Issue details

20/00068 - Proposal to provide additional funding to support the provision of a New 2FE Primary School on the Ebbsfleet Green Development, Dartford

Proposed decision:

 

The Cabinet Member for Education and Skills is asked to agree to:

 

a.    provide £1.9m of additional funding, making a total of £9m (including £4.6m of Developer Contributions) to build a new 2FE Primary School on the Ebbsfleet Green Housing development in Dartford Borough.

 

b.    Authorise the Director of Infrastructure, Strategic and Corporate Services in consultation with the General Counsel and Director of Education to enter into any necessary contracts/ agreements on behalf of the County Council.

 

c.    Authorise the Director of Infrastructure, Strategic and Corporate Services to be the nominated Authority Representative within the relevant agreements and to enter into variations as envisaged under the contracts. Variations to contract value to be no more than 10% above the capital funding agreed by the Cabinet Member without requiring a new Record of Decision.

 

 

Background

 

The Ebbsfleet Garden City is seeing rapid housing development across several sites, Ebbsfleet Green being one of the larger sites.  The development is well underway.  The Section 106 provides for a new 2FE school to be delivered on the site.

 

Kent 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 the 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

 

The Children, Young People and Education Committee considered this proposal on the 13 October, 2017, and recommended that funding be agreed.

 

The Maritime Academy Trust was appointed by the DfE to run the new school, following an open competition that concluded in June 2018.  The 2FE primary provision would also have a 26 place early years provision and a 15 place SRP for pupils whose primary barrier to learning is autism.

 

The developer, Redrow, KCC and the Ebbsfleet Developer Corporation sit on an Education Review Group (ERG) to discuss and if necessary, vote on issues about the delivery of the school that are not covered by the Section 106 or need clarification.

 

The reason that there is now a shortfall in funding is that the project was first costed in 2017 and in line with inflation and other issues, the cost has been revised.  There have been several design changes required by the planning authority, Ebbsfleet Development Corporation to achieve planning permission, not least that the building is now a 2FE fitout. 

 

There was an initial cost of temporary accommodation in mobiles which was aborted because the decision was taken to relocate of the temporary provision to another school for a period of one year to allow the school to start this September.  This resulted in aborted costs for not delivering the mobile units on the Redrow land, aborted cost of temporary design and surveys for the temporary provision.

 

Options

There are no options.  This school is being proposed to accommodate the demand from the new housing development.

 

How the proposed decision meets the objectives of ‘Increasing Opportunities, Improving Outcomes: Kent County Council’s Strategic Statement (2015-2020)’

 

The provision of sufficient school places is a statutory duty and contributes to the Strategic Business Plan Priorities to ensure that “Children and Young People in Kent get the best start in life”.

 

Decision type: Key

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

Decision status: For Determination

Division affected: Gravesend East;

Notice of proposed decision first published: 22/07/2020

Decision due: Not before 20th Aug 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: Ian Watts, Area Education Officer – North Kent Tel: 03000 414302 Email: ian.watts@kent.gov.uk Tel: 03000 414302.

Consultation process

Is any consultation planned or has already been undertaken?

A Public Consultation ran from 11 May 2018 to 22 Jun 2018

 

Has this proposal been to cabinet committee?

Yes.   Children’s, Young People and Education Cabinet Committee on 17 October 2017.

 

https://democracy.kent.gov.uk/documents/s79150/Item%208%20-%20Report%20Oct%2017%20Free%20School%20Presumptions%20Ebbsfleet%20RG%20and%20PL%20approved.pdf

 

Consultation page on kent.gov:

https://kccconsultations.inconsult.uk/gf2.ti/f/925602/36856837.1/DOCX/-/Community_Consultation_Dartford_Primary_School.docx

 

Cabinet Committee consultation planned or undertaken.  If planned – which meeting do you wish to attend?

 

CYPE Cabinet Committee – 30th July 2020.

 

The views of the local members were sought at the time of the original decision.  Their views will be sought on the request for increased capital allocation.

Financial implications: The land is provided, serviced and remediated, by the developer at no cost to KCC. Officers have determined that the cost of the project is £9m. Of this, the developer will pay £4.6m Developer Contributions under the extant section 106 agreement. £2.5m has already been agreed by the Cabinet Member following the original passing of this proposal on 17 October 2017. This leaves a shortfall of £1.9m, which would need to be funded by the CYPE Basic Need Capital Budget. The School will receive £6,000 per new learning space, which can be used towards the cost of furniture and equipment. This will be given to the school to purchase the required equipment. In addition, an allowance of up to £2500 may be payable to outfit each new teaching room with appropriate ICT equipment, such as touch screens or projection equipment. The school will receive growth funding in accordance with the Pupil Growth Policy established by KCC and its Schools’ Funding Forum.

Legal implications: Contracting for KCC framework building contractors.

Equalities implications: An EqIA was completed and submitted with CYPE Cabinet Committee report 19/00083 presented on 15 November 2019. The It can be found here: https://kccconsultations.inconsult.uk/gf2.ti/f/925602/36858629.1/DOCX/-/EqIA_initial_assessment_Dartford_Primary_Free_School.docx The assessment identified the following positive impacts: More primary school places available, providing families with more options and choices Increase in the number of places available to meet the needs of pupils with disabilities and/or SEN and specifically those with Autism Spectrum Disorder. No adverse impacts were identified.