to return to financial viability. Currently the dedicated fixed assets represent an annual revenue cost of over £2m in addition to the ad hoc facilities charges. Moving forward, under the preferred option, the service would require more short-term community-based venues that will alter based on the areas of most need. Moving to this more agile model of delivery would free up space to be considered for other KCC uses, and if the assets were surplus to KCCs requirements, they could return a significant capital receipt and also avoid the longer-term maintenance costs of those assets.

 

Equalities implications

 

An EqIA has been undertaken and will continue to be reviewed through the decision process. The EqIA has identified that the biggest, and most detrimental impacts to service users in the long term would have been from Options 3 (close the service or sub-contract provision) and Option 4 (do nothing).

Options 1 and 2 also identify impacts on those with protected characteristics these being:

·         Potential reduction to the service offer, particularly in learning for leisure with mitigation provided by either the introduction of a Learner-funded offer and/or signposting to alternative learning providers and the promotion of self-organised learning.

·         Potential reduced access, particularly for those who may, because of their protected characteristic, have limited financial means. There is limited mitigation by access to funding via tailored learning.

·         Older people may be more greatly affected because of their proportional representation within CLS and because they most often use classes for leisure purposes. Mitigation would be provided by either the introduction of a Learner-funded offer and/or signposting to alternative learning providers and the promotion of self-organised learning.

·         Those identifying as women may be more greatly impacted, again due to the proportional representation. For 23/24 thus far, participation is 78% female, 22% male.

 

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Education and Skills

Decision due date: Not before 26/06/2024 To allow 28 day notice period required under Executive Decision regulations

Notice of decision: 28/05/2024

Anticipated restriction: Open


05/06/2024 - 24/00026 - The Locality Model for Special Educational Needs Inclusion

Proposed decision

 

The Cabinet Member for Education and Skills to approve the adoption and implementation of the Locality Model for Special Educational Needs Inclusion in Kent

 

Reason for the decision

 

-     Adopting the Locality Model for Special Education Needs (SEN) Inclusion would be a step forwards in Kent County Council’s (KCC) commitment to delivering the priorities of the Countywide Approach to Inclusive Education (CATIE) Strategy. The CATIE Strategy is one of KCC’s responsibilities to implement the Designated Schools Grant management plan, as outlined in the Department for Education’s (DfE) Safety Valve Agreement with Kent.

 

-      Implementing the Locality Model will support increased inclusion in mainstream schools for children and young people with SEN. The Locality Model will be the framework that ensures KCC can deliver the most effective and appropriate High Needs Funding (HNF) allocations to local areas in Kent. The Locality Model will align with a new Kent SEN continuum being developed to span mainstream, specialist resource, and special school provisions, ensuring system-wide cohesion.

 

Background

 

-      In May 2023, at KCC’s Children Young People and Education (CYPE) Cabinet Committee, the CATIE was set out as KCC’s strategy for 2023-28. The CATIE established KCC’s collective ambitions for children, young people, and their families in Kent. Professionals working together in a collaborative, sustainable system to ensure equity of education, meaning children feel they belong, are respected, and valued as individuals, and are fully supported to achieve their best.    

 

-      The CATIE, signposted within the DfE’s Safety Valve Agreement with Kent, states it will “develop a school/area-led approach to […] SEN support services (Locality Based Resources), to better respond to the needs of children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND)”.

 

-       CATIE’s Priority Two aims to develop community working and implement structures that support children and young people with SEND in Kent to have their needs met within their own locality, wherever possible.

 

-      As part of KCC’s work towards delivering on CATIE priorities a Locality Model has been developed, with the aim of improving the outcomes for children and young people with SEND in Kent. This proposal went out to public consultation between November 2023 and January 2024.

 

Options (other options considered but discounted)

 

-      The process for developing the Locality Model was iterative and alternative options were considered within the development process, to ensure the direction proposed is the right one for Kent. The group involved in developing and defining our options consisted of KCC staff from education, finance, and SEN, alongside leaders of education from KCC mainstream primary and secondary schools (selective and non-selective), single and multi-Academy Trusts, special schools, and free schools.

 

-      Three main options were considered:

1)    to maintain the current system

2)    to implement a Tariff system

3)    to implement a Locality Model

 

-       Option one was discounted as an impracticable solution; it is not currently performing well in Kent, there iscurrent inconsistency in mainstream SEN inclusion and provision, along with a lack of effective monitoring systems and accountability. Ofsted have stated, poor standards are achieved, and progress made, by too many pupils with SEN under the current system.

