Cabinet Member decisions

Decisions published

19/03/2021 - 21/00040 - Domestic Abuse Act - New Burdens Funding ref: 2485    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Leader of the Council

Decision published: 19/03/2021

Effective from: 19/03/2021

Decision:

As Leader of the Council, I agree to:

 

1) Accept the £3.1m Domestic Abuse Act funding for use in line with the Memorandum of Understanding issued by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).

 

2) Delegate authority to the Corporate Director of Strategic and Corporate Services, in consultation with the Corporate Director of Adult Social Care & Health and the Corporate Director for Children, Young People and Education to take other necessary actions, including but not limited to entering into contracts or other legal agreements, as required to implement this decision.

 

Division affected: (All Division);

Lead officer: Debra Exall


19/03/2021 - 21/00027 - Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Management Plan (2020-2025) ref: 2478    Recommendations Approved

Proposed decision:

 

To request the formal adoption of the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Management Plan (2020-2025).

 

Reason for the decision:

 

Formal adoption of the reviewed and revised Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Management Plan 2020-2025. 

 

Background:

 

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’.

 

The Kent Downs AONB Management Plan has been prepared by the Kent Downs AONB Unit and the Kent Downs AONB Joint Advisory Committee for, and on behalf of, the twelve local authorities that have land within the Kent Downs AONB. Council member Matthew Balfour and Stephanie Holt-Castle, Interim Director for Environment, Planning and Enforcement, represent KCC on the Kent Downs AONB Joint Advisory Committee.

 

The Kent Downs AONB Management Plan sets out the vision for the future of the landscape. It seeks to address key issues and threats and sets out aims, policies and actions for the positive management of the Kent Downs for a five-year period, overseen by a 20-year vision. The vision seeks that by 2034, the qualities and distinctive features of the landscape will be valued and strengthened. Responses to climate change and development pressures are to have enhanced the landscape character of the area and allowed the landscape to be enjoyed and cherished, securing its future conservation and enhancement.  Positive partnerships will have acted together to conserve, enhance and promote the nationally and internationally recognised and valued landscape.

 

The Kent Downs AONB Management Plan was originally adopted by the County Council and all other relevant local authorities in April 2004 and set out a 20 year vision for the AONB. Revisions to the Management Plan were adopted in 2009 and 2014. This is the third revision.

 

The overall vision for the AONB remains unchanged. This revision seeks to respond to the changing context in which the 20 year vision operates – including the level of housing growth expected in Kent and climate and biodiversity challenges and opportunities - by refocusing elements of the Plan.

 

KCC submitted a range of technical comments during the formal consultation in September 2020 and further comments were recently provided in January 2021.  KCC is satisfied that matters it has raised have been adequately addressed. Following stakeholder engagement and formal consultation, the Management Plan is now at its finalised stage, ready for adoption by the relevant local authorities.

 

The review is supported by an Environment Report, a Sustainability Appraisal and an Equality Impact Assessment.

 

It is considered that the Kent Downs AONB Management Plan 2020-2025, as amended, can be adopted by KCC. It is not anticipated that the revised Management Plan will place any additional obligations on the County Council in terms of resources. Relevant areas of the County Council will need to consider the revised Management Plan in relation to their operations, as they are already bound to do.

 

How the proposed decision meets the priority actions of Setting the Course: Kent County Council’s Interim Strategic Plan (December 2020)

 

Priority actions to help address the economic challenge – Champion the rural and green economy.

 

Priority actions to help address the environmental challenge – build sustainable, liveable homes and communities.

 

The Management Plan supports the County Council’s priority actions by supporting the economic and social wellbeing of local communities in ways which contribute to the conservation and enhancement of natural beauty. The Management Plan also promotes the enjoyment of the AONB landscapes and the health and wellbeing opportunities it offers.

 

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Environment

Decision published: 19/03/2021

Effective from: 27/03/2021

Decision:

Decision:

As Cabinet Member for Environment, I agree to adopt the revised Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Management Plan 2020-2025

Division affected: (All Division);

Lead officer: Sarah Platts


19/03/2021 - 21/00030 - Inland Border Facility - White Cliffs ref: 2479    Recommendations Approved

Proposed decision:

 

To delegate to the Corporate Director of Growth, Environment and Transport, in consultation with the Leader of KCC and the Cabinet Member for Highways, and Transport, authority to spend grant funding from the Secretary of State to deliver the construction works necessary to facilitate an Inland Border Facility at White Cliffs (subject to approval of the Special Development Order being promoted by the DFT and to be submitted for approval to MHCLG.).

 

Specifically approval is sought: 

 

To approve the acceptance of the Section 31 Grant monies award from the Department for Transport (DfT) to procure and manage works to deliver necessary construction works  at the White Cliffs site to be secured by DfT to support Government Transition arrangements.

 

This approval includes agreement to;

 

a) AGREE to accept the Grants under the terms and conditions required by Government; and

 

b) APPROVE the management and delivery of the necessary site works, including on site facilities)  as detailed in this report;

 

c)  CONFIRM that the projects will be delivered via KCC contractual arrangements that allow for the delivery of Highway Improvement Schemes in support of traffic management plans; and

 

d) DELEGATE authority to the Corporate Director for Growth, Environment and Transport to, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport and the Leader, take any necessary actions to implement this decision, including but not limited to entering into relevant legal agreements and authorising spend from Grant monies.

 

Reason for the decision:

 

Inland Border Facilities and Border Control Posts are needed to support new trading arrangements with the EU arising from the UK’s departure from the EU.

 

Background:

 

Post transition, there is a need for Inland Border Facilities and Border Control Posts. The Department for Transport (DfT) and Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have identified White Cliffs as a potential site for an Inland Border Facility to help facilitate the flow of trade to assist with freight movements across the Short Straits. The proposal includes the provision of security measures and facilities to enable the checking of vehicles and goods entering and exiting the site along with local road mitigations arising from the project.

 

Options (other options considered but discarded):

The sites and infrastructure required have been identified by the DfT and HMRC

 

How the proposed decision meets the challenges in the Interim Strategic Plan

 

The Interim Strategic Plan recognises that Kent is the gateway to the UK and as such Transition will have a greater impact on Kent than other parts of the UK. A key element of our preparations is to work with local partners and National Government to ensure that appropriate infrastructure is in place to support new trading arrangements whilst also ensuring there is minimal disruption to local communities and businesses and impacts on existing infrastructure including the local road network is mitigated.

 

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport

Decision published: 19/03/2021

Effective from: 27/03/2021

Decision:

Decision:

As Cabinet Member for Highways & Transport, I agree to approve the acceptance of the Section 31 Grant award from the Department for Transport (DfT) to procure and manage the Inland Border Facility and Border Control Post works at White Cliffs, Dover.

 

This approval includes agreement to:

 

a) AGREE to accept the Grants under the terms and conditions required by Government;

 

b) APPROVE the management and delivery of the necessary site works, including on site facilities as detailed in this report;

 

c)  CONFIRM that the projects will be delivered via KCC contractual arrangements that allow for the delivery of Highway Improvement Schemes in support of traffic management plans; and

 

d) DELEGATE authority to the Corporate Director for Growth, Environment and Transport to, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport and the Leader, take any necessary actions to implement this decision, including but not limited to entering into relevant legal agreements and authorising spend from Grant monies.

