Issue details

19/00094 - Proposal to expand Meopham School, Wrotham Road, Meopham, Gravesend, Kent, DA13 0AH, by increasing the Published Admission Number (PAN) from 140 places to 210 places from September 2021

Background:

 

Kent County Council (KCC) as the Local Authority has a statutory duty to ensure sufficient school places are available. 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. 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.

 

It is anticipated that there will be significant short and medium-term pressure for additional Year 7 places in the Gravesham and Longfield Non-Selective Planning Group which indicates that additional capacity will be needed for 2021 and in later years.

 

Therefore, KCC has asked Meopham School to provide additional places for local children by expanding the school.

 

KCC propose increasing the accommodation and the amount of school social space including, dining, recreational and circulation space over the expansion period.   This work would be completed before the September 2021 intake.  This build would enable the school to offer 210 Year 7 places for September 2021.

 

Options:

 

Meopham School is a popular school that was judged ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted in February 2019.

 

There are seven secondary schools in the Gravesend and Longfield Non-Selective Planning Group.  These are: Longfield Academy, Meopham School, Northfleet School for Girls, Northfleet Technology College, Saint George's CE School (Gravesend), St. John's Catholic Comprehensive School and Thamesview School.

 

Of these, Thamesview School, St George’s CE School, Northfleet School for Girls are either being expanded, or are the subject of a future proposal to expand.  Northfleet Technology College is under feasibility for an expansion and Longfield School has been offering additional places under local arrangements for several years.  Meopham School is the only remaining candidate for expansion.

 

Meopham School is a popular and successful school and the proposal to increase the number of secondary places at the school is therefore, in line with the expectation of expanding popular & successful schools.  The proposal is to add an additional 70 places taking the school PAN up to 210 for September 2021.  It will be achieved through building additional accommodation and service space on the Meopham School site.

 

Decision type: Key

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

Decision status: For Determination

Division affected: Gravesham Rural;

Notice of proposed decision first published: 26/11/2019

Decision due: Not before 25th Dec 2019 by Cabinet Member for Education and Skills
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 Education and Skills

Lead director: Keith Abbott

Department: Education & Young People's Services

Contact: Ian Watts, Area Education Officer – North Kent Tel: 03000 414302 Email: ian.watts@kent.gov.uk Tel: 03000 414302.

Consultees

This matter will be discussed at the Children’s, Young People and Education (CYPE) Cabinet Committee meeting in March 2020. Ian Watts (Area Education Officer - North Kent) will attend.

Financial implications: A feasibility study has been carried out which estimates the cost of delivery being between £7m and £7.5m, wholly funded by the CYPE Basic Need Capital Budget. Subject to Members support for the proposal to progress, these estimates will be refined as detailed design work is undertaken and the scheme progresses through the planning process. In line with the agreement of Cabinet Committee on 7 May 2019, the capital figure reported here is a budget estimate for information only. Following receipt of planning permission, the refined budget estimate will be presented to Infrastructure Commissioning Board and the Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Education for a key decision to be made. Members are asked to support further resources being expended to enable the scheme to proceed to planning stage.

Legal implications: Contracting for KCC framework building contractors

Equalities implications: An EqIA has been completed and can be viewed here: https://www.kent.gov.uk/education-and-children/schools/school-consultations#tab-1