Issue details

20/00072 - Allocate approved Basic Need funds to increase the RoD as outlined below on a proposal to permanently expand the secondary provision at Trinity School, Sevenoaks, from a PAN of 120 to 180, ongoing from September 2018



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


a.    allocate an additional £2.5m from the Children, Young People & Education Capital Budget, in addition to the £9m previously allocated, to provide a project total of £11.5m 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.




KCC’s Children and Young People’s Education Cabinet Committee endorsed the proposal to allocate £9m from the Capital budget to enable the proposal to go ahead.  This decision was made in the paper 18/00006.


The proposal is to allocate an additional £2.5m from the Children, Young People & Education Capital Budget, in addition to the £9m previously allocated, to provide a project total of £11.5m


The reasons for the increased expenditure are as follows:


The initial Record of Decision was given, prior to the planning permission being granted which required further works than anticipated for a standard 2FE Expansion at the time.  Due to pupil demand and time constraints the project has been procured and delivered over a three year period which adds cost to the Scheme and inflation costs.  The project has and is being delivered over six phases across the three year period to meet the Basic Need requirement and this was not envisaged when the initial ROD was approved.


The additional funding is to complete the outstanding phases of work which include 4 New Science Labs and internal refurbishments in line with the DfE BB103 Guidelines to give the School the space they require to fully expand by 2FE.


Since presenting the previous RoD, the bus park has been extended and has required additional S278 works to the main highway alongside the school to enable safe access and egress for the buses. This bus park provides for the 12FE on site at Wildernesse, not just the Trinity students.  Additionally, the MUGA being provided as a part of the Trinity scheme has to be designed to include a retaining wall given the size and location of MUGA being provided.


KCC have worked with the contracted builder over the past six months alongside the school to reduce the scope and specification as much as possible without compromising on the educational space needed.  Savings have been made where possible with specific relation to omitting some admin areas and reducing the M&E scope of works.


Without the additional funding, we will not be able to complete the outstanding Phases to provide the teaching accommodation to meet the demand of pupil places at Trinity School. 



There are no viable options.  This school expansion is being proposed to accommodate the demand for non-selective places in the central Sevenoaks area.


The only alternative, Knole Academy is not able to expand on their current site, due to cost and space issues.


Original decision and Report


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


This enlargement has added an additional 60 Year 7 places to the capacity per year, in line with priorities in the Kent Policy Framework, ‘Vision and Priorities for Education and Young People’s Services’ and the 'Commissioning Plan for Education' (2018 – 2022).


All options were considered as part of the Kent Commissioning Plan for Education Provision 2018-2022.


Decision type: Key

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

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Division affected: Sevenoaks Town;

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: Ian Watts, Area Education Officer – North Kent Tel: 03000 414302 Email: Tel: 03000 414302.


Is any consultation planned or has already been undertaken?

A full consultation was undertaken by the school, as an Academy with the result that the Governing Body determined to proceed with the proposal.


Has this proposal been to cabinet committee?

Yes.   The original proposal was presented at the Children’s, Young People and Education Cabinet Committee on 8 March 2018.


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

CYPE Cabinet Committee on 30th July 2020.


Have views been sought from local Members?

The views of the Local Member (Margaret Crabtree) were sought prior to the original decision. Her views will be sought on the request for increased capital allocation.

Financial implications: Kent County Council's contribution is currently £9m. KCC acknowledged that the final amount may be higher or lower than the original project estimate, and that if the final cost of the project was 10% or more higher than the amount allocated via the Record of decision the Cabinet Member would be required to take a further decision to allocate the additional funding. Revised cost estimates from architects are that the cost will be in excess of 10% higher. The cost increase of £2.5m is already accounted for within the existing Basic Need Programme. As part of the ongoing budget management, provision has already been made against schemes where costs were seen to be increasing as these were developed, provided for by savings on other schemes and external funding contributing to some schemes in the programme. For a period of three academic years since the school started to admit these increased cohorts, the school has received protection for an additional 60 Year 7 pupils.

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 was published with the original CYPE Cabinet Committee papers: The assessment highlighted the following positive impacts: An increase in total number of places available to meet the needs of children with disabilities and/or SEN More families able to access good school places School places available to children with and without faith based backgrounds. No adverse impacts were indented