 

Division affected: Dover North; Dover Town; Dover West;

Lead officer: Simon Jones


19/03/2021 - 21/00037 Low Carbon across the South and East (LoCASE) ref: 2476    Recommendations Approved

The Cabinet Member for Environment is asked to give approval for Kent County Council to deliver the Low Carbon Across the South and East (LoCASE) programme by accepting to act as  the accountable body for the European Structural Investment Funding (ESIF) administered by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).

 

Specifically, for the Cabinet Member to:

 

(i)     Accept £14,748,886 European Structural Investment Funding administered by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

 

(ii)   Give approval that KCC act as the Lead Partner (Accountable Body) for the partnership delivering across multiple Local Enterprise Partnership areas

 

(iii) Delegate authority to Corporate Director of Growth, Environment and Transport to take relevant actions, including but not limited to, entering into contracts and other legal agreements, as necessary to implement decisions to spend the grant.

 

A decision is being sought to approve the continued delivery of Low Carbon Across the South and East (LoCASE), which is an integrated programme of financial assistance and business support to increase demand for low carbon technology, increase efficiency and grow business in the low carbon environmental goods and services sector. This is an extension and expansion of the successfully established LoCASE project led by Kent County Council.

 

The programme has a budget that totals (£30,937,771) is part funded by the European Structural Investment Fund (£14,748,886), Private Sector (£13,950,000), Kent County Council (£107,827) and public sector contribution from 16 programme partners (£2,131,058).

 

This decision supports the continuation and expansion of the successfully established LoCASE project which ran from 29/2/2016 to 31/12/2020, and supported 1,278 small and medium sized enterprises, through £5,014,939 of grant funding, totalling investments of £12,537,348.

 

Encouraged by MHCLG after the demonstrated success of the LoCASE project, the additional funding is to continue and grow LoCASE to deliver a multi-LEP business support programme through a partnership made up of 16 public and private sector organisations across four Local Enterprise Partnerships (South East, Coast2Capital, Enterprise M3, and the Solent).

 

The programme activities will be undertaken by partners, and outputs delivered through a range of Partnership Agreements and contracts administered by Kent County Council in its role as Accountable Body.

 

LoCASE directly delivers elements of Themes 1 and 2 of the Kent Environment Strategy, Priority 9 of the Energy and Low Emissions Strategy, and greener recovery of the COVID-19 Economic Renewal and Resilience Plan. 

 

LoCASE supports the following priority actions of Setting the Course – Kent County Council’s Interim Strategic Plan: Work with our partners to deliver essential support for local businesses; Champion the rural and green economy; and deliver net-zero for Kent by 2050 and promote climate resilience.

 

Options:

 

A full options analysis was carried out and is detailed in the LoCASE Application Forms and MHCLG assessments. It considered the alternative options below where Options A and B were rejected, and Option C was the preferred option:

 

Option (a): Do nothing – no ESIF investment, business support for energy efficiency and low carbon sector development ends, and no mechanism to achieve green recovery outcomes. This would limit the regions capacity for growth and competitiveness.

 

Option (b): Reduce the business support programme by limiting it to Steps to Environmental Management (STEM) only – no ESIF investment, limited support for business improvements in environmental management, development of the energy efficiency and low carbon sectors and achieving green recovery outcomes

 

Option (c): Continue and expand the LoCASE programme – additional ESIF investment required, more enhanced support for business improvements in environmental management and development of the energy efficiency and low carbon sectors and achieving green recovery outcomes; delivery mechanism to assist green recovery of the economy.

 

 

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Environment

Decision published: 19/03/2021

Effective from: 27/03/2021

Decision:

Decision:

As Cabinet Member for the Environment, I agree to:

 

Give approval for Kent County Council to deliver the Low Carbon Across the South and East (LoCASE) programme by accepting to act as  the accountable body for the European Structural Investment Funding (ESIF) administered by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).  Specifically, I

 

i)   Accept £14,748,886 European Structural Investment Funding administered by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

 

ii)  Give approval that KCC act as the Lead Partner (Accountable Body) for the partnership delivering across multiple Local Enterprise Partnership areas.

 

iii) Delegate authority to Corporate Director of Growth, Environment and Transport to take relevant actions, including but not limited to, entering into contracts and other legal agreements, as necessary to implement decisions to spend the grant.

 

Division affected: (All Division);

Lead officer: Christine Wissink


19/03/2021 - 21/00032 - Danley Road - disposal of land ref: 2465    Recommendations Approved

Proposed decision:

 

Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance, Corporate and Traded Services to approve  to transfer the land at Danley Road, Sheppey to MHCLG and delegate authority to the Director of Infrastructure in consultation with the Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance, Corporate and Traded Services to take necessary actions, included but not limited to entering into relevant contracts or other legal agreements, as required to implement this decision.

 

Whilst the transfer of sites to the Minister for Communities Housing and Local Government (MHCLG) for Free Schools is a delegated and established practice, in view of the land matters for this particular site a decision is sought from the Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance, Corporate and Traded Services.

 

The County Council will need to transfer the land to allow the Department for Education (DfE) to deliver a new special school.

 

Background

 

KCC own the site at Danley Road Sheerness which was the site of the former Danley Middle School.

 

Part of the former KCC school site was transferred to the Governing Body of Halfway Houses Primary School in 2016. The land now being considered for transfer to MCHLG will be developed for a SEND School by the Department for Education (DfE). Upon transfer of the land by KCC and development of the site by DfE, DfE will grant a 125-year lease to the SABDEN Multi-Academy Trust. The School is proposed to open September 2022.

 

The new school will be delivered by the DfE Free Schools team to meet an increasing demand for special school places on the Isle of Sheppey. A bid was submitted by KCC in 2018 for Wave 2 of the Special and Alternative Provision Free Schools Programme. Notification was received in March 2019 that the bid had been successful, and discussions have been held with DfE over the site area to be transferred. The DfE undertook feasibility studies and consulted with KCC over the proposed site layout.

 

The proposal is that KCC will initially retain the area of land shown hatched green which includes the access road to the site, shown brown. It has been agreed that KCC will not dispose of any of the hatched green land, until after the development of the new free school.

The proposed terms of the transfer of the land at Danley Road (red land) from KCC to MHCLG include a right of access over the access road, with a covenant for MHCLG to pay a reasonable proportion of the total costs incurred of the repair, maintenance, and/or replacement of the access road on a user basis to be agreed between the parties. This clause will mirror the obligations and rights agreed with the Governing Body of the Halfway Houses Primary School in their 2016 Transfer Agreement.

 

The land would be transferred to MHCLG subject to a restrictive covenant which would restrict the use of the site for educational purposes only.

 

If the development of the site for the SEND school by DfE has not commenced within 7 years of completion of the transfer from KCC to MHCLG, the land would be transferred back to KCC for £1.

 

Terms are currently being finalised with the DFE in respect of the land arrangements should the site not be required for educational use within 30 years.

 

 

Options (other options considered but discarded)

 

KCC to retain the freehold of the land and grant the DfE a Free School model 125-year lease of the site. As with other recent land transactions for school sites between KCC with MHCLG and DfE, the DfE will not accept anything other than the terms of their standard model lease when taking sites for schools. The DfE Model form of lease leaves KCC with ongoing risk and liabilities and thus is not acceptable to KCC.