 

-       Option two could have been viable but was discounted due to its identified limitations. A tariff system[1] for mainstream would provide clear and transparent arrangements with a prescriptive allocation of resources but tends to be used in conjunction with individual funding allocations for children with EHCPs, rather than for wider operations and funding of SEN Support Services. The elements of inflexibility it would bring were also considered too restrictive for SEN support services, and unsupportive of innovative use of resources for mainstream if used on its own.

 

-       Option three was viewed as the best path for KCC to explore and define further with partners. Research finds that more consistent and effective support in mainstream schools lead to positive outcomes for children and young people. Local authorities who make substantial use of peer moderation and mainstream collaboration have found that doing so improves consistency and is a useful source of advice and support. The Locality Model is designed to improve the quality of the mainstream education offer in Kent, through early and accurate identification of need, high quality teaching of a knowledge-rich curriculum, and timely access to specialist health and care support, and via alternative provision placements where they are needed.

 

-      Proposals for the Locality Model were agreed following intensive collaboration with schools, settings, and other key stakeholders, and then put out to consultation with parent/carers, young people, all professional stakeholders, and all members of the public.

 

-  Following consultation, subsequent analysis of feedback, and defining KCC’s response to consultation feedback, the Locality Model will be   presented to the CYPE Cabinet Committee.

 

How the proposed decision supports Securing Kent’s Future andFraming Kent's Future - Our Council Strategy 2022-2026

 

-      The Locality Model directly aligns with KCC’s strategic vison for children, young people, and families, as set out in ‘Framing Kent’s Future’. Priority 1: Levelling up Kent explains that: ‘We will maintain improvement support services for all Kent schools, including maintained schools and academies, to maintain Kent’s high-quality education system’. The Locality Model will implement structures that will increase the inclusion of children and young people with SEN in mainstream schools, so they can be educated with, and are able to access the same opportunities to education as their peers wherever possible. The aim is children and young people with SEN in Kent receive early and timely support. That greater numbers of children and young people are able to have their needs met within mainstream settings, or should they need specialist provision, that wherever possible they can access this locally, close to where they live.

 

-      Under the Locality Model structure, available resources will be discussed by groups of schools and other SEN, education, or healthcare professionals in the local area, to determine where resource and HNF allocations would be best directed. The final decision to allocate HNF will remain with KCC, but by discussions occurring locally KCC aim to make better use of resources. This activity is expected to support KCC with its Safety Valve aims to achieve financial sustainability in the longer term. This would align with priorities set out in Securing Kent’s Future, the next step on from Framing Kent’s Future, agreed at Cabinet in October 2023.

 

Financial Implications

 

-      Kent currently spends approximately £45m on specific high needs allocations to schools per annum. Approximately 40% of this are for SEN support services for individual children and the remainder to children with an EHCP. This is funded from the High Needs Block of the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG), a specific ring-fenced education grant from the Department of Education. The council is one of a number of local authorities which are part of the DfE Safety Valve Programme to support those councils with the highest overspends on SEN services to achieve a financially sustainable longer term position. The Kent’s Safety Valve agreement with the DfE states:

 

“The authority agrees to implement the DSG[2] management plan that it has set out. This includes action to:

 

3.1. Implement a countywide approach to ‘Inclusion Education’, to further build capacity in mainstream schools to support children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), thus increasing the proportion of children successfully supported in mainstream education and reducing dependence on specialist provision

 

3.7. Ensure there is sufficient and consistent capacity across the county to support children with severe and complex needs in their local area where possible

 

3.8. Develop a school/area-led approach to commissioning of SEN support services (Locality Based Resources), to better respond to the needs of children and young people with SEND”

(page 2 and 3  DfE DSG ‘Safety Valve’ Agreement: Kent)

 

-      Kent must implement a sustainable approach to HNF to meet the DfE Safety Valve agreement and to ensure financial sustainability in this area moving forwards; the Locality Model will build the robust governance and monitoring processes required to implement the necessary new approach.

 

 



 

[2] Dedicated Schools Grant

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Education and Skills

Decision due date: Not before 22/05/2024 To allow 28 day notice period required under Exeuctive Decision regulations

Division affected: (All Division);

Lead officer: Roger Silk

Notice of decision: 23/04/2024

Anticipated restriction: Open


05/06/2024 - 24/00051 - Commissioning of a Direct Payment Support Service Contract for Children and Young People

Proposed decision

 

That the Cabinet Member for Integrated Children’s Services  approve the commencement of a formal procurement for a new Direct Payment Support Service commencing 1 April 2025 to 31 March 2028, with the option to extend up to a further 24-months.

