Issue details

Furness School, Swanley - Redesignation from BESN to ASD provision

Proposed re-designation of Furness School, Swanley from a school for pupils with Behavioural Emotional and Social Needs to one for pupils with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder for September 2014.


The proposal will help secure the authority’s ambition “to ensure every child will go to a good school where they make good progress and can have fair access to school places as set out in “Bold Steps for Kent”.


There are no capital costs associated with this proposal.  The school will receive increased funding through the Delegated Budget.  Special schools are funded using the DfE Place Plus funding methodology for High Needs Pupils.  For September 2014 the Local Authority has agreed to purchase 50 places at Furness School.  There will be no changes to current staff numbers.

Decision type: Non-key

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Division affected: Swanley;

Notice of proposed decision first published: 12/05/2014

Department: Education & Young People's Services

Contact: David Adams, Area Education Officer - South Kent 01233 898559 Email: Tel: 01233 898559.


The Education, Learning and Skills Cabinet Committee considered the matter at its meeting on 14 March 2014 and recommended that a consultation took place on the proposal to re-designate Furness School.


A public consultation took place between 23 April and 201 May 2014 and a public meeting took place on 12 May 2014. 


No written responses were received.


A summary of the views and comments given at the public consultation meeting is attached at Appendix 1 of the report.


An Equality Impact Assessment has been completed as part of the consultation.  To date no comments have been received and no changes are required to the Equality Impact Assessment.


Mr Brookbank (the Local Member) welcomed this proposal as it would help fulfil the growing need for those children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders.  Over the last few years the school has suffered from behavioural problems both inside and outside and Mr Brookbank hoped that it would now settle down. 


The Head teacher and Interim Executive Board of Furness School are in full support of the proposal. 


The view of the Area Education Officer is that the proposal serves the dual purpose of providing ASD places in North Kent and provided the opportunity to use the BESN places not required at Furness School in an area where they were very much needed.  Re-designating Furness School to better suit its current pupil population could only benefit the school’s standards going forward. 


Financial implications: David Adams Area Education Officer for South Kent 01233 898559 Kevin Shovelton Director of Education Planning and Access 01622 694174

Legal implications: 14/00058

Equalities implications: Not Key