Issue details

19/00034 - Establishment of a New Special Free School on The Isle of Sheppey (successful bid to DfE in Wave14)

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 type: Key

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Division affected: Sheppey;

Notice of proposed decision first published: 19/03/2019

Decision due: Not before 15th May 2019 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.


This matter was considered at the Children’s, Young People and Education Cabinet Committee meeting on 7 May 2019.



Financial implications: The cost of capital build for the school will be met by the DfE through wave 14. KCC will commission the places at the proposed new school and based on current agreed rates would expect to pay £19,113 per pupil. The proposed school would be situated on a site owned by KCC. This land is part of the former Danley Middle School site, next to the new Halfway Houses Primary School. As part of the acceptance of the conditions of the successful, KCC will be required to provide the site on a 125 year lease and will also be expected to meet any abnormal costs relating to access works or any section 278 costs which may be imposed. These costs are not available at this stage of the project.

Legal implications: Any legal implications will be identified in the report to the Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Education on the Competition outcomes. As part of the approval from the Secretary of State the bid is subject to specific conditions which KCC have to formally agree. The DfE outcome letter together with Annex 2 is embedded below.

Equalities implications: An Equality Impact Assessment is attached.


Agenda items