Issue details

20/00001 - Proposal to open satellite provision of The Beacon Folkestone at the former Walmer Science College and increase the designated number of the School to 548 places

Background – Across Kent, the number of pupils with an Education, Health Care Plan (EHCP) has increased significantly.  Between January 2015 and January 2019, the number of pupils aged between 0 -25 years of age with an EHCP increased from 7,374 to 11,763 an increase of 60%. The increase in the overall number of pupils with an ECHP is having an impact on the need for places within our special schools and the specialist resourced provisions (SRPs) within mainstream schools. Dover District is one of only two Kent Districts without a PSCN special school (the other being Dartford). In order to address this, The Commissioning Plan for Education Provision in Kent 2019-23 identified the need for a new 168 place PSCN provision from September 2020. The County Council retained the Walmer Science College site for future educational needs.  A feasibility study has shown that, once refurbished, the buildings and site would be suitable for more ambulant PSCN pupils across the 3-19 year old age range.  Having a building such as this available will allow us to open the provision quicker than would have otherwise been expected and possibly with an initial phase as early as September 2020.

 

Options – The need for a new provision for either PSCN or ASD within Dover was set out in the Commissioning Plan for Education Provision in Kent 2019-23.  The Area Education Officer has been open about the need for this provision with Kent’s special schools. Officers have decided that The Beacon School Folkestone, as an outstanding special school, is in the best position to successfully open the satellite provision.

 

Proposed decision – To release £4,000,000 from the Children’s, Young People and Education Capital Budget to enable The Beacon Folkestone to open of a satellite provision at the former Walmer Science College and increase the designated number of the School to 548 places. 

 

 

Decision type: Key

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

Decision status: For Determination

Division affected: Deal & Walmer; Folkestone East;

Notice of proposed decision first published: 06/01/2020

Decision due: Not before 4th Feb 2020 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: David Adams, Area Education Officer - South Kent Phone number: 03000414989 Email: david.adams@kent.gov.uk Tel: 01233 898559.

Consultees

An informal consultation will be held from 6 January 2020 to 14 February 2020, the outcome of which will be reported to the Cabinet Member for Education and Skills in the Children’s, Young People and Education Cabinet Committee of 11 March 2020.

 

 

The views of the local members will be sought as part of the informal consultation.

 

Financial implications: A feasibility study has been undertaken. £4,000,000 will be required to suitably reinstate the former Walmer Science College buildings and land.

Legal implications: Any legal implications will be explained in the report to the Cabinet Member prior to him taking his decision.

Equalities implications: An Equalities Impact Assessment has been complete prior to the consultation period. To date no adverse impact on any protected group has been identified. This will be reviewed throughout the consultation period.