Cabinet Member decisions

Decisions published

16/05/2019 - 19/00034 - Establishment of a New Special Free School on The Isle of Sheppey (successful bid to DfE in Wave14) ref: 2261    Recommendations Approved

Background Information:

 

A new proposed Special Free School will provide 120 places for Secondary aged pupils with Social, Emotional and Mental Health difficulties with ASD and will help to secure our ambition “to ensure that Kent’s young people have access to the education, work and skills opportunities necessary to support business to grow and be increasingly competitive in the national and international economy” as set out in ‘Increasing Opportunities, Improving Outcomes: Kent County Council’s Strategic Statement (2015-2020)’.

 

The Commissioning Plan for Education Provision in Kent 2019-23 sets out how we will carry out our responsibility for ensuring there are sufficient places of high quality, in the right places, for all learners and this proposed new Special Free School supports that aim to provide

sufficient places where they are needed.

 

KCC’s SEND Strategy 2017-2019 includes the aims to:

 

·         Have a well-planned continuum of provision from birth to aged 25 that meets the needs of children and young people with SEND and their families.

 

·         Improve transition planning.

 

KCC have been successful in their bid to the DfE through a wave 14 application for funding for a new special free school on the Isle of Sheppey.

 

Currently there is no special school on the Isle of Sheppey, therefore students requiring a special school place are transported off the island to a combination of maintained special school provision in Maidstone and Sittingbourne and costly independent provision. A new secondary special free school on the Isle of Sheppey will substantially reduce costs of SEN transport and independent provision.

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Education

Decision published: 17/05/2019

Effective from: 24/05/2019

Decision:

The Cabinet member for Children, Young People and Education agrees to:

 

i.              Support the DfE competition process to select a sponsor to establish a new special free school on the Isle of Sheppey.

ii.             Commit to the conditions of the bid as set out in Appendix A of the DfE letter of the 11 March 2019 in particular:

a)    provide a site on a 125 year lease

b)    meet any abnormal costs relating to access works or any section 278 cost which may be imposed.

Division affected: Sheppey;

Lead officer: Marisa White


15/05/2019 - 19/00017 - Post 16 Transport Policy 2019-20 ref: 2257    Recommendations Approved

KCC has a duty to consider applications for transport and is required to enable access to education.  In most circumstances it meets this duty through the KCC 16+ Travel Saver pass. This is a generous discretionary scheme which aids access to both education and employment with training. The card will continue to be made available at the agreed cost of £400 a year with no limit on the level of use. Learning providers, at their discretion, can subsidise this using bursary funding and we would expect bursary to be provided for up to 50% of the cost for low income families.

 

KCC has a duty to consult on and publish its Post 16 Transport Policy Statement each year.  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 and training to age 18. The transport policy sets out how KCC will meet this duty and what learners can expect by way of support.

 

Schools, colleges and learning providers have been consulted, as have their students. Neighbouring local authorities and Public Transport have also been included in the consultation, as have parents.  The consultation on the proposed policy ran until the 7 April 2019. 

 

The policy is attached as appendix 1 and a copy of the consultation document and the equalities impact assessment can be found via the following link:   www.kent.gov.uk/post16transport.

 

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Education

Decision published: 15/05/2019

Effective from: 23/05/2019

Decision:

As Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Education,I agree to the Kent Post-16 Transport Policy Statement and for it to be published by 31 May 2019.

 

Division affected: (All Division);

Lead officer: Scott Bagshaw


15/05/2019 - 19/00036 - Proposed changes to Grange Park School, Sevenoaks ref: 2256    Recommendations Approved

Reasons for decision:

 

As the strategic commissioner of school provision, the Local Authority has a duty to ensure that there are sufficient school places for the residents of Kent.  This duty applies to Special School provision, as well as mainstream settings. The County Council’s Commissioning Plan for Education Provision in Kent 2019-23 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. 

 

Within the Specialist Provision section of the Commissioning Plan, Kent details plans to provide increased Special Educational Needs (SEN) places to meet the demand for places and to reduce the proportion of pupils attending independent placements.

 

In recent years, Kent has experienced place pressure through all phases of education, including SEN, with the number of Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) continuing to increase as a result.  The increased place pressure has been evident for all the main SEN need types, with autistic spectrum Disorder (ASD) being the most prevalent and fastest growing need type.

 

Of the pupils with an EHCP in Kent, 40% have ASD, which is significantly higher than the national figure of 27%. Of the children with ASD, 32% are in Key Stage 2 (KS2).  Currently there are insufficient Kent special school places to cater for this age range. This has led to an increasing number of KS2 children with ASD being placed in the independent sector at an average cost of £36,200; which costs around £17,000 more than a placement in a Kent special school.

