Issue details

20/00046 - Proposal to temporarily expand The Westlands (Secondary Academy) School by 1.5FE (45 places) for September 2021



The Commissioning Plan for Education Provision in Kent 2020-24 identifies the need to commission additional capacity in the Swale District for Year 7 secondary school places from 2019. Additional capacity was secured through a temporary expansion of Westlands Secondary Academy by 45 places for September 2019 and September 2020 Year 7 entry. September 2021 shows a projected deficit of 74 places. There is a need to secure a permanent solution to the secondary place pressures from September 2023 onwards when the size of the pressure increases and is more sustained.


By 2021-22 a deficit of -74 places is predicted for Year 7 across the Sittingbourne non-selective and Isle of Sheppey non-selective planning areas, rising to -132 by 2023-24. These figures do not include any spare capacity required for in-year admissions, or growth related to housing from any new developments.


The commissioning of a new all through school to include 2FE primary provision and 6FE secondary agreed with developers on the North Sittingbourne (Quinton Road) site has been delayed due to the housing development not coming forward according to the original timeline as set out within the Local Plan. It is hoped that that we will gain access to the site by 2021. Alternative options will be explored in case this is not possible.


The commissioning of the additional temporary 1.5FE (45 places) at Westlands Secondary School will support the demand for places in Sittingbourne in September 2021 and ensure there are sufficient places available.




The Cabinet Member for Education and Skills proposes to agree to the allocation of £1 million for the temporary expansion of Westlands Secondary School by 1.5FE for September 2021 Year 7 entry.

Decision type: Key

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

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Division affected: Swale West;

Notice of proposed decision first published: 22/04/2020

Decision due: Not before 21st May 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: David Adams

Department: Education & Young People's Services

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


No Consultation will be undertaken related to any future proposal for permanent expansion.



The views of the local Member will be sought and included in any report to Cabinet Committee / Cabinet Member.

Financial implications: A record of decision on the capital allocation of £1.96m was signed by the Cabinet Member on the 6 December 2018. This funding was towards the total cost of replacement of a number of mobile classrooms on the Westlands site that had been taken out of use due to condition and health and safety concerns. This accommodation would otherwise not be useable as classrooms to meet the additional pupil place need. The school’s current published admission number (PAN) is 285. The additional investment of £1m would extend this offer of a minimum of 330 places for a further year (2021 to 2022 academic year). The school will receive increased funding through their Delegated Budget. The rising rolls will be protected in line with KCC Growth Funding Policy. Revenue funding will also be allocated to enable the School to resource each new classroom as they come on -line. At present this is at a value of £6,000 per classroom. The School will appoint additional staff as the need arises.

Legal implications: The original funding allocation is subject to a contractual agreement between KCC and the Trust to offer a minimum of 330 Year 7 places for September 2019 and 2020. The school’s current published admission number (PAN) is 285. The additional investment of £1m would extend this offer of a minimum of 330 places for a further year (2021 to 2022 academic year) and the contractual agreement with the Trust would be adjusted to reflect this.

Equalities implications: An Equality Impact Assessment has been produced as part of the consultation process and is attached. The assessment identified the following positive impacts: • Sufficient year 7 places will be provided for September 2021 intake. • Year 7 pupils will be able attend secondary school provisions in their locality. No adverse impacts were identified during the assessment.