Issue details

22/00060 - Proposal to make prescribed changes to Laleham Gap (Foundation) Special School from September 2022

The proposal is being brought forward by the Governing Body of the school, with the support of KCC.  The final decision will be taken by the Cabinet Member for Education and Skills.


Proposed decision:  

To determine the statutory public notice published by the Governing Body on the following proposed changes:

·         Change the age range of the school from 4-17 years to 4-18 years

·         Change the designated number of the school from 178 to 188


Reason for the decision:

As the strategic commissioner of school provision, the Local Authority has a duty to ensure that there are sufficient school places for the residents of Kent, including sufficient special educational needs places.  The Commissioning Plan outlines the requirement for the need to significantly increase the number of supported internships and study programmes that include personalised support and high-quality work experience placements post 16. The post-16 provision will give the students the additional time they need for a more successful transition into college and reduce the current dropout rate.



Laleham Gap School is a Special School and has a designated number of 178.  The school specialises in providing education for pupils aged 4-17 years who have Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) with Speech, Language and Communication Needs.  All pupils have a statement of special education need or an Education, Health & Care plan.  The proposal is that in addition to the existing year 12 provision, they will offer a limited number of up to 5 year 12 and up to 5 year 13 places. These will be two-year placements, for young people that have been identified through the annual review process. This new, two-year programme, in addition to transition work, will provide more opportunities for the young people to gain qualifications which will assist them in their next educational placement or employment.


Options (other options considered but discarded):

Other options were not considered as Laleham Gap is a Specialist School proving education and support to pupils with special needs and the proposal is specific to the school.


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 KCC’s SEND Strategy 2021-2024. The aim of the SEND strategy is to improve the educational, health and emotional wellbeing outcomes for all of Kent's children and young people with special educational needs and those who are disabled.

Decision type: Key

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

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Division affected: Ramsgate;

Notice of proposed decision first published: 29/06/2022

Decision due: Not before 10th Aug 2022 by Cabinet Member for Education and Skills

Lead director: Christine McInnes

Department: Education & Young People's Services

Contact: Marisa White, Area Education Officer - East Kent Email: Tel: 01227 284407.


The proposed decision was considered and endorsed by the Children’s, Young People and Education Cabinet Committee on 19 July 2022.

Financial implications: Capital There will be limited alterations to the Phoenix building at Laleham Gap school to accommodate the proposed two year placements. This can be met within the school’s own resources. Revenue The LA will agree the commissioned number of post 16 places with the school, based on actual level of need, up to a maximum of 10, on an annual basis. The commissioning cycle which commences each autumn will confirm the number of known students who will require a place for the following September. Approved changes can be made during the academic year if required and funding will follow.

Legal implications: Any legal implications will be identified in the report to the Cabinet Member for Education and Skills before she takes her decision to agree the proposal and determine the governing body’s statutory public notice

Equalities implications: An Equality Impact Assessment has been produced as part of the consultation process. A DPIA has not been completed as there is no risk to the rights and freedoms of individuals.