Issue details

23/00019 - Allocation of additional Basic Need funding to permanently expand Borden Grammar School, Avenue of Remembrance, Sittingbourne, ME10 4DB from 120 places to 150 places for September 2024

Proposed decision.

i.         Agree to increase the funding allocated to expand Borden Grammar School from £6,975,000 to £8,950,282 through providing £1,975,282 additional funding from the Basic Need capital budget.

ii.        Authorise the Director of Infrastructure 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 to be the nominated Authority Representative within the relevant agreements and to enter into variations as envisaged under the contracts. Variations to contract value to be no more than 10% above the capital funding agreed by the Cabinet Member without requiring a new Record of Decision.


         Reason for the decision

Additional funding of £1,975,282 is required for the expansion of Borden Grammar school by 1FE from September 2024. Additional costs have been identified since the decision to allocate £6.975m to this project.


The revised project cost is now £8,950,282. As the revised project cost is more than the ROD of £6,975,000 (22/00011) a new ROD is required to authorise the additional funding for this project.



The Kent Commissioning Plan (KCP) 2020-2024 identified the need for additional selective places for the Sittingbourne and Sheppey Planning group. The Kent Commisioning Plan 2021 - 2022 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 on a tempory basis with a subsequent permanent expansion.


It was agreed to expand Borden Grammar School by 1FE and allocate funding of £5.460m at the Children’s, Young People and Education Cabinet Committee on 14 September 2021. (Decision number 21/00069) and additional funding was subsequently agreed to increase the allocation to £6.975m in at the Children’s Young People and Education Cabinet Committee on 1 March 2022 (Decision number 22/00011)


         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 2020-24 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: 28/02/2023

Decision due: Not before 29th Mar 2023 by Cabinet Member for Education and Skills

Lead member: Cabinet Member for Education and Skills

Lead director: Christine McInnes

Department: Education & Young People's Services

Contact: Marisa White, Area Education Officer - East Kent Phone number: 03000 418794 Email: Tel: 01227 284407.

Financial implications: The total capital allocation of £8,950,282 is required 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 need for additional funding of £1,975,282 has arisen due to the further increases in the cost of materials, the costs associated with further abnormals uncovered during further investigations and enabling works, including the removal of a soakaway for the kitchen extension, tracking and diversion of 2 water pipes in the sports field, asbestos removal / containment from the existing building, kitchen roof repairs, drainage and ventilation associated with new provisions within the existing school, investigation into the boundary wall due to to it’s poor condition, water hydrant, the cost of the removal of a WWII Air raid shelter, additional archaeological investigation due to planning requirements and the requirement for additional temporary teaching space due to delays in ent

Legal implications: The provision of sufficient school places is a statutory duty and contributes to the Strategic Business Plan Priorities to ensure that “Children and Young People in Kent get the best start in life. Borden Grammar School has completed and submitted a full Business Case to the ESFA regarding the expansion of the school by 1FE.

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 eligible 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.