 

Reason for the decision

 

To commit the budget for a commissioned Direct Payment Support Service in place of the current service that is due to end on 31 March 2025 and to formally authorise the commencement of a procurement.

 

Background

 

As part of the support planning process, Direct Payments (DPs) are offered to individuals to provide a greater choice and control over their care and support arrangements. They are monetary payments that can be made to individuals to meet some or all of their eligible support needs. Direct Payments for parents or carers of disabled children are a statutory duty under the Children Act 1989 as amended by Sections 17A (inserted by the Health and Social Care Act 2001) and 17B (inserted by the Carers and Disabled Children Act 2000).

 

Currently, the Direct Payment Support Service is delivered by a not-for-profit provider of Children’s and Young People Services. The service is open to:

• Parents and carers of disabled children

• Parents and carers of children with special educational needs

• Young people aged 16-25 with special educational needs

• Young disabled people aged 16-25

 

The current Direct Payment Support Service ends on 31 March 2025 with all available extensions enacted. The current provider has performed well against Key Performance Indicators and there is a need to procure this service from 1 April 2025.

 

Options (other options considered but discarded)

 

1)        Do nothing. The contract will end on the 31 March 2025 and alternative arrangements for the ongoing administration, and support, for Children Young People and Education Direct Payments. Currently there is no internal team that undertake this work for Children and Young People Direct Payments and there is a substantial risk that the Authority will not meet its statutory obligations.

 

2)        Commission an enhanced service which includes the recruitment and retention of Personal Assistants in addition to the set up and monitoring of Direct Payments. Engagement with DP recipients and users of the service identified a key reason for poor recruitment and retention of PAs is the low wage rate. The contract is not able to review wage rates for PA’s as wage rates are set by the DP recipient within the available budget, set by the Local Authority. The appetite for additional spend with no guarantee of a clear cost benefit is low given the councils current financial situation. This option is discounted.

 

The proposed Decision is in line with Kent’s Strategy for Children and Young People with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities 2021-2024

 

Priority One: Improve the way we work with children and young people, parents and carers. Qualitative feedback from parents, carers and young people using the service remains extremely high. The survey indicates that as of March 2022 100% of service users rate the support they receive as ‘good’ or ‘excellent’, and a similar number stated that the knowledge of the worker provided tosupport them was ‘good’ or ‘excellent’

 

Framing Kent’s Future Council Strategy 2022-2026:

 

Priority 4: New models of care and support: Our commitment is to reshape our commissioning practice to ensure we build strategic partnerships with our providers, through earlier engagement, more consistent and proactive commissioning practice, and a stronger focus on co-designing services.

 

Our commitment is to support the most vulnerable children and families in our county, ensuring our social work practice supports manageable caseloads, reflective learning, joined up safeguarding and effective corporate parenting arrangements.

 

In addition to Framing Kent’s Future, the Council has recently published ‘Securing Kent’s Future – The Budget Recovery Strategy’ which underpins any spending decisions and makes clear that the Council must adhere to its ‘Best Value’ statutory responsibility.  The proposal for this service adheres to the principles of the strategy

 

The statutory Best Value duty must frame all financial, service and policy decisions from this point forward, and services must pro-actively evidence the best value considerations in all decisions. Without ensuring best value, we will not be capable of meeting our wider statutory duties, and the services which flow from them, upon which our residents rely.

 

As outlined in Objective 2 of the strategy, Commissioners are ensuring any future opportunity for Adult Social Care to jointly commission a Direct Payment Support Service in the near future by ensuring a break clause is written into the contract and the initial term comes to an end after three years.

 

The Direct Payment Support Service seeks to maximise the number of Direct Payments in the county in line with; Securing Kent’s Future’ by optimising support for people between the ages of 14-25 as they transition from children to adult services, promoting independence in adult life.

 

 

 

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Integrated Children's Services

Decision due date: Not before 04/07/2024 To allow 28 day notice period required under Executive Decision regulations

Lead officer: Christy Holden

Notice of decision: 05/06/2024

Anticipated restriction: Open


31/05/2024 - 24/00047 - Services provided by The Education People

Proposed decision

 

To reduce the value of the core contract with The Education People in 2024/25 by £0.9m through changes to the service specification.

 

Reason for the decision

 

As part of KCC’s budget setting process discussions have taken place with TEP’s leadership to assess areas of efficiency.  Proposals for £0.9m of savings in 2024-25 have been received. 

