Issue details

23/00077 - Prescribed changes to Meadowfield Special School from September 2024

Proposed decision

a) Authorise the allocation of £1,5000,000 from the High Needs Capital Funding Budget to fund the satellite provision of Meadowfield Special School at Fulston Manor Secondary School


b) 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 with the Fulston Academy Trust.


c) Issue a public notice to:

(i)             Establish a satellite provision for 20 Secondary aged pupils at Fulston Manor Secondary School from September 2024.

(ii)            Increase the designated number from 366 to 386


And, subject to no objections being received to the public notice:


(i)             Establish a satellite provision for 20 Secondary aged pupils at Fulston Manor Secondary School from September 2024.

(ii)            Increase the designated number from 366 to 386



Reason for the decision

Meadowfield Special School is unable to expand any further on its main school site and demand for PSCN Special school places in Swale district is increasing. The establishment of satellite provisions on mainstream education sites provides additional capacity whilst also enabling the school’s expertise to be shared with the host school and provide Meadowfield students the opportunity to integrate, (where appropriate) with their mainstream peers.



Meadowfield (Foundation) Special School is a day provision for boys and girls aged 3 to 19 with Profound, Severe and Complex Needs (PSCN) including Autism. In addition to the main building at Swanstree Avenue Sittingbourne, the school also operates a 6th form provision at Ufton Lane Sittingbourne and a Primary School satellite at Sunny Bank Primary School which was established September 2022 (Decision 22/00043). The satellite at Fulston Manor Secondary School will provide students with opportunities for integration at a mainstream provision and will provide an onward pathway from the established satellite at Sunny Bank Primary School and additional opportunities and choice for Meadowfield pupils.


Meadowfield Special School has considerable and sustained pressure placed on them to admit additional pupils requiring a specialist school place. Their current designated number is 366, however they have been allocated additional pupils above their designated number and capacity and therefore solutions to find additional accommodation are required. Currently they have 391 funded pupils as of January 2023 and the School census reported 410 (to include nursery and 6th form) on roll. The Sunny Bank satellite was opened to create additional capacity for Meadowfield and enabled the school to admit additional more complex pupils on its main site. The Fulston Manor satellite will ensure that there is a pathway for those pupils currently attending the primary satellite at Sunny Bank and will help the school to manage the current and future demand for places. If the Fulston Manor satellite does not go ahead, the current pupils at Sunny Bank will need to be accommodated back on the main Meadowfield site for their secondary education and this will severely limit the number of additional places the school would have available for future pupils. This would result in more pupils requiring a place at an independent special school at secondary transfer.


Options (other options considered but discarded)

Meadowfield is unable to expand further on its current main site. Fulston Manor Secondary School was identified as a possible site for a satellite due to its proximity to Meadowfield, the support of the academy trust for the proposal and having a site at the school which was available for a new provision to be built together with additional facilities for the Secondary School.


How the proposed decision meets the objectives of ‘Framing Kent’s Future – Our Council Strategy (2022-2026)

This proposal will help to support Framing Kent’s Future – Our Council Strategy (2022-2026) Priority 1 - Levelling up. ‘To maintain KCC’s strategic role in supporting schools in Kent to deliver accessible, high quality education provision for all families.’


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.


The Commissioning Plan for Education Provision in Kent 2022-2026 identified the need to commission satellite provision of Meadowfield for secondary pupils.


Financial Implications


The project will ensure the satellite has its own dedicated accommodation of 2 classrooms and additional intervention spaces at Fulston Manor Secondary school. The capital costs and total budget for the new accommodation at Fulston Manor Secondary School will be £1.5m. The £1.5.m is already included in the forecasts for the High Needs Capital budget and would be subject to a Funding Agreement being put in place with the Academy Trust.




As per KCC policy a total of £6,000 per newly provided learning space will be provided to the school from the DGS revenue budget.

The anticipated revenue budget for the 20 places at the satellite at Fulston Manor will be based on the need type rates below. It is likely that the primary need of pupils placed at the Fulston Manor satellite will be ASD.


Need Type









The cost of 20 places on the ASD rate per year would be £401,300.


The average cost of an independent special school place in the county is £41,448. 20 places at an independent would cost £828,960 per year.


KCC will work closely with the senior leadership teams of both schools to ensure that all appropriate accommodation and facilities are provided to enable them to deliver an effective curriculum with an opening date of September 2024.


Data Protection implications

A DPIA has not been completed as there is no risk to the rights and freedoms of individuals. 


Decision type: Key

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

Decision status: For Determination

Division affected: Sittingbourne South;

Notice of proposed decision first published: 01/09/2023

Decision due: Not before 4th Oct 2023 by Cabinet Member for Education and Skills
Reason: To allow the required 28 day notice period under Executive Decision arrangements

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 Email: Tel: 01227 284407.

Consultation process

Has any public consultation been undertaken or is any planned?

A public consultation was held from 21 June to 19 July 2023


Cabinet Committee consultation planned: 

The Children’s and Young People Cabinet Committee considered and endorsed the decision on 12 September 2023


Which Divisions / Local Members are particularly affected:

Sittingbourne South – John Wright

Sittingbourne North – Mike Dendor.


Have views been sought from local Members? 

The views of the Local Members are being sought during the consultation period and will be included in the report to Cabinet Committee on 12 September 2023.

Financial implications: Financial implications are included as part of the background information.

Legal implications: The funding allocation to Fulston Manor Secondary School is subject to a contractual agreement between KCC and the Academy Trust to build the satellite provision for Meadowfield Special School Service level agreements specifying the responsibilities of each party and setting out any revenue costs to be covered will be put into place between Meadowfield Special School and Fulston Manor Secondary School. Any further legal implications will be identified in the report to the Cabinet Member for Education and Skills before he takes his decision to issue a statutory public notice.

Equalities implications: An Equality Impact Assessment has been produced as part of the consultation process.