 

 

 

 

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

Decision published: 19/03/2021

Effective from: 27/03/2021

Decision:

As Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance, Corporate and Traded Services I;

 

  • authorise Kent County Council to transfer the land at Danley Road, Sheppey to MHCLG; and

 

  • delegate authority to the Director of Infrastructure to take necessary actions, included but not limited to entering into relevant contracts or other legal agreements, as required to implement this decision.

 

Division affected: Sheppey;


19/03/2021 - 21/00036 Defra Grant Funding - Farming in Protected Landscapes – for the Kent Downs AONB ref: 2475    Recommendations Approved

The Cabinet Member for Environment is asked to:

  • Accept a Grant from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) ‘Farming in Protected Landscapes’ funding and

 

·         Delegate authority to Corporate Director of Growth, Environment and Transport to take relevant actions, including but not limited to, entering into contracts and other legal agreements, as necessary to implement decisions to spend the grant.

 

The scheme is due to start operating on the first of April 2021 with the first grants being processed in June 2021.

 

In the Agricultural Transition Plan the Government announced a new scheme for Protected Landscapes (AONBs and National Parks) to manage a grant scheme to support farm diversification, landscape enhancement, wider environmental enhancements and community engagement in the landscape.

 

Authority is needed to receive funding from Defra and for the Kent Downs AONB Unit, under the KCC Scheme of Delegations to disperse it to farmers and land managers in the Kent Downs AONB in accordance with Defra guidelines.

 

Background

 

Since the UK left the EU a new series of funding structures are being put in place to support farmers and land managers. Rather than having a centrally managed farm subsidy based primarily on area payments the basis for future farm payments will be providing ‘public money for public good’. Public goods include carbon management and climate mitigation, public access to land, enhancement of biodiversity, enhancement of the water environment and provision of clean air. Funding can also be provided to support farm business diversification and green jobs.

 

The new funding arrangements will be provided under the banner of Environmental Land Management (ELM).

 

 

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Environment

Decision published: 19/03/2021

Effective from: 27/03/2021

Decision:

Decision:

As Cabinet Member for Environment, I agree to:

 

  • Accept a Grant from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) ‘Farming in Protected Landscapes’ funding and

 

·         Delegate authority to Corporate Director of Growth, Environment and Transport to take relevant actions, including but not limited to, entering into contracts and other legal agreements, as necessary to implement decisions to spend the grant


19/03/2021 - 21/00029 - Statement of Community Involvement 2021 ref: 2474    Recommendations Approved

Proposed decision:

 

The adoption of a revised Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) for planning applications determined by the County Council and Local Plan projects.

 

Reason for the decision:

 

The Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) is a legal requirement arising from the Council’s town and country planning responsibilities.  It sets out the Council’s approach to

involving the community in plan making and its consideration of planning applications

within Kent. The County Council's first SCI was adopted in 2006 and separate

Addendum were published in April 2013 and January 2014. 

 

As the Town and Country Planning Regulations require a council’s SCI to be reviewed every five years, the current SCI requires review.  

 

Background:

 

Following a review, revisions are proposed to the adopted SCI document, mainly to take into account changes in legislation and national planning policies and some minor factual updates. Key proposed changes will result in a streamlining of the plan making process and a shift towards increasing engagement via digital means. The document is formatted in a new way that is intended to make its contents clearer and includes a new section on how the County Council will support neighbourhood planning.  It is of note that the opportunities for engagement during plan making and consideration of planning applications have not changed.

 

A draft SCI document was considered by the Environment and Transport Cabinet Committee in November 2020, where Members endorsed the document for public consultation in line with best practice.

 

The public consultation was undertaken from December 2020 – January 2021. As a result of the consultation, several minor amendments have been made to improve clarity throughout the document The document however remains materially unchanged in terms of its policies and objectives from the public consultation version.

 

Following public consultation and the consideration of responses, the revised SCI should be adopted by the County Council as the basis for engagement on planning application and the Council’s plan making responsibilities. 

 

 

 

How the proposed decision meets the objectives of ‘Increasing Opportunities, 

Improving Outcomes: Kent County Council’s Strategic Statement (2015-2020)’ and the objectives of ‘Setting the Course’: Kent County Council’s Interim Strategic Statement (December 2020)

 

 

The revised SCI will be used to deliver the Council’s adopted Mineral and Waste Local Plan strategy and policies in the Borough and District Council’s local plans.   These are in accordance with national planning policies and support the County Council’s corporate policies contained within the Council’s Strategic Statement ‘Increasing Opportunities, Improving Outcomes – Kent County Council’s Strategic Statement 2015-2020 and the recently approved Setting the Course – Kent County Council’s Interim Strategic Plan 2020, which sets the Council’s priorities for the next 2 years.  

 

Kent’s mineral and waste planning policies and the Council’s infrastructure projects support and facilitate sustainable growth in Kent’s economy.  In addition, they support the creation of a high-quality built environment, with accessible local services that reflect the community’s needs and support its health, social and cultural well-being.

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Environment

Decision published: 19/03/2021

Effective from: 27/03/2021

Decision:

Decision:

As Cabinet Member for Environment, I agree to

 

(a)  adopt the updated Statement of Community Involvement as the basis for engagement on the Council’s planning applications and plan making responsibilities;

 

delegate powers to the Corporate Director for Growth, Environment & Transport  to approve any minor modifications to the text of the Statement of Community Involvement, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Environment, which may be needed (such as formatting changes and typographical errors), in order to publish the Statement of Community Involvement

Division affected: (All Division);

Lead officer: Sharon Thompson


19/03/2021 - 21/00022 - Disposal of the former Ladesfield Care Home site, Vulcan Close, Whitstable, CT5 3LZ ref: 2468    Recommendations Approved

Proposed decision:

 

The Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance, Corporate and Traded Services to authorise the disposal of Ladesfield Care Home site, Vulcan Close, Whitstable, CT5 3LZ and to delegate authority to the Director of Infrastructure to finalise and enter into any necessary legal agreements.

 

Background and Options:

 

The site was a former operational Care Home, which has been closed and demolished. The site has been declared surplus, as KCC has no ongoing operational requirement for the site and the disposal process has been progressing, with the site marketed following the grant of Outline Planning consent for residential development.

 

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

Decision published: 19/03/2021

Effective from: 27/03/2021

Decision:

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

 

Approve the disposal of the Ladesfield Care Home site, Vulcan Close, Whitstable, CT5 3LZ and delegate authority to the Director of Infrastructure, to enter into any necessary legal agreements to finalise the terms of the proposed sale.

 

Division affected: Whitstable West;

Lead officer: Roderick Lemerle


19/03/2021 - 21/00021 - Whitehill Road - Disposal of former playing field ref: 2466    For Determination

Proposed decision –

 

The Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance, Corporate and Traded Services to  approve the disposal of the Former Remote Playing Field at Whitehill Road, Gravesend, Kent DA12 5PJ and to delegate authority to the Director of Infrastructure to finalise and enter into any necessary legal agreements.

 

Reason for the decision:

 

Proposed property disposal

 

Background:

 

Former remote playing field which has not been used for educational purposes for over 14 years with the site being declared surplus to KCC requirements. Following local plan promotion, the site has been openly marketed to secure best value and we now need to enter into contracts with the selected purchaser.  

 

 

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

Decision published: 19/03/2021

Effective from: 27/03/2021

Decision:

As Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance, Corporate and Traded Services, I agree:

 

To approve the disposal of the former remote playing field at Whitehill Road, Gravesend, Kent DA12 5PJand to delegate authority to the Director of Infrastructure, in consultation with the Deputy Leader and the Cabinet Member for Finance, Corporate and Traded services, to finalise the terms of the proposed sale and to enter into the necessary documentation to conclude the transaction. 

