Issue details

18/00046 - Proposed changes to Meadowfield (Foundation Special) School, Sittingbourne for 1 September 2019

Decision type: Key

Reason Key: Expenditure or savings of more than £1m;

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Division affected: Sittingbourne South;

Notice of proposed decision first published: 31/07/2018

Decision due: Not before 12th Dec 2018 by Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Education
Reason: In order that the proposed decision can be published for a minimum of 28 days, in accordance with statutory requirements

Lead member: Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Education

Lead director: Keith Abbott

Department: Education & Young People's Services

Contact: Marisa White, Area Education Officer - East Kent Tel: 03000 418794 Email: Tel: 01227 284407.


A public consultation on the proposed expansion was carried out between 10 October and 14 November 2017.  A drop-in information session for parents was held on 19 October 2017.  An Equality Impact Assessment has been completed as part of the consultation. The documentation can be viewed online at:


To meet the demand for places in Swale, Meadowfield has taken additional pupils. On 30 March 2017, KCC’s Children and Young People’s Services Cabinet Committee endorsed the proposal to allocate £1.14 million of capital budget to provide additional accommodation in two phases (Record of Decision reference17/00015). Meadowfield received a reception classroom and new KS1 classrooms plus care facilities to accommodate the additional pupils in permanent accommodation.

On 18 January 2018 the Children, Young People and Education Cabinet Committee considered and endorsed the recommendations to issue a public notice to permanently increase the designated number of the school from 209 – 348 for 1 September 2019 and alter the lower age range at Meadowfield to formally include nursery provision from 1 September 2019.

The Children, Young People and Education Cabinet Committee also recommended the allocation of £3.95 million to the project. (Record of Decision 17/00132).

The cost of the build has since increased by £842,000 due to the increased cost of phase 3 due to materials specification and design changes and the additional of phase 3a consisting of two additional classrooms which are in additional to the original scope of the project but are required to accommodate further pupils that the school has had to admit.


At the meeting of the Children, Young People’s and Education Cabinet Committee on 25 September Committee, Mr Gough (Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Education) offered to provide a briefing note to Members of the Committee outside of the meeting, which would give further detail relating to the revised project cost.  Mr Gough sent a letter to Members outlining reasons for the overspend on 23 November 2018 and highlighting the reduction in the estimated costs from £5,096,934 to £4,792,000.

Financial implications: Kent County Council’s contribution was agreed on 18 January to be £3.95 million. KCC acknowledged at the time that the final amount may be higher as the costs of the project were an estimate. If the cost of the project is greater than 10% the Cabinet Member will be asked to make a further decision to allocate additional funding. The reason for the increase in cost is due to design changes to meet the need of the school’s students and the addition of 3a phase to meet additional Basic Need pressures. 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. Revenue funding will also be allocated to enable the School to resource the new classrooms. At present, this is funded at a rate of £6,000 per classroom. The School will appoint additional staff as the need arises.

Legal implications: Any legal implications have been identified in the report.

Equalities implications: An Equality Impact Assessment has been via the following link: