Issue details

20/00069 - Funding update on the proposal to permanently expand Harrietsham Church of England Primary School from 210 places to 420 places, increasing the published admission number (PAN) from 30 to 60 for Year R entry in September 2018

Decision –


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


a)    Allocate an additional £420,000 from the Children, Young People & Education Basic Need Capital Budget to fund any necessary additional works or variations to accommodation.


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.




The enlargement of Harrietsham CEP School from 210 to 420 places represents KCC’s strategic response to the forecast population growth in Harrietsham village and the surrounding area.


A public education consultation was held from 19 September 2016 to 17 October 2016, with the results included in the Cabinet Committee report.  The Harrietsham CEP School expansion scheme was considered by the Education and Young People's Services Cabinet Committee on 23 November 2016.  The Cabinet Committee endorsed the allocation of £3 million from the Basic Need budget to fund the permanent expansion of the school


A further £600,000 was allocated from the Children’s, Young People and Education Capital Budget in June 2019 to enable the creation of an additional and necessary bell-mouth entrance between the highway and the land being acquired for a car park and additional costs due to unexpected site logistics during construction relating to the topography and split levels between the car park and main school site. 


The proposal is to allocate a further £420,000 from the Young People & Education Basic Need Capital Budget to enable the scheme to be completed.


The reasons for the increased expenditure are as follows:


  • Additional costs incurred due to significantly longer build time than originally anticipated; this is primarily as a result of unforeseen issues relating to planning, ecology and drainage.
  • Supplementary design alterations to comply with planning requirements associated with a site within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
  • The requirement for additional survey works to conform with ecological requirements following the acquisition of the adjacent land for the car parking area.  This work included the identification and relocation of protected species such as Great Crested Newts.
  • Unforeseen work to ensure the drainage within the car parking area and main site are sufficiently robust to accommodate the extra capacity needed following the expansion.


The scheme was originally procured under a two-stage design and build contract, however delays caused by the planning constraints outlined above has meant that the project needed to be split into two separate contracts to ensure that the school is provided with the additional accommodation required for September 2020.


Action has been taken to mitigate the financial impact as far as possible, including 

·    Changes to roof design

·    Alteration to proposed storage and circulation space

·    Omission of works required to the existing front lobby and office space


Original decisions:


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


As the strategic commissioner of school provision, the Local Authority (LA) has a duty to ensure that there are sufficient school places for the residents of Kent as set out in Kent’s Commissioning Plan for Education Provision in Kent (2016-20 iteration for this expansion).


Decision type: Key

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

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Division affected: Maidstone Rural East;

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

Decision due: Not before 21st 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: Nick Abrahams, Area Education Officer – West Kent Tel: 03000 410058 Email:


Is any public consultation planned or has already been undertaken?


In accordance with the Department for Education’s Statutory Guidance (October 2018): Making ‘prescribed alterations’ to maintained schools, there was a need to undertake a formal statutory consultation process.  A public education consultation was held from 19 September 2016 to 17 October 2016 and a formal Public Notice ran from 6th January 2017 to 3rd February 2017.


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


The results of the consultation were included in the Cabinet Committee report that was considered by the Education and Young People's Services Cabinet Committee on 23 November 2016.


A revised report was presented to the Children’s, Young People and Education Cabinet Committee on 30th July 2020.


The views of the Local KCC Member for Maidstone Rural East, Mrs Shellina Prendergast were sought prior to the original decision.


Financial implications: Kent County Council’s contribution was initially £3 million and this was increased by £600,000 in June 2019. This proposal increases the contribution by £420,000, taking the total scheme cost to £4.2 Million. The school will receive growth funding in accordance with the Pupil Growth Policy established by KCC and the Schools’ Funding Forum. The school will also receive £6,000 per new learning space that is provided towards the cost of furniture and 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 schools will appoint additional staff as and when appropriate.

Legal implications: The local authority has a statutory duty under the Chapter III of the Education Act 1996 to ensure sufficient school places are available for any Kent child who requires one.

Equalities implications: A full impact assessment has been carried out and identified the following positive outcomes: The new accommodation and better facilities will have a positive impact on students and staff through the improvement of the learning environment and places available to children with all faith-based backgrounds. No negative impacts have been identified.