i. agree to change the use of Garlinge Children Centre building to provide a 16 place Specialist Resource Provision (SRP) for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
ii. to agree to provide Children’s Centre Services to the community served by Garlinge Children’s Centre through Birchington Children’s Centre by extending the opening hours of Birchington Children’s Centre from part time to full time. Six Bells Children Centre in Margate is also within proximity of Garlinge.
iii. to issue a public notice to change the use of Garlinge Children Centre building and to establish a 16 place Specialist Resourced Provision (SRP) for Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) at Garlinge Primary School & Nursery from September 2022.
iv. agree to provide £1.15 million from the Children’s, Young People and Education Capital Budget for the establishment of the 16 place SRP for ASD at Garlinge Primary School and Nursery.
v. 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.
vi. 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.
And, subject to no objections being received to the public notice
i. establish a 16 place Specialist Resourced Provision (SRP) for Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) at Garlinge Primary School & Nursery from September 2022.
Reason for the decision:
The decision is required as part of the statutory process to change the use of the Children’s centre building. Approval is required to publish the public notice to enable the establishment of the 16 place SRP at Garlinge Primary School and Nursery.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is the most common special education need type in Kent with 42.7% of all EHCPs (0-25) having ASD as their primary need. In Thanet 50% of all EHCPs for Primary aged pupils have ASD named as their primary need in their Education Health and Care Plan. Despite this, Thanet does not have any Specialist Resource Provisions in any of its local schools. The nearest primary schools with specialist resource provisions for ASD for children in Thanet are in Canterbury and Whitstable.
We are therefore proposing to open two primary Specialist Resource Provisions for Thanet primary age children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. One in Holy Trinity and St John’s Primary School in Margate and another in Garlinge Primary School and Nursery.
Garlinge Children’s Centre was identified as a possible ideal location at Garlinge Primary School for the Specialist Resourced Provision; however this would mean the closure of the Children’s Centre. Early years, health (health visiting and midwifery) and parenting services delivered from Garlinge Children’s Centre would be transferred to the current part-time Birchington Children’s Centre, which is 3.4 miles from Garlinge Children’s Centre. Birchington Children’s Centre hours would be extended to full-time opening to accommodate the increased delivery of services. Children’s Centre service will also continue to offer targeted outreach to Garlinge service uses through home visiting, community venues and utilising space within the school.
Options (other options considered but discarded):
Consideration has been given to a different area of the school that currently has some intervention spaces and a sensory room and would require demolition of some temporary buildings. This space is near to the current Key Stage 2 (Junior) satellite class of Foreland Fields School on the Garlinge Primary site. There is a separate proposal to provide a Key Stage 1 (Infant) satellite class of Foreland Fields School. However, if the Specialist Resource Provision is sited here, the proposal for the Infant satellite class of Foreland Fields School could not be brought forward.
How the proposed decision meets the objectives of ‘Increasing Opportunities, Improving Outcomes: Kent County Council’s Strategic Statement (2015-2020)’:
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 proposal also supports Kent’s Strategy for Children and Young People with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities 2021-2024
The Commissioning Plan for Education Provision in Kent 2021-2025 sets out our commissioning intentions to meet the need for specialist provisions across Kent. A mixture of new schools, expansion of existing and the establishment of satellites and SRPs will be commissioned across Kent to meet the need.
Decision type: Key
Reason Key: Expenditure or savings of more than £1m;
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Division affected: Birchington & Rural;
Notice of proposed decision first published: 08/12/2021
Decision due: Not before 11th Jan 2022 by Cabinet Member for Integrated Children's Services
Department: Education & Young People's Services
Financial implications: A Feasibility study has been carried out at Garlinge School to develop the proposals to adapt the current Children’s centre. The costs for this proposal are £1.15m. The proposal is for an extension to the Children’s Centre allowing two classrooms, care facilities, small group rooms and a meeting room. As per KCC policy, a total of £6,000 per newly provided classroom will be provided to the school from the DSG revenue budget. KCC will work closely with the senior leadership teams of the school to ensure that all appropriate accommodation and facilities are provided to enable them to deliver an effective curriculum.
Legal implications: No legal implications have been identified currently but any legal implications will be identified in the report to the Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Education before she takes her decision.
Equalities implications: EqIA has been undertaken as part of the consultation. The outcome of the public consultation and community consultation will enable the Local Authority to test out the assumptions in the EqIA. As part of the mitigations to closing Garlinge Children’s Centre, it is proposed that the Early years, Health (health visiting and midwifery) and parenting services delivered from Garlinge Children’s Centre would be transferred to the current part-time Birchington Children’s Centre, which is 3.4 miles from Garlinge Children’s Centre. Birchington Children’s Centre hours would be extended to full-time opening to accommodate the increased delivery of services.