i. agree to provide £1M from the Children, Young People and Education Capital Budget for the temporary expansion of Westlands Secondary School by 1FE (30 places) for September 2022 and September 2023.
ii. agree to provide £1M from the Children, Young People and Education Capital Budget for the temporary expansion of The Sittingbourne School by 1FE (30 places) for September 2022 and September 2023.
iii. agree to provide £1M from the Children, Young People and Education Capital Budget for the temporary expansion of Fulston Manor by 0.5FE (15 places) for September 2022 and September 2023.
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.
Reason for the decision:
The Kent Commissioning Plan has identified the need for additional secondary places across Swale District for several years due to population growth and new housing developments in the district.
The Kent Commissioning Plan (2021-2025) shows a deficit of -93 Year 7 places in the Sittingbourne non-selective planning group for September 2022 growing to a deficit of –176 for September 2023 Year 7 entry. Some of this pressure is offset by spare capacity in Oasis Isle of Sheppey Academy but there remains an overall deficit of Year 7 places that needs to be addressed.
The commissioning of a new all through school to include 2FE primary provision and 6FE secondary agreed with developers on the North Sittingbourne (Quinton Road) site has been delayed due to the housing development not coming forward according to the original timeline as set out within the Local Plan. Following discussions with the developer, the school site is now not expected to transfer until 2026. If this remains the case, the earliest date for delivery of a new school would be September 2028. Discussions on options to meet the non-selective secondary place need in the period 2024 to 2028 are ongoing, meanwhile proposals to meet the shorter term pressures are being brought forward after discussion with the local secondary schools.
To help meet the predicted pressure on places in the Sittingbourne non-selective planning group, the proposal is to expand (on a temporary basis), Westlands, The Sittingbourne School and Fulston Manor for September 2022 and September 2023.
Additional capacity for Swale secondary provision was secured through a temporary expansion of Westlands Secondary Academy by 45 places for September 2019, 2020, and 2021. The Sittingbourne School also temporary expanded by 30 places for September 2021 for Year 7 entry. To meet the need for additional grammar places both Highsted and Borden Grammar Schools are proposing to expand permanently by 1FE from September 2022. A temporary expansion of The Abbey School for 30 places for September 2021 was also secured and a permanent 1FE expansion is being progressed.
The Kent commissioning plan for 2021-2025 shows a projected deficit of -93 places September 2022 and -176 for September 2023 for the Sittingbourne non-selective secondary planning group.
For September 2022 and September 2023, it is therefore proposed to temporarily expand:
A total of 75 (2.5FE) additional Year 7 places in Sittingbourne non-selective planning area for both September 2022 and September 2023.The surplus capacity in the Isle of Sheppey non-selective planning area will also support the deficit in the Sittingbourne non-selective planning group.
There is a need to secure a permanent solution to the secondary place pressures from September 2024 onwards and options are being investigated.
The new 6FE Secondary school on Quinton Road has not been able to be progressed.
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” as set out in ‘Increasing Opportunities, Improving Outcomes: Kent County Council’s Strategic Statement.
Decision type: Key
Reason Key: Expenditure or savings of more than £1m;
Decision status: For Determination
Division affected: Sittingbourne South; Swale West;
Notice of proposed decision first published: 08/12/2021
Decision due: 11 Jan 2022 by Cabinet Member for Education and Skills
Department: Education & Young People's Services
It is planned to take a report to Children, Young People’s, and Education Cabinet Committee on 11 January 2022.
Financial implications: Capital £1M from the Children, Young People and Education Capital Budget for the temporary expansion of Westlands Secondary School by 1FE for September 2022 and September 2023. £1M from the Children, Young People and Education Capital Budget for the temporary expansion of The Sittingbourne School by 1FE for September 2022 and September 2023. £1M from the Children, Young People and Education Capital Budget for the temporary expansion of Fulston Manor by 0.5FE for September 2022 and September 2023. Revenue The schools will receive increased funding through their Delegated Budget. The rising rolls will be protected in line with KCC Growth Funding Policy. Revenue funding will also be allocated to enable the schools to resource each new classroom as they come on-line. At present this is at a value of £6,000 per classroom. Human The schools will appoint additional staff as the need arises.
Legal implications: The funding allocations are subject to a contractual agreement between KCC and the individual Trusts to offer the agreed temporary and permanent expansions.
Equalities implications: An EqIQ has been undertaken for the temporary expansions.