 

It is expected that through further efficiency work with TEP, savings of £300k will be achieved in 2025/26.  Any delivered saving in excess of the £900k in 2024/25 will help towards the £300k in 2025/26.

 

Options (other options considered but discarded)

 

The alternative to reducing the value of the TEP contract by £0.9m is to secure savings elsewhere in the Education Service budget.  Delivery of the MTFP savings (£1.2m in 2024/25) requires action in addition to the proposals in this paper.  The proposals represent a fair balance as to where savings are being made.

 

It is feasible to consider finding different savings from within the TEP contract to those included in the proposals.  However, the proposals offer savings which best align with the Council’s statutory duties, from areas where activity levels have changed, areas where responsibility for funding these should rightly fall to other parties, and areas which are believed to add least value. 

 

 

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Education and Skills

Decision due date: Not before 10/06/2024 To allow 28 day notice period required under Exeuctive Decision regulations

Division affected: (All Division);

Lead officer: David Adams

Notice of decision: 07/05/2024

Anticipated restriction: Part exempt  - view reasons


09/05/2024 - 24/00045 - KCC CLS Accountability Statement

Proposed decision:

 

The Cabinet Member for Education and Skills to agree the Accountability Statement.

 

Reason for the decision:

 

The decision is required to meet DfE requirement for an Annual Accountability Statement, as part of the contractual annual Accountability Agreement.

 

Background:

 

Accountability Agreements were introduced by the DfE in the 2023 to 2024 academic year and consist of a 2-part document setting the overall expectations of providers (including local authorities delivering more than £1 million of post -16 provision) in return for funding. The agreement focusses on what colleges, designated institutions and local authorities deliver in the year ahead and how they intend to support local, regional, and national needs. These annual Statements should in all cases be informed by providers’ longer term strategic plans and ambitions and (for those institutions within scope) the actions and outcomes from the Local Needs Duty.

 

Part 1 of the agreement is the ‘accountability framework’. DfE are using it to set out National Skills Priorities as well as the essential terms and conditions that providers need to meet in return for funds. Part 1 identifies required levers to ensure the effective management and assurance of public funds, the protection of learners as well as requiring sound governance.

 

Part 2, the ‘annual Accountability Statement’ is a provider document that is owned by KCC/ CLS as the provider and should set out a small number of outcome targets for areas of curriculum that providers are planning to change for the coming year. These targets reflect contributions to priorities outlined in Local Skills Improvement Plans (LSIPs), being led by Employer Representative Bodies (ERBs) working with employers, providers and local stakeholders including MCAs, local authorities, and other agencies and to National Skills Priorities listed below. Local authority learning organisations within scope should make reference to their tailored learning provision, particularly where this meets local skills needs.

 

Providers must submit their next annual Accountability Statement to the DfE by 30 June 2024.

 

How the proposed decision supports the Framing Kent's Future - Our Council Strategy 2022-2026 :

 

Implementing the proposals will contribute towards the following priorities:

 

Priority 1: LEVELLING UP KENT:

·   To support the Kent economy to be resilient and successfully adapt to the challenges and opportunities it faces over the coming years.

·   To work with partners to develop a skills system for Kent that delivers skills that are resilient to changing workforce needs and opportunities and supports people to higher level skills.

 

How the proposed decision supports Securing Kent’s Future:

Implementing the proposals will contribute towards Objective 2 and Objective 3 of securing Kent’s future:

- the 2024-25 budget included the assumption ESFA funding would be used to support the continual delivery of CLS, not securing this funding would lead to a significant overspend whether the service is continued or not. Therefore, this is avoiding the significant negative financial impact of not accepting this funding. 

- The transformation of the service, in line with the accountability statement and in response to changes in Government priorities, will aim to return to self-funded model of delivery and financial sustainability in the longer term (recognising there may be a short-term pressure whilst this transformation takes place).

 

Financial Implications:

 

The annual accountability statement is required to secure the majority of the revenue funding needed to support the operation of Community Learning & Skills service (CLS, is also supplemented by fee income). This funding is also conditional on meeting additional criteria. CLS aims to be a self-funded service, with direct costs, funded from either the ESFA funding and supplementary fee income. The strategic aims of the ESFA funding is changing and will require the Council to consider changes in services provided which is expected to lead to a short term deficit, where costs will be higher than income received, as the service changes to meet the new requirements.    

