Issue details

21/00085 - Proposal to Expand Thamesview School

Proposed decision

 

      i.   Allocate £5m from the Children Young People and Education Services Capital Budget to the scheme to expand Thamesview School to a PAN of 210.

 

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

 

   iii.    Authorise the Director of Infrastructure to be the nominated Authority Representative within the relevant agreements and to enter into variations as envisaged under the contracts.

 

Background

 

This FED follows on from the Decision 19-00071, taken on 15 October 2019 whereby the Cabinet Member for Education and Skills agreed to publish a Public Notice on a proposal to expand Thamesview School by increasing the Published Admission Number (PAN) from 150 places to 210 places from September 2021 by confirming the school’s Published Admission Number at 180, and to then add an additional 1FE taking the school PAN up to 210 for September 2021.

 

KCC continually monitors the provision of school places through the County Council’s Commissioning Plan for Education Provision.  The plan is a five-year rolling plan that 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 viewed from this link:

 

http://www.kent.gov.uk/about-the-council/strategies-and-policies/education-skills-and-employment-policies/education-provision

 

In 2019, the Commissioning Plan indicated that there was a growing demand for Year 7 non-selective places in the Gravesham and Longfield non-selective planning area from the start of the 2019-20 academic year.

 

Early forecast figures that will populate the next iteration of the Commissioning Plan (2022-2026) indicate that Gravesend and Longfield Non-Selective Planning Group is forecast to have a small surplus of 38 Year 7 places (1FE) for the 2022/23 intake.  However, the following year shows a deficit of 75 places (2.5FE) by 2023/24.  This deficit fluctuates in succeeding years but is not forecast to return to a surplus.

 

Following discussions with the school, the decision has now been taken to expand the school from its current PAN of 180 to 210 from September 2023, to assist in addressing the forecasted deficit.

 

This FED is to notify the decision to allocate the funding for the proposal to permanently expand Thamesview School from a PAN of 150 to a PAN of 180 in September 2021 and to further increase the PAN to 210 in September 2023.

 

Options

 

There are seven secondary schools in the Gravesend and Longfield Non-Selective Planning Group.  These are: Longfield Academy, Meopham School, Northfleet School for Girls, Northfleet Technology College, Saint George's CE School (Gravesend), St. John's Catholic Comprehensive School and Thamesview School.

 

Of these, Meopham School, St George’s CE School, Northfleet School for Girls and Meopham School are either being expanded, or are the subject of a future proposal to expand.  Northfleet Technology College is under feasibility for an expansion and Longfield School has been offering additional places under a local arrangement for several years.  Thamesview School is the only remaining candidate for expansion.

 

Thamesview School is a popular school and the proposal to increase the number of Secondary places at the school is therefore, in line with the expectation of expanding popular & successful schools.  The proposal will confirm the school’s admission number of 180 and add an additional 30 places taking the school PAN up to 210 for September 2023.  It will be achieved through building additional accommodation and service space on the Thamesview site.

 

Decision type: Key

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

Decision status: For Determination

Notice of proposed decision first published: 16/09/2021

Decision due: 15 Oct 2021 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

Department: Education & Young People's Services

Consultees

The decision will be considered at the meeting of the Children’s and Young People Education Cabinet committee on 14 September 2021.

Financial implications: An initial feasibility study was carried out which estimated the cost of delivery being between £4.0m and £4.5m, wholly funded by the CYPE Basic Need Capital Budget. In line with the agreement of Cabinet Committee on 7 May 2019, the capital figure reported to the Cabinet Committee was a budget estimate, pending a full costings exercise. Following a more detailed feasibility study, the refined cost estimate is £5m. The reason for the increase over the two years is due primarily, to the cost of materials rising significantly due to Covid and logistical challenges from contractors. KCC Officers have determined that the cost increase is entirely proportionate to that being experienced in other projects and maintain that the project provides value for money. 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.

Legal implications: Contracting for KCC framework building contractors.

Equalities implications: An EqIA has been completed and can be viewed here: https://kccconsultations.inconsult.uk/consult.ti/Thamesview/consultationHome

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