 

Division affected: Gravesend East;

Lead officer: Simon Dodd


19/03/2021 - 21/00039 - Purchase of Designated Beds ref: 2482    Recommendations Approved

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

Decision published: 19/03/2021

Effective from: 19/03/2021

Decision:

Decision: As Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health, I

a) AGREE to continue to purchase additional short term bed capacity from those providers identified through the Care Quality Commission targeted inspection; and

b) DELEGATE authority to the Corporate Director of Adult Social Care and Health to enter authority to the Corporate Director of Adult Social Care and Health to take relevant actions, including but not limited to finalising the terms of and entering into required contracts or other legal agreements, as necessary to implement the decision.

 

Division affected: (All Division);

Lead officer: Clare Maynard


19/03/2021 - 21/00014 - Chilmington Green Secondary Provision - Ashford (updated) ref: 2469    Recommendations Approved

Proposed decision:

(a)  Transfer of £22,500,000 s106 contributions in regard to Chilmington Green Secondary School to the DfE if the School is delivered via the DfE ‘Wave’ programme;

(b)  Approve up to £3.1m from the Children, Young People and Education capital budget to provide the access and service infrastructure required to provide a serviced school site; and

(c)  Delegate authority to the Director for Education to take necessary actions, including but not limited to entering into necessary contracts or taking other legal actions as required, to implement the decision.

 

 

Reason for the decision

Chilmington Green is a development with consent for 5,750 new homes.  A s106 agreement provides a site for a new secondary school and, over time, £22.5m of contributions.  The Secretary of State for Education has agreed, in principle, that United Learning Trust can open a new 6FE secondary school in Ashford, on the Chilmington Green site. This is in Wave 13 of the free schools programme.  The Department for Education expects Kent County Council to commit to pass over the £22.5m of developer contributions as and when it receives these from the housing developer.  This arrangement supports the early delivery of the school and KCC’s cash flow.  A formal decision is needed to provide the DfE with surety.

 

KCC will take transfer of the site for the secondary school from the developer.  This will be transferred freehold to the DfE if the wave school proceeds.  The site needs to meet the transfer requirements of the DfE, including having utilities provided to the curtilage of the site, access, and a safe walking route from the housing development.  The requirements sit with the developer to provide these as part of the transfer requirements in the s106.  However, the developer has not yet discharged these obligations.  In order to support the delivery of the school, which is needed to secure KCC’s duty to ensure every child can access a high-quality school place, and ensure the Wave funding is not forfeit, KCC is negotiating with the developer for it to deliver these obligations, with the developer refunding the council, with interest.  The necessary works have been costed at £3.1m.   

 

Options (other options considered but discarded)

 

KCC delivers the school itself – KCC does not have the capital funding to deliver the school itself prior to receipt of the s106 contributions which would delay delivery of the school be several years.  KCC will be unable to provide the local school places needed to meet the demand in Ashford.

 

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Education and Skills

Decision published: 19/03/2021

Effective from: 27/03/2021

Decision:

As Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, I agree to:

 

(a)      Transfer developer contributions from the Chilmington Green development relating to the secondary school, amounting to £22,500,000, to the Department for Education, as and when received, if the School is delivered via the DfE ‘Wave’ programme;

(b)      Approve up to £3,100,000 from the Children, Young People and Education capital budget to provide the access and service infrastructure required to provide a serviced school site; and

(c)      Delegate authority to the Director of Infrastructure to take necessary actions, including but not limited to entering into necessary contracts or taking other legal actions as required to implement the decision, in consultation with the Director of Education and the General Counsel.

Division affected: Ashford Rural West;


19/03/2021 - 21/00026 - Updated Kent Minerals and Waste Safeguarding Supplementary Planning Document ref: 2477    Recommendations Approved

Proposed decision:

 

The adoption of an updated Kent Minerals and Waste Safeguarding Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) 2021.

 

Background:

 

The County Council has a statutory responsibility to plan for future minerals supply and waste management within Kent as set out in the National Planning Policy Framework 2019 (NPPF) and the National Planning Policy for Waste 2014 (NPPW). In addition, the County Council has a responsibility to ensure that sustainable waste management and supply of primary aggregates within the county is not compromised by other forms of development. This is achieved through minerals and waste safeguarding.

 

The Kent Minerals and Waste Local Plan 2013-30 (KMWLP) was adopted by Full Council in July 2016. The KMWLP contains a number of policies relating to the safeguarding of minerals and waste resources, which other local planning authorities (Borough and District Councils) across Kent must refer to when considering development in the proximity of minerals and waste infrastructure or primary mineral resources. In April 2017 the County Council adopted a Minerals and Waste Safeguarding Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) that set out in detail the process that should be followed by the County Council, the Borough and District Councils and applicants when dealing with applications and local plan allocations that have implications for minerals and waste safeguarding.

 

In 2017, an Early Partial Review (EPR) of the adopted KMWLP was undertaken.  This included a number of amendments to the safeguarding policies within the Plan which improved their clarity and ease of application in practice. During the preparation of the EPR, the County Council made a commitment to update the Supplementary Planning Document to reflect the amendments to the policies and address representations made during the Examination in Public for the EPR in 2019.

 

Members of the County Council resolved to adopt the KMWLP as amended by the EPR in September 2020 and a subsequent public consultation was undertaken on the updated SPD. Following this consultation, a number of changes have been made to the SPD to provide clarity in implementing the adopted planning policies.  Importantly, the guidance in the SPD does not change the policy as this can only be achieved through a further formal review of the local plan.  To give full weight to the guidance in the SPD, the final stage of the process is adoption by the County Council. The 2021 version of the SPD it is now considered ready for adoption.

 

How the proposed decision meets the objectives of ‘Increasing Opportunities, 

Improving Outcomes: Kent County Council’s Strategic Statement (2015-2020)’ and the objectives of ‘Setting the Course’: Kent County Council’s Interim Strategic Statement (December 2020)

 

The revised SPD will be used to deliver the Council’s adopted Mineral and Waste Local Plan strategy and policies in the Borough and District Council’s local plans. These are in accordance with national planning policies and support the County Council’s corporate policies contained within the Council’s Strategic Statement ‘Increasing Opportunities, Improving Outcomes – Kent County Council’s Strategic Statement 2015-2020 and the recently approved Setting the Course – Kent County Council’s Interim Strategic Plan 2020, which sets the Council’s priorities for the next 2 years.

 

Kent’s mineral and waste planning policies support and facilitate sustainable growth in Kent’s economy. In addition, they support the creation of a high-quality built environment, with accessible local services that reflect the community’s needs.

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Environment

Decision published: 19/03/2021

Effective from: 27/03/2021

Decision:

Decision:

As Cabinet Member for Environment, I agree to

 

 - adopt the updated Supplementary Planning Document as guidance for the  County on mineral and waste safeguarding; and,

 

   -    delegate powers to the Corporate Director for Growth, Environment & Transport to approve any minor modifications to the text of the Supplementary Planning Document, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Environment, which may be needed (such as formatting changes and typographical errors), in order to publish the Document.

