i. Agree to increase the funding allocated to expand Borden Grammar School from £5.46m to £6.975m through providing £1.515m million additional funding from the Basic Need capital budget.
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:
Additional funding of £1.515m is required for the expansion of Borden Grammar school by 1FE from September 2022. Additional costs have been identified since the decision to allocate £5,460M to this project.
The revised project cost is now £6.975m. As the revised project cost is more than the ROD of £5,460M a new ROD is required to authorise the additional funding for this project.
The Kent Commissioning Plan 2021-2025 identified the need for additional selective places for the Sittingbourne and Sheppey Planning group. Forecasts indicted a deficit of up to 64 Year 7 places for 2022 and a continual need through the plan period of between 1.5FE and 2.5FE of additional selective school places. Discussions have been held with both grammar schools in Sittingbourne and each school has agreed to progress a 1FE expansion, delivering a total of 60 additional places from September 2022.
It was agreed to expand Borden Grammar School by 1FE and allocate funding of £5,460M at the Children, Young People and Education Cabinett Committee on 14 September 2021. (Descison number 21/00069)
Options (other options considered but discarded):
There are two grammar schools in Sittingbourne, and they have both agreed to a 1FE expansion. Neighbouring planning groups, including Faversham and Canterbury Selective and Maidstone Selective planning group, have a deficit of year 7 places.
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 (2017 - 2022)’.
The Commissioning Plan for Education Provision in Kent 2021-25 identified the need to commission additional capacity in Sittingbourne Selective Schools.
Decision type: Key
Reason Key: Expenditure or savings of more than £1m;
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Division affected: Sittingbourne North; Sittingbourne South; Swale East; Swale West;
Notice of proposed decision first published: 08/02/2022
Decision due: Not before 9th Mar 2022 by Cabinet Member for Education and Skills
Department: Education & Young People's Services
Contact: Marisa White, Area Education Officer - East Kent 03000 418794 Email: email@example.com Tel: 01227 284407.
It is planned to take the report to the Children and Young People Cabinet Committee on the 1 March 2022.
Financial implications: The total capital allocation of £6.975m is to deliver a programme providing the additional general and specialist classrooms plus a new sports hall required to meet the additional pupil place need. The additional funding of £1.515m has been due to the the increase in cost of materials, the costs associated with admormals due to the site restrictions, as well as specific planning conditions and postponement of the planning application until January 2022 committee. Developer Contributions totaling £3,079,650.77 have been sought towards Grammar expansions in Sittingbourne. Of this £313,229.77 has been secured and agreed, with a total of £72,658.64 received. £2,725,561 has been requested but is currently unsecured and £40,860 has been refused.
Legal implications: Any legal implications will be identified and reported in the Children and Young People’s Cabinet Committee Report.
Equalities implications: An Equality Impact Assessment has been produced and the assessment identified the following positive impacts: • Sufficient year 7 places will be provided for Grammar pupils. • Year 7 pupils will be able attend Grammar school provisions in their locality. • More pupils will be able to attend a good or outstanding school. No adverse impacts were identified during the assessment. Data Protection implications: A DPIA screening form has been completed as no risk to the rights and freedoms of individuals has been identified a full assessment will not be required.