 

The pressure for places at Grange Park has continued to rise commensurately with the increased county demand, with strong parental preference.  Grange Park is a specialist provision for children and young people aged between 11 and 19 with an Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC).  The school is based on four sites: the main site at Wrotham (11-19) as well as partnership sites for Key Stage 5 at Mid Kent College, Gillingham, Mid Kent College, Maidstone and Hadlow College.

 

In order to meet the demand for local places, it is proposed that Grange Park School will increase its designated number of places offered from 100 to 150, alter the lower age range from 11 to 8 years and to establish a 36 place Key Stage 2 satellite facility at the former Stansted CE Primary School site from 1st July 2019. The 36 places in the Satellite provision would be included within the new designated number of 150.

 

The main Grange Park school site is currently full to its designated number of 100 places and there is limited capacity on the site for physical expansion of the school. The new satellite would take advantage of an existing building that was designed for education use.  The former Stansted CE Primary School site is situated approximately 3 miles from the Grange Park site at Wrotham.  This close proximity would enable Grange Park to viably extend its provision to a greater number of children within their local area.

 

Through the proposed increase in the designated number, the Wrotham site’s designated capacity would increase to 114 places for pupils aged 11-19 and the Stanstead satellite provision would have a designated capacity of 36 KS2 places. 

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Education

Decision published: 15/05/2019

Effective from: 23/05/2019

Decision:

As Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Education,I agree to:

 

(i)         increase the designated number of places offered at Grange Park School from 100 to 150;

 

(ii)        alter the lower age range of Grange Park School from 11 to 8 (11-19 to 8-19 years);

 

(iii)       establish a 36 place Key Stage 2 satellite provision of Grange Park School at the former Stansted CE Primary School site at Malthouse Road, Stansted, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN15 7PH.

 

Changes to be implemented from 1st July 2019.

 

Division affected: Malling West;

Lead officer: Ian Watts


13/03/2019 - Contract Monitoring Report - Live Well Kent Contract ref: 2246    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Health Reform and Public Health Cabinet Committee

Made at meeting: 13/03/2019 - Health Reform and Public Health Cabinet Committee

Decision published: 30/04/2019

Effective from: 13/03/2019

Decision:

Mrs V Tovey, Senior Commissioning Manager, and Ms J Mookherjee, Consultant in Public Health, were in attendance for this item.

 

1.            Mrs Tovey and Ms Mookherjee introduced the report and responded to comments and questions from the committee. Mrs Tovey explained that although the service was part funded by Public Health, the contract was managed by Adults Commissioning, including the following:-

 

a)    there was a range of ways in which an individual could access the service; via a helpline or GP referral or by walking in to one of the locations in the delivery network listed in Appendix A to the report. Anyone whose mental state made it difficult to search for service delivery points online or to walk into a service and seek help on their own could seek the help of their GP, who should be familiar with the most appropriate services to support them. It was important to note that this was not a crisis service. It was important, therefore, that GPs had full and up-to-date information about the named link person for each service and how to access the service  and that signposting in surgeries was as clear as possible. Once someone had made initial contact with the Live Well service, they would be supported and helped to move forward with the most appropriate support, the aim being that there would be ‘no wrong door’;

 

b)    a speaker who had accessed the Live Well service in their professional capacity as a carer said how good it was.  Both the signposting and the helpline had been very helpful, with the latter allowing callers as much time as they needed to talk through their problems;

 

c)    asked how offenders and ex-offenders living in the community would access the service, and if the service collected this information, Mrs Tovey undertook to advise the questioner outside the meeting. She explained that Live Well was an open-access service for people aged 17+ and the range of services offered would be adapted to accommodate the needs of those coming into it;

 

d)    a request was made that the list of organisations within the delivery network be kept up-to-date as service providers changed, and Mrs Tovey explained that she would ask the contract management lead to undertake a review of the list;

 

e)    concern was expressed that the expectations of the network should be realistic and deliverable, within the funding available. Mrs Tovey advised that the cost quoted per head was for a service user’s whole ‘journey’, from referral to exit, not an amount paid to one of the delivery network.  She explained that someone would access a number of interventions and the service needed to treat the causes of mental ill health rather than just the symptoms. She undertook to share more detailed and commercially-sensitive information about charges with Members outside the meeting; 

 

f)     concern was expressed about the effectiveness of group sessions as a way of addressing mental health problems, and, in particular, debt issues. There was also no mention of those with gambling addiction. Mrs Tovey advised that Live Well was a general service for anyone experiencing mental ill health, regardless of the cause, and hence no data was collected by the service about the number of people coming into it due to gambling addiction or any other specific cause. Mrs Mookherjee advised that there were a number of national helplines. She undertook to look into national data for gambling addiction and advise the questioner outside the meeting; 