 

Division affected: (All Division);

Lead officer: Sharon Thompson


19/03/2021 - 21/00025 - Proposed Expansion of Invicta Grammar School, Huntsman Lane, Maidstone, Kent, ME14 5DS ref: 2467    Recommendations Approved

Proposed decision:

 

The Cabinet Member for Education and Skills is asked to:

 

a)       authorise the allocation of £2,438,095 from the Children Young People and Education Services Basic Need Capital Budget to fund the permanent expansion of Invicta Grammar School, by increasing the Published Admission Number (PAN) from 192 places to 240 places from September 2022.

 

b)       authorise the Director of Infrastructure, Strategic and Corporate Services in consultation with the General Counsel and Director of Education to enter into any necessary contracts/ agreements on behalf of the County Council with the Valley Invicta Academies 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:

 

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 2020-24 is a five-year rolling plan which is updated annually. It sets out KCC’s future plans as Strategic Commissioner of Education Provision across all types and phases of education in Kent.  A copy of the plan can be viewed from this link:

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

 

The Commissioning Plan forecasts for the Maidstone and Malling Selective planning group indicate that there will be a deficit of Year 7 places throughout the Plan period.  The deficit builds during the early years of the Plan period and peaks at -106 places in 2023-24, before settling into around a 90 places shortfall for the last 3 years of the forecast period.

 

Within this planning group, some schools have admitted over PAN in recent years, creating temporary additional selective capacity.  It is anticipated that this pattern will continue and will accommodate the immediate forecast deficit of 28 places in 2021-22.  However, from 2022-23 there is a need to commission up to 3FE of additional permanent provision and a further 1FE (or 30 temporary places) will be needed to meet the 2023-24 demand.

 

Background:

 

In recent years Invicta Grammar School has accepted bulges up to 240 pupils, which is 48 places above its PAN.  These additional places have provided provision that ensured there were sufficient girls grammar places available in the Maidstone and Malling planning group.  The latest KCP forecasts indicate a continued and growing demand for grammar places and in particular girls’ provision. 

 

However, Invicta Grammar School no longer has the physical capacity to accept pupils over their PAN beyond September 2021.  Therefore, KCC intends to commission a Basic Need expansion of Invicta Grammar School to enable the school to continue to offer 240 places on a permanent basis from September 2022.

 

It is agreed with Valley Invicta Academies Trust (VIAT) that this would be a school managed scheme, with KCC providing the Basic Need funding and the Trust procuring and managing all capital works.

 

Options:

 

There are only 2 girls’ grammar schools within the planning group and therefore the options for expanding girls’ grammar provision are limited to these schools.  KCC is currently working with both schools to assess the possibility of expansion, as it is likely it will be necessary for both schools to expand to meet the forecast deficit. 

 

How the proposed decision meets the objectives of ‘Increasing Opportunities, Improving Outcomes: Kent County Council’s Strategic Statement (2015-2020)’

 

The provision of sufficient school places is a statutory duty and contributes to the Strategic Business Plan Priorities to ensure that “Children and Young People in Kent get the best start in life”.

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Education and Skills

Decision published: 19/03/2021

Effective from: 27/03/2021

Decision:

As Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, I agree to:

 

(i)             authorise the allocation of £2,438,095 from the Children Young People and Education Services Basic Need Capital Budget to fund the permanent expansion of Invicta Grammar School, by increasing the Published Admission Number (PAN) from 192 places to 240 places from September 2022.

 

(ii)            authorise the Director of Infrastructure, Strategic and Corporate Services in consultation with the General Counsel and Director of Education to enter into any necessary contracts/ agreements on behalf of the County Council with the Valley Invicta Academies Trust.

 

(iii)          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.

 

Division affected: Maidstone North East;

Lead officer: Nick Abrahams


19/03/2021 - 21/00023 - Extension of the Specialist Teaching and Learning Service (STLS) Service Level Agreement (SLA) ref: 2483    Recommendations Approved

      Reason for the decision

 

The Specialist Teaching and Learning Service (STLS) is a specialist provision for Children and Young People (CYP) with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND). The service is co-ordinated via 12 Special Schools (one per district) and two countywide provisions for Sensory and Physical Disability.  The expectations and quality assurance of the delivery of the service are outlined in a Service Level Agreement (SLA), which is annually renewed and due to expire at the end of March 2021.

 

The decision is required to enable the extension of the SLA for one year, within the existing annual financial envelop of £7.8M.

 

      Background

 

STLS was devolved to 12 Special Schools across Kent in September 2012. In January 2016, Kent’s Special Schools aligned the use of their outreach funding with the STLS to further develop the district outreach and training offer. 

 

STLS was set up to champion inclusive education, to fully harness and develop the special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) knowledge, skills and expertise present in all Kent early years settings and schools in order to create a coordinated, equitable, and effective provision of additional support for children and young people with SEND.

 

KCC maintain an activity tracker which records the specific activities undertaken by the STLS, including referrals into the service, frequency of Local Inclusion Forum Team (LIFT) meetings and number of school visits. Strategic oversight of the service is provided via the County-wide LIFT Executive Group.

 

 

A review of LIFT was undertaken in 2019 and found that whilst the STLS has been effective, there seemed to be a disconnect between the activity of the service and improved attainment outcomes for SEN pupils.

 

Furthermore, the OfSTED and CQC (Care Quality Commission) inspection of services in early 2019 highlighted that too many children and young people with SEND do not get the support they need in Kent.  The Written Statement of Action (WSoA) has identified the areas against which improvements need to be made, and the ambition is to develop this service alongside the delivery of the WSoA in a more joined up and effective inclusive practice for CYP with SEND in mainstream schools and settings in Kent.

 

An extension of the STLS SLA will allow a phased approach to the redesign of the service, whilst introducing a new set of KPIs, developed collaboratively with representative members of the Special Schools, Kent Special Educational Needs Trust (KSENT) , Kent Association of Head Teachers (KAH), Head of SEN and Commissioning, to measure progress against the Children and Young People’s Outcomes Framework, which has been developed with families and reflects what children and young people and their families have told us is important to them. It will also ensure future development of STLS will be aligned to the wider planned commissioning activity of inclusive practice, as identified in the WSoA.

 

Aside from commissioning activity, the extended period will be used to identify opportunities within the wider system, gain a better understanding of roles, responsibilities and interdependencies across the wider health, education and social care systems to achieve better outcomes with the investment and available resources.

 

      Options (other options considered but discarded)

 

The outcomes and KPIs are currently being revised in line with the Children and Young People’s Outcomes Framework. The performance of the service will be analysed as part of the new service from April 2022, including a detailed options appraisal.

 

      How the proposed decision meets the objectives of ‘Increasing Opportunities, Improving Outcomes: Kent County Council’s Strategic Statement (2015-2020)’

 

This supports Outcome One of the Strategic Statement “Children and young people in

Kent get the best start in life”

 

The Kent SEND Strategy 2021 – 2024 (currently in consultation) has been developed alongside the delivery of the Written Statement of Action and sets out how Kent will continue to improve the outcomes for children and young people into the future.

 

The Mainstream Core Standards is an operational document that sets out the expectations of all schools, according to the needs of the CYP, with or without any formal diagnosis. It also sets out the additional support required by some CYP with SEND across four broad areas of need are:

 

           Communication and interaction

           Cognition and learning

           Social, emotional and mental health difficulties

           Sensory and/or physical needs.

 

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Integrated Children's Services

Decision published: 19/03/2021

Effective from: 27/03/2021

Decision:

As Cabinet Member for Integrated Children’s Services, I agree to:

 

-       Variation of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and extension of the STLS SLA for one year, commencing April 2021.