 

The ESFA funding contracts covered by the accountability statement are the Adult Skills Fund, comprising Tailored learning and Adult Skills core, Free courses for jobs and the 16-19 Education contract. The annual value (indicative for 24/25) of these contracts is £ 9,520,878 and are broken down as follows:

 

·         Tailored Learning £6,705,376

·         Adult Skills Core £1,995,762

·         Free Courses for Jobs £90,296

·         16-19 Education £729,444

 

The tailored learning funding is a fixed grant which is intended to support the Council in delivering its agreed identified learning aims which are set in line with the ESFA strategic aims of the grant. The amount of funding received for the other funding categories is dependent on either the number of specific qualifications achieved by learners, or the number of learners taking part in specific courses.

 

In the case that the ESFA does not receive a suitably authorised accountability statement, funding will not be provided to KCC. The accountability statement constitutes a contractual obligation and as such the ESFA makes clear that failure to comply will result in payments being frozen.

 

Without this funding the service would either need to be funded by the Council’s general fund (i.e. council tax) or the service would need to cease.

 

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Education and Skills

Decision due date: Not before 05/06/2024 To allow 28 day notice period required under Exeuctive Decision regulations

Notice of decision: 07/05/2024

Anticipated restriction: Open


23/04/2024 - 24/00025 - Expansion of Northfleet Technology College, Colyer Rd, Northfleet, Gravesend, DA11 8BG

Proposed decision:

 

The Cabinet Member for Education and Skills is asked to:

 

  1. APPROVE the expansion of Northfleet Technology College from a PAN of 165 to a PAN of 189.

 

  1. AGREE to allocate the funding from the CYPE Capital Budget that will be required to complete the project.

 

  1. DELEGATE authority to the Director of Infrastructure to, in consultation with the Director of Education, enter into any necessary contracts or other legal agreements, as required to implement this decision; and

 

  1. AGREE for the Director of Infrastructure to be the nominated Authority Representative within the relevant agreements, with authority to enter variations as envisaged under the contracts.

 

 

Reason for the decision

 

This proposal to expand Northfleet Technology College has been developed because the Kent Commissioning Plan 2024/28 indicates that there will be a shortfall in year 7 places in the Gravesham and Longfield Non-Selective planning group.

 

Northfleet Technology College, a member of the Northfleet Schools Co-Operative Trust, is a boys secondary school.  Following an inspection that took place in October 2022, Ofsted deems Northfleet Technology College to be a ‘GOOD’ school, in all areas.

 

Following initial discussions, Northfleet Technology College agreed to offer 189 places on a temporary basis in 2023. This agreement has been repeated for September 2024. This proposal seeks to make the expansion permanent and so the senior management and governors of Northfleet Technology College have agreed to consult on this proposal to permanently expand the school and enlarge the secondary provision within the school by the addition of 25 places per school year.

           

If no further action is taken in the longer term, Kent County Council will find it extremely difficult to provide sufficient secondary school places in the Gravesham and Longfield Non-Selective planning group.

 

 

Background

 

Gravesham Borough’s population is increasing with more families moving into the area and as a result, Kent County Council needs to add additional secondary school places to manage the increase in demand. One strategy for providing additional school places is to expand existing successful and popular schools.

 

The Northfleet Technology College does not have sufficient accommodation to offer the requisite additional places, so as a temporary measure, four mobile teaching rooms will be placed on the site.  This will be a revenue expense.

 

KCC will design and construct a new standalone block to be ready for the September 2026 intake.  This will need to be funded from the CYPE Capital Budget.

 

 

Securing Kent’s Future

 

The 'Securing Kent's Future' strategy outlines the measures that KCC intend to take to ensure that Kent remains financially stable, now and long into the future.  It describes the statutory priorities, one of which being the statutory duty to ensure sufficient school places are available to any child or young person who requires one.  This duty applies to Special Educational Needs (SEN) provision, as well as mainstream settings.

 

This proposal is necessary for KCC to continue to deliver the statutory duty, in a cost-effective way, in line with the guidelines described in the Securing Kent's Future strategy. It will help to maintain KCC’s strategic role in supporting schools in Kent to deliver accessible, high quality education provision for all families.

 

The County Council’s Commissioning Plan for Education Provision in Kent 2024-28 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 latest plan can be viewed from this link:

 

https://www.kent.gov.uk/education-and-children/schools/education-provision/education-provision-plan

 

 

Financial Implications

 

Capital

 

Progression of the scheme will be dependent on the outcome of detailed feasibility and design work – these will inform the full overall cost of the project.