 

g)    concern was expressed about the ability of a non-NHS service provider to protect client data sufficiently.  Mrs Tovey reassured the committee that staff in provider organisations would have been fully trained in the safe handling of client data and part of the strategic partner role was to ensure that the delivery network also adhered to the relevant standards, so the public could trust it as part of the familiar NHS ‘brand’;

 

h)    reference was made to the ongoing need to address and reduce the stigma which still surrounded mental health issues, particularly in certain professions, such as teaching. Ms Mookherjee advised that this was being addressed by the ‘Time to Change’ campaign.  The aim was always to achieve parity of esteem between physical and mental health;

 

i)     the case studies included in the report helped to address stigma, and Mrs Tovey advised that there were many more case studies available to read on the Live Well Kent website;  

 

j)     a suggestion was made that signposting to the service could be placed at as many local community locations as possible, including community centres and food banks. Mrs Tovey advised that suggestions for additional locations would be welcomed and could become part of the main delivery network;  

 

k)    concern was expressed that funding for the service must be maintained so Kent could continue to uphold its quality of provision.  Mrs Tovey reassured the committee that, despite the public health grant having been reduced in recent years, Kent’s investment from all funders for the Live Well service had been maintained, demonstrating commitment to its mental health support services; and

 

l)     the choice of partner organisations in the delivery network and the geographic spread and range of services were welcomed and commended.

 

2.            The Cabinet Member, Mr G K Gibbens, thanked Members for their comments and said that he had always resisted budget reductions to mental health services.

 

3.            It was RESOLVED that the commissioning and provision of a Live Well Kent mental health and wellbeing service in Kent, the contractual performance to date and work to deliver continuous improvement, be noted.

 


15/05/2019 - 19/00037 - New St Andrew's Primary Free School Contract Approval ref: 2258    For Determination

Background:

 

In July 2016 the Department for Education approved a Wave 11 bid proposed by the Tenax Trust to establish the St Andrew’s Primary Free School at Paddock Wood, Tunbridge Wells.  The proposed new school will have the capacity for 420 pupils (2 FE) from reception to year 6. The bid also included an estimated 60 nursery places.  The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) is responsible for funding the delivery of the new school.

 

The ESFA has appointed KCC to act as the Local Delivery Agent (Responsible Body), with Gen2 acting as KCC’s Agent.  As the Responsible Body, KCC will commit to procuring and delivering the scheme and will be the contracting authority for the purpose of the scheme.  As the Responsible Body KCC is also responsible for compliance with all relevant statutory obligations and is required to secure any statutory approvals required to deliver the scheme.

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Education

Decision published:

Effective from: 23/05/2019

Decision:

The Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Education is asked to agree to:

 

a) Authorise the Director of Infrastructure, in consultation with General Counsel, to enter into any necessary contracts/agreements on behalf of the County Council;

 

b) Authorise the Director of Infrastructure to ensure that the appropriate level of funding is received from the Education Funding Agency to cover the costs of these projects to ensure the Kent County Council does not incur any unforeseen costs; and

 

c) Authorise the Director of Infrastructure to be the nominated Authority Representative within the relevant contracts/agreements and to enter into variations as envisaged under the contract terms.

 

Division affected: Tunbridge Wells Rural;

Lead officer: David Adams


15/05/2019 - 19/00015 - Proposal to amalgamate St James' Church of England Voluntary Aided Infant School and St James' Church of England Junior School ref: 2260    Recommendations Approved

The Governing Bodies of St James' Church of England Voluntary Aided Infant School and St James' Church of England Junior School wish to consolidate their already close links with an amalgamation into one school.  The schools have well established existing ties and share the same site, with the schools only 4 metres apart at the closest point.  The schools share kitchen facilities and benefit from various cross-schools staff arrangements, including sharing the same Executive Headteacher.

 

The Governing Bodies of both schools have met with officers of Kent County Council (KCC) and agreed that amalgamation of the two schools to create an all-though primary school would be the natural progression for the schools, which will secure benefits for staff and pupils.

 

The proposal would amalgamate the two schools in order to create one all-through 630 place primary school for children aged 4 to 11 years from 1 September 2019.  The process of amalgamation will entail changing the age range of the Infant school to be a primary school and the closure of the Junior school. The all-through school will be in the existing accommodation of both schools.

Decision Maker: Children's, Young People and Education Cabinet Committee

Decision published:

Effective from: 23/05/2019

Decision:

The Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Education agrees to:

 

·         amalgamate St James' Church of England Voluntary Aided Infant School and St James' Church of England Junior School, Sandrock Road, Tunbridge Wells, TN2 3PR by 1 September 2019;

 

·         authorise the Director of Infrastructure in consultation with General Counsel to enter into any necessary contracts/ agreements on behalf of the County Council; and

 

·         authorise the Director of Infrastructure to be the nominated Authority Representative within the relevant agreements and to enter into variations as envisaged under the contracts.

Division affected: Tunbridge Wells South;

Lead officer: David Adams