 

Lead officer: Christy Holden


19/03/2021 - 21/00020 - The Towers School - additional Year 7 places ref: 2472    Recommendations Approved

Proposed decision:

 

Release £1,550,000 from the Children, Young People and Education Capital budget secure additional Year 7 places at The Towers School and Sixth Form Centre, Ashford.

 

Reason for the decision:

 

The pressure for non-selective places in the Ashford North non-selective planning group is particularly acute with additional places being required for several years. 

The addition of science classrooms at The Towers School and Sixth Form Centre will enable the School to accommodate an additional classes of Year 7 pupils as and when required and will support the need for additional secondary places in the Borough.

Background

In Ashford Borough, Year 7 rolls have risen from 1,290 pupils in 2010-11 (the last low point) to 1,651 in 2020-21, an increase of 361 places or 12FE.  For the last three years we have managed to ensure every child was offered a local school places because schools have supported KCC by offering places above their published admissions numbers.

 

The Towers School and Sixth Form Centre has a PAN of 243.  For the last two years (2019-20 and 2020-21) they have agreed to offer 270 places as of National Offer Day.  To continue to be able to offer 270 places as and when required by KCC, the school will require additional specialist science facilities.  These additional science facilities can be achieved via the reconfiguration of their present science facilities in addition to the conversion of adjacent classrooms.

 

In addition to being able to support KCC by admitting additional Year 7 pupils, this scheme will enable the School to permanently release to KCC two existing classrooms in a standalone block to create a special school satellite).    These will used to provide facilities for 24 Wyvern School sixth form students, increasing the number of special school places in Ashford.  The satellite will give Wyvern students the opportunity to join mainstream lessons with the support of Wyvern staff and take further steps towards an independent adulthood.

 

Options (other options considered but discarded)

 

All secondary schools in Ashford Borough have been admitting additional pupils on a temporary or permanent basis.  The option of expanding each of the non-selective schools in the Borough has been explored and further proposals may need to be brought forward.  This proposal is considered the best option as not only do the additional places offer good value for money, but they also offer the opportunity for additional special school places.

 

Allocating places outside of Ashford Borough where surplus places for 2021-22 and onwards may be available has been considered but discounted as all districts will be under pressure.

 

How the proposed decision meets the objectives of ‘Increasing Opportunities, Improving Outcomes: Kent County Council’s Strategic Statement (2015-2020)’

The decision will help to secure the additional high quality secondary school places and special school places that are required.

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Education and Skills

Decision published: 19/03/2021

Effective from: 27/03/2021

Decision:

As Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, I agree to:

 

a)             Release £1,550,000 from the Children, Young People and Education Capital budget to enable The Towers School and Sixth Form Centre, Ashford to accommodate additional pupils.

b)             Delegate authority to the Director of Infrastructure to take necessary actions, including but not limited to entering into necessary contracts or taking other legal actions as required to implement the decision, in consultation with the Director of Education and the General Counsel.

Division affected: Ashford Rural East; Ashford Rural West;

Lead officer: Lee Round


19/03/2021 - 21/00019 - SEND Strategy 2021-2024 ref: 2480    Recommendations Approved

Proposed decision:

 

The Cabinet Member for Integrated Children’s Services is asked to agree to approve the SEND strategy 2021 – 2024 and assign delegated decisions relating to the commissioning of county wide solutions to deliver against the strategy to the Corporate Director for Children, Young People and Education.

 

When OFSTED and CQC undertook their inspection of services in early 2019, they highlighted that too many children and young people with SEND do not get the support they need in Kent. A Written Statement of Action was developed and an improvement programme initiated to respond to the inspection and improve the outcomes for children and young people with SEND in Kent.

 

A SEND strategy has been drafted, building on the previous strategy which was published in 2017. The new strategy has been jointly developed by Kent County Council and the NHS in conjunction with children and young people, parents and carers, Kent PACT and other key stakeholders.

 

Reason for the decision:

 

The SEND strategy is a county wide strategy effecting all electoral divisions. It will shape the delivery of SEND services across the county, and is a key deliverable for the Written Statement of Action.

 

Background:

 

The SEND strategy 2021 – 2024 builds on the work of the previous SEND strategy which was published in 2017. It has been jointly developed by KCC and the NHS, in conjunction with children, young people, carers, parents and key stakeholders throughout the SEND programme.

 

Views were gathered through a number of co-production events in February 2020, parental surveys, working jointly with Kent PACT as well as through all workstream activities which have informed the development of the strategy.

 

The SEND strategy has been developed alongside the activities within the Written Statement of Action, but goes beyond the inspection (from Ofsted and CQC) and sets out the priorities for the next 3 years.

 

Once approved, this strategy will support the inclusion of all children and young people in Kent.

 

 

Options (other options considered but discarded)

 

None. The previous Kent strategy has expired.

 

 

How the proposed decision meets the objectives of ‘Increasing Opportunities, Improving Outcomes: Kent County Council’s Strategic Statement (2015-2020)’

 

Approval of this strategy cements Kent’s intent and ambition to improve outcomes for children and young people with SEND in Kent. It will set the strategic framework for the delivery plan, and will be measured through a number of indicators that are monitored through the SEND Improvement Programme as well as new joint governance with the NHS.

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Education and Skills

Decision published: 19/03/2021

Effective from: 27/03/2021

Decision:

As Cabinet Member for Integrated Children’s Services, I agree to:

i)               the adoption of the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Strategy 2021 – 2024

ii)    delegate decisions relating to commissioning of county wide solutions (under the value of £1m) to deliver against the strategy and its associated activities (including the support the delivery the County Inclusion agenda through the High Needs funding block) to the Corporate Director for Children, Young People and Education.

 

Division affected: (All Division);


19/03/2021 - 21/00018 - Proposed Revision of Rates Payable and Charges Levied by Kent County Council for Children's Social Care Services in 2021-22 ref: 2481    Recommendations Approved

Proposed decision:

 

(i)       APPROVE the proposed changes to the rates payable and charges levied for Children’s Services in 2021-22.

(ii)       NOTE both the changes to the rates that are set by the Government/external agencies: Inter-agency charges and Essential Living Allowance and; any charges to other Local Authorities for use of in-house respite residential beds are to be calculated on a full cost recovery basis.

(iii)      DELEGATE authority to the Corporate Director of Children, Young People and Education, or other nominated officer, to undertake the necessary actions to implement the decision.

 

Reasons:

 

         This decision revises the rates payable and charges levied by this Council for Children’s Social Care Services from 1 April 2021

 

         The recommendation report will distinguish between those rates and charges over which Members can exercise their discretion, and those which are laid down by Parliament.

 

         The rates payable and charges levied for Children’s Services are reviewed annually, with any revisions normally introduced from the start of the new financial year.

 

         Some of the increases are directly linked to the published Department for Education fostering rates, which are reviewed by the Department annually.

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Education and Skills

Decision published: 19/03/2021

Effective from: 27/03/2021

Decision:

As Cabinet Member for Integrated Children’s Services, I agree to:

 

a)     

i.      The weekly Foster Care Maintenance allowance to be increased in line with the rise in line the DFE fostering rates when published.

 

For information only: the 2020-21 rates have been included below for reference.