 

The cost of the new standalone block will be borne by the CYPE Capital Budget.  Currently the estimated cost for the whole scheme is £8.3m.  This sum has been included within the Basic Need Capital Programme that was recently agreed by Council. KCC Project Managers will be undertaking continuous checks to keep build costs as close as possible to this estimate.

 

Northfleet Technology College is a Public Finance Initiative (PFI) school. The PFI Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) have been on board from the start of the project and a change notice is in place for the Deed of Variation (DoV). The works will result in part of the land being removed from the PFI red line. Forecast legal costs for the DoV will be included within the total project cost for the main capital works.

 

An allowance of up to £2,500 may be payable to the school, to outfit each new teaching room with appropriate ICT equipment, such as touch screens or projection equipment.  This will be met from the overall Capital allocation for this project.

 

Should the scheme not proceed through to completion, any costs incurred at the time of cessation would become abortive costs and are likely to be recharged to Revenue. This would be reported through the regular financial monitoring reports to Cabinet.

 

Revenue

 

The initial phase involves the installation of four mobile teaching rooms at a cost of £311,168.  This will be a Revenue expense, funded from the Mobiles and Temporary Accommodation Budget included within the Education Revenue Budget.

 

As the scheme progresses, £6,000 per newly created learning space, would be provided towards the cost of furniture and equipment, such as tables, desks, chairs, cabinets and learning resources.

 

The school would also receive funding for the additional pupils that it admits in line with the funding allocated to schools through KCC’s Schools Funding Formula.

 

Both the £6,000 per classroom, and the additional pupil funding will be met from the Growth Funding provision held within the dedicated school's grant.

 

 

Human

 

The school will appoint additional staff as required; utilising revenue funding allocated through the Schools Funding Formula for these additional pupils.

 

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Education and Skills

Decision due date: Not before 22/05/2024 To allow 28 day notice period required under Exeuctive Decision regulations

Lead officer: Ian Watts

Notice of decision: 23/04/2024

Anticipated restriction: Open


04/03/2024 - 24/00008 - Special Educational Needs - Therapy Contracts

Proposed decision:

 

A) Retrospectively contract with the East Kent Hospitals Trust and the Kent Community Health Foundation Trust for 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024 for the provision of SEN Therapies

 

B) Contract with the East Kent Hospitals Trust and the Kent Community Health Foundation Trust for 1 April 2024 to 31 August 2025 for the provision of SEN Therapies

 

C) Agree to the review of the Kent and Medway Communication and Assistive Technology service and to incorporate into the wider recommissioning of SEN Therapies

 

D) Agree for the exploration of joint commissioning with the NHS for the wider provision of SEN Therapies to include in the re-procurement of NHS Community Services

 

E) Delegate authority to the Corporate Director of Children, Young People and Education, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Education and Skills and the Corporate Director of Finance, to take relevant actions, including but not limited to, entering into and finalising the terms of relevant contracts or other legal agreements, as necessary, to implement the decision

 

 

Reason for the decision

 

To continue with annual contracts, issued by NHS Providers, for the current Special Educational Needs (SEN) Therapy services. The future commissioning intentions are to align with the NHS Kent and Medway timeline to re-procure their Community Services, and specifically jointly commission an Integrated Therapy Contract for 1 September 2025.

 

The current annual contract values are £752,905 with East Kent Hospital University Foundation Trust (EKHUFT) and £1,526,586 with Kent Community Health Foundation Trust (KCHFT).

 

This requires agreeing a retrospective contract for the financial year 2023/2024 and a future contract for 17 months from1 April 2024 to 31 August 2025.

 

Decision is also sought to review and bring the Kent and Medway Communication and Assistive Technology service into the new jointly commissioned Integrated Therapy Contract, under the NHS Kent and Medway Community Services re-procurement. 

 

Background

 

The 2015 Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Code of Practice, sets out that Speech and Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy and Assistive Technology should be jointly commissioned.

 

KCC is working towards a jointly commissioned Integrated Therapy Service, which will include the Kent and Medway Communication and Assistive Technology Service (KMCAT), to maximise the use of finite resources from local authorities, schools, colleges and the NHS improving outcomes for 0–25-year-olds with SEND and their parents/carers.

 

The joint aim is to establish a new jointly commissioned service by September 2025, to fall in line with NHS Kent and Medway’s broader recommissioning of a unified Community Service Offer.

 

Significant transformational activity is underway with the NHS providers who are working in partnership with KCC and NHS Kent and Meway to develop new ways of working.   Implementing a more proactive and preventative tiered approach to the provision of therapy support, that will maximise use of finite resources and ensure a more coherent county-wide offer.

