Issue details

24/00025 - Expansion of Northfleet Technology College, Colyer Rd, Northfleet, Gravesend, DA11 8BG

Proposed decision:


The Cabinet Member for Education and Skills is asked to:


  1. APPROVE the expansion of Northfleet Technology College from a PAN of 165 to a PAN of 189.


  1. AGREE to allocate the funding from the CYPE Capital Budget that will be required to complete the project.


  1. DELEGATE authority to the Director of Infrastructure to, in consultation with the Director of Education, enter into any necessary contracts or other legal agreements, as required to implement this decision; and


  1. AGREE for the Director of Infrastructure to be the nominated Authority Representative within the relevant agreements, with authority to enter variations as envisaged under the contracts.



Reason for the decision


This proposal to expand Northfleet Technology College has been developed because the Kent Commissioning Plan 2024/28 indicates that there will be a shortfall in year 7 places in the Gravesham and Longfield Non-Selective planning group.


Northfleet Technology College, a member of the Northfleet Schools Co-Operative Trust, is a boys secondary school.  Following an inspection that took place in October 2022, Ofsted deems Northfleet Technology College to be a ‘GOOD’ school, in all areas.


Following initial discussions, Northfleet Technology College agreed to offer 189 places on a temporary basis in 2023. This agreement has been repeated for September 2024. This proposal seeks to make the expansion permanent and so the senior management and governors of Northfleet Technology College have agreed to consult on this proposal to permanently expand the school and enlarge the secondary provision within the school by the addition of 25 places per school year.


If no further action is taken in the longer term, Kent County Council will find it extremely difficult to provide sufficient secondary school places in the Gravesham and Longfield Non-Selective planning group.





Gravesham Borough’s population is increasing with more families moving into the area and as a result, Kent County Council needs to add additional secondary school places to manage the increase in demand. One strategy for providing additional school places is to expand existing successful and popular schools.


The Northfleet Technology College does not have sufficient accommodation to offer the requisite additional places, so as a temporary measure, four mobile teaching rooms will be placed on the site.  This will be a revenue expense.


KCC will design and construct a new standalone block to be ready for the September 2026 intake.  This will need to be funded from the CYPE Capital Budget.



Securing Kent’s Future


The 'Securing Kent's Future' strategy outlines the measures that KCC intend to take to ensure that Kent remains financially stable, now and long into the future.  It describes the statutory priorities, one of which being the statutory duty to ensure sufficient school places are available to any child or young person who requires one.  This duty applies to Special Educational Needs (SEN) provision, as well as mainstream settings.


This proposal is necessary for KCC to continue to deliver the statutory duty, in a cost-effective way, in line with the guidelines described in the Securing Kent's Future strategy. It will help to maintain KCC’s strategic role in supporting schools in Kent to deliver accessible, high quality education provision for all families.


The County Council’s Commissioning Plan for Education Provision in Kent 2024-28 is a five-year rolling plan which is updated annually.  It sets out KCC’s future plans as Strategic Commissioner of Education Provision across all types and phases of education in Kent. A copy of the latest plan can be viewed from this link:



Financial Implications




Progression of the scheme will be dependent on the outcome of detailed feasibility and design work – these will inform the full overall cost of the project.


The cost of the new standalone block will be borne by the CYPE Capital Budget.  Currently the estimated cost for the whole scheme is £8.3m.  This sum has been included within the Basic Need Capital Programme that was recently agreed by Council. KCC Project Managers will be undertaking continuous checks to keep build costs as close as possible to this estimate.


Northfleet Technology College is a Public Finance Initiative (PFI) school. The PFI Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) have been on board from the start of the project and a change notice is in place for the Deed of Variation (DoV). The works will result in part of the land being removed from the PFI red line. Forecast legal costs for the DoV will be included within the total project cost for the main capital works.


An allowance of up to £2,500 may be payable to the school, to outfit each new teaching room with appropriate ICT equipment, such as touch screens or projection equipment.  This will be met from the overall Capital allocation for this project.


Should the scheme not proceed through to completion, any costs incurred at the time of cessation would become abortive costs and are likely to be recharged to Revenue. This would be reported through the regular financial monitoring reports to Cabinet.




The initial phase involves the installation of four mobile teaching rooms at a cost of £311,168.  This will be a Revenue expense, funded from the Mobiles and Temporary Accommodation Budget included within the Education Revenue Budget.


As the scheme progresses, £6,000 per newly created learning space, would be provided towards the cost of furniture and equipment, such as tables, desks, chairs, cabinets and learning resources.


The school would also receive funding for the additional pupils that it admits in line with the funding allocated to schools through KCC’s Schools Funding Formula.


Both the £6,000 per classroom, and the additional pupil funding will be met from the Growth Funding provision held within the dedicated school's grant.





The school will appoint additional staff as required; utilising revenue funding allocated through the Schools Funding Formula for these additional pupils.


Decision type: Key

Decision status: For Determination

Notice of proposed decision first published: 23/04/2024

Decision due: Not before 22nd May 2024 by Cabinet Member for Education and Skills
Reason: To allow 28 day notice period required under Exeuctive Decision regulations

Lead member: Cabinet Member for Education and Skills

Lead director: Christine McInnes

Department: Education & Young People's Services

Contact: Ian Watts, Assistant Director Education, North Email: or 03000 414302 Email: Tel: 03000 414302.


The school is a foundation school, so ran its own consultation on the proposal, with assistance from KCC.  The consultation ran from 1 March 2024 to 28 March 2024.


The school held a public drop-in session on 25 March 2024, which was attended by KCC Officers. 


The consultation results were presented to the Governing Body who agreed to proceed with the proposal.


Cabinet Committee:

The proposed decision will be presented to Children’s, Young people and Education Cabinet Committee on 16 May 2024.


Financial implications: Please see details above

Legal implications: KCC, as the Local Authority (LA), has a statutory duty to ensure sufficient school places are available. This duty applies to Special Educational Needs (SEN) provision, as well as mainstream settings. The County Council’s Commissioning Plan for Education Provision in Kent 2024 - 28 is a five-year rolling plan which is updated annually. It sets out KCC’s future plans as Strategic Commissioner of Education Provision across all types and phases of education in Kent.

Equalities implications: EqIA: An Equality Impact Assessment has been completed that indicates that there are no issues. DPIA: The School is the Data Controller for the consultation. KCC will not handle any personal data relating to this consultation or subsequent decision.