 

All placements under 2 years old

£157.23

All placements 2 to 4 years old

£161.54

All placements 5 to 10 years old

£178.77

All placements 11 to 15 years old

£203.54

All placements over 16 years old

£239.08

 

ii.     The weekly Foster Care Reward element is increased to:

 

Non-related placements 0 to 8 years old

£121.50

Non-related placements 9 to 18 years old

£230.79

 

iii.    The weekly Foster Care Disability Enhancement is increased to:

 

Standard

£69.24

Enhanced

£92.32

 

iv.   The weekly Foster Care Skills Based Payment is increased to:

 

Skilled (Level 2)

£22.07

Advanced (Level 3)

£55.14

 

v.     The weekly Emergency Foster Carer Retainer payment remains at:

 

Retainer

£250.00

 

vi.   The hourly Sessional & Day Care payments remain at:

 

Sessional Work

£10.00

Day Care

£7.50

 

vii.  The Foster Carer Mileage Rate will remain at 45p per mile in line with KCC staff.

 

viii. The Local Authority charges to OLAs for Children’s Services are increased to:

 

Social work support and assessment (per hour)

£78.62

Administration fee associated with social work support and assessment (per invoice)

£20.00

 

ix.   The Kent Supported Homes (Supporting Lodging payments to hosts) remain at:

 

Standard Support (per week)

£150

Enhanced Support (per week)

£250

Complex Support (legacy cases only) (per week)

£200

Mother and Baby Arrangement Support (per week)

£300

Outreach support (per hour)

£10

Rent (16/17 year old and 18+ who are not eligible to claim benefits) (per week)

£70

Rent (University non-term time)

LHA** rate

Staying Put Extended Foster Care Rate

Various**

*LHA – Local Housing Authority

**Various – the rate will depend on circumstances and agreed in line with the Staying Put policy.

 

b)    NOTE:

x.     The rates which are dictated by external agencies i.e. Inter-agency charges and Essential Living Allowance

 

xi.   The charges for other Local Authorities for use of in-house respite residential beds is to be calculated on a full cost recovery basis.

 

c)    DELEGATE:

Authority to the Corporate Director of Children, Young People and Education, or other nominated officers, to undertake the necessary actions to implement the decision.

Division affected: (All Division);

Lead officer: Karen Stone


19/03/2021 - 21/00016 - Proposed temporary expansion of Mascalls Academy, Maidstone Road, Paddock Wood, Kent, TN12 6LT ref: 2471    Recommendations Approved

Proposed decision:

 

The Cabinet Member for Education and Skills is asked to:

 

a)       Authorise the allocation of £1,242,960 from the Children Young People and Education Services Basic Need Capital Budget to fund a temporary expansion of Mascalls Academy, by increasing the number of Year 7 places offered in September 2022 and September 2023 from 240 to 300 places.

 

b)       authorise the Director of Infrastructure, Strategic and Corporate Services in consultation with the General Counsel and Director of Education to enter into any necessary contracts/ agreements on behalf of the County Council with the Leigh Academies 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:

 

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 2020-24 is a five-year rolling plan which is updated annually. It sets out KCC’s future plans as Strategic Commissioner of Education Provision across all types and phases of education in Kent.  A copy of the plan can be viewed from this link:

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

 

The Commissioning Plan forecasts for the Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells Non-Selective Planning Group indicate that there will be sufficient places at the start and end of the Plan period, but there will be a 50 place deficit in 2022-23 and 36 deficit in 2023-24.  These deficits will require up to 60 temporary places to be offered via existing secondary schools.

 

Background:

 

Mascalls is a co-educational comprehensive school for students of 11-18 years that converted to academy status in July 2011 and is now part of the Leigh Academies Trust.  The school was rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted at its November 2016 short inspection.  Mascalls provides a broad range of educational opportunities for all students regardless of their ability or background and aims to help them develop their potential to the full.  The school has excellent ICT and sports facilities and in 2006 a brand-new building, providing state-of-the-art accommodation for Design and Technology, Art, Drama, Dance and Music was opened.

 

The school and Leigh Academies Trust are keen to expand the school and welcome the opportunity to temporarily expand for 2 years. Future housing development in the area is likely to necessitate a permanent expansion of the school in the longer-term future.

 

Following discussion regarding the accommodation needs of the school, KCC agreed with the Leigh Academies Trust that, should this proposal go ahead, it will be a school managed scheme, with KCC providing the Basic Need funding and the Trust undertaking the necessary capital works. The Trust regularly undertakes capital work relating to expansion and maintenance of its schools and has the organisational infrastructure to manage such schemes.

 

Options:

 

There are limited options for expansion of the schools within the Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells Non-Selective Planning Group; the majority of the schools have been expanded within the past few years and for other temporary expansions would not be cost effective.  On balance, the proposed temporary expansion of Mascalls Academy offers a relatively low-cost option in a location where there is demand generated by new housing developments.

 

How the proposed decision meets the objectives of ‘Increasing Opportunities, Improving Outcomes: Kent County Council’s Strategic Statement (2015-2020)’

The provision of sufficient school places is a statutory duty and contributes to the Strategic Business Plan Priorities to ensure that “Children and Young People in Kent get the best start in life”.

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Education and Skills

Decision published: 19/03/2021

Effective from: 27/03/2021

Decision:

As Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, I agree to:

 

(i)             authorise the allocation of £1,242,960 from the Children, Young People and Education Services Basic Need Capital Budget to fund a temporary expansion of Mascalls Academy, by increasing the number of Year 7 places offered in September 2022 and September 2023 from 240 to 300 places.

 

(ii)            authorise the Director of Infrastructure, Strategic and Corporate Services in consultation with the General Counsel and Director of Education to enter into any necessary contracts/ agreements on behalf of the County Council with the Leigh Academies Trust.

 

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.

Lead officer: Nick Abrahams


19/03/2021 - 21/00015 - Lunsford and Birchington School Roofs ref: 2470    Recommendations Approved

Proposed decision:

 

The Cabinet Member for Education and Skills is asked to:

 

a)       authorise the allocation of £6.6m from the Children Young People and Education Services Capital Budget to deliver the roof replacement schemes at Birchington Church of England Primary School and Lunsford Primary School.

 

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

 

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.  contract value to be no more than 10% above the capital funding agreed by the Cabinet Member without requiring a new Record of Decision.

 

Reason for Decision:

 

Kent County Council (KCC), as the Local Authority, is responsible for the maintenance of Community and Voluntary Controlled school buildings in Kent.  This responsibility is taken seriously, with continuous maintenance and modernisation programmes in place to ensure that the school estate is fit for purpose.  Included within these programmes are routine building checks that identify possible future maintenance issues with accommodation.

 

Through this maintenance programme the proactive replacement of the roofs of Birchington Church of England Primary School and Lunsford Primary School are recommended to remove the development of any future risks associated with the presence of reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC). 

 

Background:

 

RAAC is a lightweight form of concrete used primarily for roofs from the mid-fifties to the mid-eighties, most often in schools and office buildings. RAAC roofs are known to typically have more limited long term durability compared to other forms of roofing structures.

 

The LGA and DfE advise that Local Authorities and responsible school bodies identify any RAAC buildings in their portfolio and ensure that they are subject to regular and rigorous inspection by a structural engineer.

 

The County Council has two schools within its estate with RAAC structures. Structural engineer inspections of the RAAC material used in both schools show that they are currently performing as expected and are in a safe state. The buildings are subject to regular inspection and the correct maintenance practices.