 

Securing Kent’s Future – Budget Recovery Strategy

 

KCC has agreed with the Providers that there will be no increase to the contract price for 2023/2024, however, the Providers have stated that this position will not be sustainable for 2024/2025, and therefore negotiations continue. 

The contract values for 2024/2025 will be agreed alongside Finance colleagues and the Director for Education.

The longer-term joint commissioning project will meet the ambitions of Framing Kent’s Future as follows:

 

Priority 4: New models of care and support demand for our social care services has out stripped funding year on year. Our commitment is to seize the opportunity of integrating our planning, commissioning and decision making in adult, children’s and public health services through being a partner in the Kent and Medway Integrated Care System at place and system level.

 

It meets the aims of Securing Kent’s Future by holding Best Value at the centre of all joint commissioning opportunities.

 

Financial Implications

These contracts are for the provision of Therapy staff and are only a proportion of the overall Therapy services purchased by the Council. A high-level reconciliation has been undertaken to be able to justify the level of spend in commensurate with the level of service provided, given that vacancies have been held to compensate for the lack of inflationary uplift. 

KCC has been in negotiation with the Providers for this year’s fee increase and have agreed in 2023/2024 there will be no fee increase, this has meant the providers have held frozen vacancies.

Both Providers have stated that continuing without a fee increase into the new financial year 2024/2025 will not be sustainable, and therefore negotiations continue. 

The current contract values are £725,905 for EKHUFT and £1,526,586 for KCHFT, contract values for 2024/2025 will be agreed alongside Finance colleagues and the Director for Education.

This contract is funded from the Dedicated Schools Grant: High Needs Block, an annual grant provided by the Department of Education.

 

 

Legal Implications  

 

The procurement strategy is to align existing Therapy services required by KCC, with the service commissioned by the NHS Kent and Medway and to jointly commission the service, with the NHS Kent and Medway as the Lead Commissioner and KCC as a Joint Commissioner. 

 

As a Joint Commissioner, it is expected that KCC will be a full partner of the contract with the provider(s) and will have the ability to participate in performance contract management and monitoring, with NHS Kent and Medway.  This will strengthen existing contract performance monitoring and management, given the scale and value of the proposed contract.

 

The Provider Selection Regime (PRS) came in to force on 1 January 2024. PSR is a set of rules for procuring health care services, by NHS England, Integrated Care Board, NHS Trusts, NHS Foundation Trusts and Local Authorities.

 

There are three Provider Selection processes:

  • Direct Award processes (A, B, and C). These involve awarding contracts to providers when there is limited or no reason to seek to change from the existing provider; or to assess providers against one another, because:
    • the existing provider is the only provider that can deliver the health care services (direct award process A)
    • patients have a choice of providers and the number of providers is not restricted by the relevant authority (direct award process B)
    • the existing provider is satisfying its existing contract, will likely satisfy the new contract to a sufficient standard, and the proposed contracting arrangements are not changing considerably (direct award process C).
  • Most Suitable Provider
  • Competitive Process

 

For the 2023/2024 contract, the Public Contract Regulations (PCR) 2015 would have applied, however as PSR is now in force, this is the regulation that covers the provision of Therapy services, and it is therefore recommended that the route followed to sign these contracts is under Direct Award (C).

 

For any other meaningful commissioning using this Regime would require developing specifications, detailed outcome frameworks and key performance indicators, quality assurance mechanisms and contract management schedule.  This would also not allow for the necessary coproduction with Children, Young People, and their Families/Carers, as required by the SEND Code of Practice and our commitment to the SEND Co-production Charter.

 

Equalities implications

 

A full Equalities Impact Assessment (EqIA) will be completed as part of the Joint Commissioning Strategy, to help us to consider the potential impact of a proposal, and how to make things as fair as possible for anyone who is likely to be affected. The level of detail required for an EqIA depends on how complex the proposal is, and to what extent people are likely to be affected by it.  We believe this will have far reaching implications and therefore full EqIA will be required.

DPIA (if relevant)

A DPIA checklist will be completed in due course as part of the commissioning plan to ensure KCC and partners ability identify and minimise the data protection risks within this commissioned activity. As this is a major project which requires the processing of personal data, the DPIA Assessment will therefore:

  • describe the nature, scope, context and purposes of the processing;
  • assess necessity, proportionality and compliance measures;
  • identify and assess risks to individuals; and
  • identify any additional measures to mitigate those risks.

