Proposed decision –
The Cabinet Member for Education and Skills is asked to:
i. Agree to provide £3.7m from the school’s basic need capital budget to progress the proposal to expand Mayfield Grammar School, Pelham Road, Gravesend, Kent DA11 0JE from 180 places to 210 places for Year 7 entry in September 2021
ii. 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
iii. 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.
Reason for the decision:
Kent County Council (KCC) as the Local Authority has a statutory duty to ensure sufficient school places are available. The County Council’s Commissioning Plan for Education Provision in Kent 2020-24 is a five-year rolling plan which is updated annually. It sets out our future plans as Strategic Commissioner of Education Provision across all types and phases of education in Kent. A copy of the plan can be found using this link:
Forecasts indicate a growing demand for Year 7 places in Gravesham from the start of the 2020-21 academic year. The Gravesham and Longfield Selective Planning Group is forecast to have a deficit of 62 places (2FE) for the 2021-22 intake and increases again to 99 places (3.3FE) by 2023/24.
As part of the measures being taken to address the capacity issues illustrated above, KCC is proposing that Mayfield Grammar School increase their PAN to 210 from September 2021.
To expand Mayfield Grammar School, KCC are proposing the removal of the old wooden block and building a new block at the school, together with other infill and enhancement work to social spaces. This work would be completed before the September 2021 intake. This build would enable the school to offer 210 Year 7 places for September 2021.
Mayfield Grammar School is a popular school that was judged Outstanding in every area by Ofsted in 2013.
The school site lends itself to expansion for a number of reasons including the age and sustainability of existing structures, proximity to local demand and sympathetic leadership and governance.
The school is the only girl’s grammar school in the Gravesham and Longfield Selective Planning Group, so is therefore the only option.
If no action is taken, Kent County Council will find it extremely difficult to provide sufficient local selective secondary school places in Gravesham borough.
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 theStrategic 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: Northfleet & Gravesend West;
Notice of proposed decision first published: 28/09/2020
Decision due: Not before 28th Oct 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: email@example.com Tel: 03000 414302.
Has any public consultation been undertaken or is any planned?
The Academy Trust held a consultation from 27 January 2020 to 28 February 2020, with a drop-in event for stakeholders to raise issues and concerns on 11 February 2020. The Academy Trust have considered the response received from the consultation and have confirmed that they will proceed with the expansion proposal.
The consultation details can be found here:
Cabinet Committee consultation planned:
The Children, Young People and Education Cabinet Committee considered the proposal at its meeting on 11 March 2020. At the meeting, the Committee RESOLVED to endorse decision 20-00021 - Proposal to expand Mayfield Grammar School, Pelham Road, Gravesend, Kent DA11 0JE from 180 places to 210 places for Year 7 entry in September 2021.
Due to the urgency of the decision and the scheduled cabinet committee dates, this will not be considered by the Children’s, Young People and Education Cabinet Committee before the decision is taken. However, a PROD will be published to all members for comments and questions before the decision is made, as per the KCC governance process. The record of decision will be noted at the next Children’s, Young People and Education Cabinet Committee meeting.
Have views been sought from local Members?
Local Members were contacted, and Dr Sullivan is a Member of the Children’s, Young People and Education Cabinet Committee and was present when the decision was discussed on 11 March 2020.
Financial implications: A feasibility study was carried out which estimated the cost to the KCC school’s basic need capital budget. The amount estimated was £3.7m. The planning process has now been completed and the estimate was accurate in that the cost to the basic need budget remains £3.7m. The total project cost is £5.8m, with £2.1m being provided by the DfE through PSBP funding. This funding is specifically to remove an old building on the school site. In addition, an allowance of up to £2500 may be payable to outfit the teaching room with appropriate ICT equipment, such as touch screens or projection equipment. Should the scheme progress, £6,000 per new learning space will be provided towards the cost of furniture and equipment. This will be given to the school to purchase the required 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. These proposals will help to secure our ambition “to ensure that every child will go to a good school where they make good progress and can fair access to school places” as set out in the Kent Commissioning Plan.
Equalities implications: An Equality Impact Assessment has been completed and identified no negative impacts with the following positive impacts being identified: i. The proposal will increase in total number of places available to meet the needs of students with disabilities and/or SEN. ii. More families will be able to access good and outstanding school places. iii. School places available to students with and without faith. The full assessment can be viewed here : https://kccconsultations.inconsult.uk/gf2.ti/f/1112290/62300517.1/DOCX/-/Mayfield_EqIA.docx