 

The Standing Committee on Structural Safety recommends that building owners consider the long-term plan for RAAC roofs and for replacement to be considered where there is doubt about their structural adequacy. There are currently no concerns held regarding the structural integrity of the roofs at the two schools. The Corporate Management Team has considered the long term options available for the RAAC roofs and recommended that they be proactively replaced to eliminate the potential for any risks to develop in the future.

 

The schemes will be considered by the Children’s, Young People and Education Services Cabinet Committee on the 9th March 2021, prior to the decision by the Cabinet Member for Education and Skills to release the required capital expenditure.

 

The work on both replacement schemes would commence during the 2021 school Summer Holiday, with completion scheduled during the 2021/22 academic year.  Both schemes will necessitate the use of temporary school accommodation whilst the works on the roof are completed.  However, it is anticipated that the disruption to pupils’ education will be minimal.

 

Options

The following options were considered by the Corporate Management Team: 

 

Option 1 – Do nothing

This would not mitigate the risk of RAAC failure in the future or increase the longevity of the panels.

 

Option 2 – Remedial works to stop water ingress (manage risk)

This would not mitigate the risk of RAAC failure in the future but would provide further longevity of RAAC planks.

 

Option 3 – Remedial works to stop water ingress and provide support bracing to RAAC plank (manage risk)

This would not mitigate the risk of RAAC failure in the future but would provide further longevity of RAAC planks.

 

Option 4 – Full roof replacement (remove risk)

This would remove the risk of RAAC plank failure by removing existing roof and replacing with a new roof.

 

After reviewing the estimated costs, potential risk elements and the key advantages/disadvantages of each option it was agreed that the replacement schemes were the most appropriate solutions. 

 

How the proposed decision meets the objectives of ‘Increasing Opportunities, Improving Outcomes: Kent County Council’s Strategic Statement (2015-2020)’

The provision of sufficient school places is a statutory duty and contributes to the Strategic Business Plan Priorities to ensure that “Children and Young People in Kent get the best start in life”.

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Education and Skills

Decision published: 19/03/2021

Effective from: 27/03/2021

Decision:

As Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, I agree to:

 

(i)             authorise the allocation of £6.6m from the Children Young People and Education Services Capital Budget to deliver the roof replacement schemes at Birchington Church of England Primary School and Lunsford Primary School.

 

(ii)            authorise the Director of Infrastructure, Strategic and Corporate Services in consultation with the General Counsel and Director of Education to enter into any necessary contracts/ agreements on behalf of the County Council.

 

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.  Contract value to be no more than 10% above the capital funding agreed by the Cabinet Member without requiring a new Record of Decision.

Division affected: Birchington & Rural; Malling Central;

Lead officer: Nick Abrahams


19/03/2021 - 21/00012 - Post 16 Transport Policy 2021-22 ref: 2473    Recommendations Approved

Proposed Decision:

 

The Cabinet Member is asked to agree the Post 16 Transport Policy Statement for 2021/22.

 

Reason for Decision:

 

There is a legal requirement for post 16 learners to stay in education, training or work-based learning until they reach 18 years of age, and as young adults there is an expectation they will contribute to the cost of their travel in most circumstances. Whilst there is no statutory duty to provide transport for Post 16 Learners there is a duty to consider applications for assistance with transport and to enable access to education. There are no planned changes to the Post 16 Transport Policy Statement or this commitment for the 2021/22 academic year.  KCCs primary method of meeting its obligation in regard to Post 16 Transport will be through the continued subsidy of the 16+ Travel Saver pass.

 

Further information:

 

The post 16 Transport policy for Kent County Council enables access to education for Kent Learners. To assist Kent’s young adults in accessing their education in schools, colleges and through apprenticeships or work-based training provision.

 

Kent County Council has provided students with the opportunity to apply for a Kent 16+ Travel Saver pass which is subsidised by the Authority and can be purchased online through Kent County Council’s website. The 16+ Travel Saver pass gives unlimited access to the public bus network and learning providers can choose to further subsidise this charge to their students or trainees if they wish in cases of financial hardship.

 

With the participation age raised to 18 years, the 16+ Travel Saver pass will widen the opportunity for Kent’s young adults to access the education provision of their choice at a subsidised cost. This may be at schools, academies, colleges or in the workplace though an apprenticeship or other work-based training provision. Support for accessing education is not prescribed and Kent use the 16+ Travel Saver pass to meet its duty to enable users access to education.

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Education and Skills

Decision published: 19/03/2021

Effective from: 27/03/2021

Decision:

As Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, I agree to Kent Post-16 Transport Policy Statement.

 

Division affected: (All Division);

Lead officer: Craig Chapman


19/03/2021 - 20/00102 - Community Support Services for Disabled Children & Young People ref: 2484    Recommendations Approved

Proposed decision

The Cabinet Member for Integrated Children’s Services is asked to agree that community support services for disabled children and young people (currently spot purchased) be included in the procurement exercise for the upcoming extension to the Adults Care and Support in the Home contract with future buying taking place through this provision for the duration of this contract.

 

Further Information –

 

There is currently a mixed economy of home care/community support services for disabled children, young people, and their families across Kent, secured via externally sourced providers under spot-purchase arrangements.

 

These arrangements do not facilitate a holistic approach to the market across the county. They generate a wide range of locally agreed rates and costs which are difficult to manage and administer. Information and intervention regarding effectiveness and performance is difficult within disparate working arrangements and inconsistent contractual arrangements.

 

It is our ambition to find a better commissioning solution to the provision of home care/community support services for the support for disabled children and young people.

 

Adults Social Care faced similar challenges and have recently procured a Care and Support in the Home Framework which contains a common set of terms and conditions, performance and reporting criteria as well as the opportunity to make more informed decisions about provision requirements as identified by Social Workers.

 

Opportunities now exist to align support to disabled children, young people and their families with this framework. Analysis suggests strong alignment of at least 80% between providers of spot purchased for support to children & young people and those included in the Adult’s Care and Support in the Home Framework.

 

Options -

 

1.  Do Nothing – this option would allow the continuance of local spot purchasing of community support for disabled children and all of the current risks (financial and otherwise) that are inherent in this approach. This option has been discounted for this reason.

 

2.      Procure new Framework ringfenced to Disabled Children (0-25) – this option is viable and would provide commonality of terms and conditions alongside the opportunity to manage performance, costs and provision in a more holistic fashion.

 

Our proposal is to utilise the Care and Support in the Home Framework recently let by the Adult’s Commissioning Unit to include provision for children and young people (0-25). The Framework already provides support to individuals 18+ and given the high correlation of suppliers to current arrangements there should be minimal disruption to the market in taking this approach.

 

How the proposed decision meets the objectives of ‘Increasing Opportunities, Improving Outcomes: Kent County Council’s Strategic Statement (2015-2020)’

 

This service is purchased to meet the KCC Strategic Outcome of

‘Children and young individuals in Kent get the best start to life’.

 

The main supporting outcomes of the above are:

·           Kent communities are resilient and provide strong and safe environments to successfully raise children & young individuals

·           We keep vulnerable families out of crisis and more children and young individuals out of KCC care

·           Children and young individuals have better physical and mental health

 

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Integrated Children's Services

Decision published: 19/03/2021

Effective from: 27/03/2021

Decision:

As Cabinet Member for Integrated Children’s Support services, I agree to:

follow a competitive procurement process for children’s community support services within 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.

Division affected: (All Division);

Lead officer: Christy Holden