Issue details

20/00008 - Proposal to permanently increase the capacity at Water Meadows (Hersden Village) Primary School, Hersden, Canterbury, CT3 4HS by 0.5FE

Background –

The Kent Commissioning Plan for Education 2019 -2023 identifies a need for additional places in the Marshside Primary Planning Area from 2020. This is due to pressure from new housing in Sturry and Hersden which has already commenced build-out. This proposal to expand Water Meadows Primary school by 0.5FE will provide the additional places needed to accommodate pupils from the new housing developments coming forward in the planning area. An additional 800 houses (currently submitted for planning) will be built adjacent to Water Meadows Primary School (Persimmon development) and land will be provided by the developer to expand the school by a further form of entry to become a 2FE primary school in the future as the need arises. Canterbury Local Plan proposes a total of 2055 new homes for the Marshside primary planning area for the period 2018 to 2031. Water Meadows Primary school is part of Stour Academy Trust and is a 0.5FE school with a current capacity of 120 with 82 on roll, 37.1% of whom are eligible for free school meals. (May 2018 School census) Water Meadows obtained an Ofsted judgement of good in March 2019 with outstanding in Leadership and Early Years. The popularity of the school is growing year on year and for September 2019 there were 15 pupils on roll in reception.


Decision –

To agree to fund the permanent expansion of Water Meadows (Hersden Village) Primary School by 0.5FE to a 1FE Primary School from KCC Capital Budget.


Decision type: Key

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

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Division affected: Herne Village & Sturry;

Notice of proposed decision first published: 20/12/2019

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


A pre-planning letter drop to local residents was circulated on 13 September 2019 and the feedback from this will be included in CYPE Cabinet Committee report.


Water Meadows Primary School undertook a consultation during the ‘In Round’ admissions consultation in 2018/2019 to increase their PAN to 30 from September 2020. No responses were received to the consultation. A business case was submitted to the Department for Education for approval and in April 2019 Dominic Herrington, Regional Schools Commissioner approved the school request to expand by 0.5FE from September 2020.


The report to the CYPE CC to approve the proposed expansion was endorsed at the 10 January 2020 cabinet committee meeting.

Financial implications: The feasibility estimates the costs for this proposal to be £2.3m and the CYPE Cabinet Committee report will confirm the costs as the concept designs are prepared and surveys completed for the planning application. Up to £2,500 is provided for each newly provided classroom for ICT equipment from Capital budget. Totalling £12,500 for this project. £73,517.98 in developer contributions has been collected by Canterbury City Council towards the 2 phases of expansion of Water Meadows Primary School. An additional £955,211.32 in developer contributions is being sought for the two phases of expansion of Water Meadows Primary School. A total of £1,028,729.30 should therefore be secured for the two phases of expansion: (1) by 0.5FE and, (2) the further 1FE expansion. As per KCC policy a total of £6,000 per new classroom will be provided to the school from the DSG revenue budget. For this proposal, costs will be £30,000.

Legal implications: Any legal implications will be identified in the report to the Cabinet Member for Education and Skills before he takes his decision to allocate the funding.

Equalities implications: An Equality Impact Assessment has been produced and will be considered as part of the decision making process.