 

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Education and Skills

Decision due date: Not before 02/04/2024 To allow 28 day notice period required under Exeuctive Decision regulations

Lead officer: Christy Holden

Notice of decision: 04/03/2024

Anticipated restriction: Open


13/03/2023 - 23/00030 - Implementation of an independent Construction Consultancy Services Framework to support the implementation and delivery of the Capital Works Programmes

Proposed decision:

The Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance, Corporate and Traded Services to agree to the implementation of a new Independent Consultancy Services Framework to support the delivery of the Capital Works Programmes over a 6-year (4-year+1+1) contract period to include the following disciplines:

              Lot 1 – Multi-discipline (client delegated duties)

              Lot 2 – Project Manager (including client delegated Quantity Surveying duties)

              Lot 3 – Supervisor

              Lot 4 – Technical Advisor

              Lot 5 – Construction Design and Management Advisor

 

Reason for the decision

The Kent County Council had previously appointed consultants on a project-by-project basis via the Property Services Consultancy Framework, to provide professional consultancy services to support construction projects. However, the Framework expired in June 2020 and procurement of such services has since been conducted on a project-by-project basis, tendered or direct award procurements in-line with Spending the Council’s Money Policy and Public Contract Regulations.

 

The current method of procuring consultancy services is time consuming and resource intensive and requires a more efficient approach. In addition, a new professional consultancy services framework that aligns to the new construction partnership framework (already in place) and proposed minor work construction partnership framework (subject to procurement).

 

Options

There are 3 options to consider for the ongoing procurement of consultancy services:

              Insource of consultancy provision.

              Continuing with current arrangement of tendering/direct award for each requirement

              Establishing a new Construction Consultancy Framework.

 

Option 3, to establishing a new Construction Consultancy Framework is the preferred option, as this would provide a pre-qualified framework of consultants to efficiently support the projects procured via the new Construction and proposed Minor Works Partnership Frameworks on behalf of Kent County Council. It is likely that the Frameworks will work on a rotational basis so that all suppliers get equal allocation of works (performance and project dependant).  In addition to this the facility to undertake mini tenders will be included.

 

It is envisaged that the new Independent Construction Consultancy Services Frameworks will commence by October 2023.

 

How the proposed decision supports the Interim Strategic Plan

The proposed decision will support the objectives of Strategic Delivery Plan 2020 – 2023 by:

              Supporting the delivery of the Council’s Infrastructure Capital Delivery Programme

              Supporting the delivery of the Kent Commissioning Plan for Education Provision 2020-2024, including the Basic Need programme

              Supporting the KCC Corporate Estate maintenance programme.

              Supporting the KCC Education Estate maintenance programme.

Decision Maker: Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance, Corporate and Traded Services

Decision due date: Not before 11/04/2023

Lead officer: James Sanderson

Notice of decision: 13/03/2023

Anticipated restriction: Part exempt  - view reasons


09/09/2021 - 21/00076 - Provision of Community Support Services for Disabled Children and Young People - Outcome of Procurement Process

Proposed decision –

 

Contracts to be awarded to successful providers for the provision of Community Support Services (Care and Support in the Home) for Disabled Children and Young People following a recent procurement exercise linked to the Adults Care and Support in the Home contract.

 

Delegate decisions on the implementation to the Corporate Director of Children, Young People and Education, or other Officer, in consultation with the Corporate Director of Adult Social Care and Health as appropriate.

 

Further information –

 

Decision 20/00102 - Community Support Services for Disabled Children & Young People was taken on 19 March 2020 and allowed officers to follow a competitive procurement process for children’s community support services within the Adults ‘Care and Support in the Home’ contract. 

 

Following the competitive procurement process a further decision is required to award the contracts to the successful providers. 

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Integrated Children's Services

Decision due date: Not before 08/10/2021

Division affected: (All Division);

Lead officer: Christy Holden

Notice of decision: 09/09/2021

Anticipated restriction: Open


20/09/2017 - 17/00094 - Disposal of Land East of Great Chart Primary School, Singleton

Approval to the Director of Infrastructure to progress with and enter into the necessary documentation to complete the disposal of the aforementioned property in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Corporate and Democratic Services. The Decision will seek legal agreements to be actioned to complete the sale of the relevant properties.

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Corporate and Democratic Services

Decision due date: Not before 18/10/2017 In order that the proposed decision can be published for a minimum of 28 days, in accordance with statutory requirements

Lead officer: Roderick Lemerle

Notice of decision: 20/09/2017

Anticipated restriction: Part exempt  - view reasons