(i) Issue a public notice to permanently expand Whitstable and Seasalter Endowed CE Junior School from 48 to 60 PAN from September 2022.
And, subject to no objections being received to the public notice
(ii) Expand Whitstable and Seasalter Endowed CE Junior School from 48 to 60 PAN from September 2022.
(iii) agree to provide £1.5 million from the Children’s, Young People and Education Capital Budget for the permanent expansion of Whitstable and Seasalter Endowed CE Junior School from 48 to 60 PAN from September 2022.
(iv) 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.
(v) 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.
This decision is conditional upon planning permission being granted.
· Reason for the decision
To agree to provide £1.5m from the Children’s, Young People and Education Capital Budget for the permanent expansion of Whitstable and Seasalter Endowed CE Junior School from 48 to 60 PAN from September 2021. Decision is required to publish a public notice and to proceed with the project as the project costs have increased to £1.5m
· Background – Provide brief additional context
Whistable has two junior schools and they historically have operated for many years with organisationally inoperable Published Admission Numbers (the number of pupils it can take in each year group). In December 2018 Whitstable Junior School ran a consultation to reduce its Published Admission Number from 75 to 60 with effect from September 2020 onwards. This reduction was agreed by the Schools Adjudicator but was conditional on Whitstable and Seasalter CE Endowed consulting on a proposal to increase its PAN from 48 to 60 to ensure that there were sufficient Junior places to match the number of places in the Whitstable Infant schools. This proposal will ensure the financial viability of both junior and infant schools in Whitstable and ensure that all children attending the infant schools can have the opportunity to move onto a Whitstable Junior school. Whitstable and Seasalter Endowed CE Junior School is a popular school judged “Outstanding” by Ofsted.
A report was taken to Children, Young people and education Cabinet Committee on 15 January 2021 as it was envisaged that planning was to be submitted in February. Due to a number of factors including Covid, method of construction, roofing and drainage issues have all contributed to the costs of the project increasing and planning permission not being submitted until 1 June 2021.
· Options (other options considered but discarded)
There are only two junior schools in Whitstable and therefore there were no other options available.
This proposal will help to secure our ambition “to ensure that Kent’s young people have access to the education, work and skills opportunities necessary to support Kent business to grow and be increasingly competitive in the national and international economy”
The Commissioning Plan for Education Provision in Kent 2020-2024 sets out the need for commissioning additional school places.
Decision type: Key
Reason Key: Expenditure or savings of more than £1m;
Decision status: For Determination
Division affected: Whitstable West;
Notice of proposed decision first published: 12/08/2021
Decision due: Not before 10th Sep 2021 by Cabinet Member for Education and Skills
Lead member: Cabinet Member for Education and Skills
Contact: Jackie Marks, Extended Schools Development Manager Phone number: 03000 418794 Email: email@example.com Tel: 01732 525045.
Financial implications: A feasibility study and final cost at planning stage have been received. The costs of this project have been valued at£1.5m. The project includes both refurbishment and new build. Two new classrooms will be created using the existing kitchen, dining hall and conservatory space and the children’s toilets and library will be refurbished. A new, separate new building will be built to house a new kitchen and dining hall together with additional parking spaces. As per KCC policy, a total of £6,000 per new classroom will be provided to the school from the DGS revenue budget.
Legal implications: Any legal implications will be identified in the report to the Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Education before he takes his decision.
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 local junior provision for children in Whitstable. • Future financial viability of the school. No adverse impacts were identified during the assessment. The outcome of the public consultation and community consultation will enable the Local Authority to test out these assumptions.