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Decision details

Secondary Mainstream School Expansions

Decision Maker: Co-operative Executive

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes

Purpose:

Allocation of future Basic Need funding (secured from the DfE) combined with additional corporate resource support to address the increasing demand on secondary mainstream places in the southwest of the city.

Allocation required to support both permanent expansions in the South West and temporary expansions as required in other areas.

 

Decision:

8.1

The report outlined the pressures on secondary school places in the city, particularly in the southwest of the city, between now and the turn of the decade. The report also explained the capital funding available whilst recognising the LAs current financial position in relation to this. The purpose of the report was to seek Co-operative Executive approval for the use of Basic Need funding alongside corporate financial support to address the pressures on school places to deliver permanent and temporary secondary provision. This would include the potential expansion of two secondary schools in southwest of the city and temporary expansions in specific parts of the city

 

 

8.2

RESOLVED: That Co-operative Executive:-

 

 

1.    Approve the use of up to £1.5 million corporate resource to support the development of secondary school places;

 

2.    Delegate authority to the Chief Property Officer in consultation with the Director of Legal and Governance to proceed in the sale of caretaker properties to reimburse the corporate investment and the preparation of all necessary legal documentation; and

 

3.    Notes that allocation of future Basic Need funding, to support the development of permanent and temporary secondary provision in the city, will be approved via the Capital Approvals Process.

 

 

8.3

Reasons for Decision

 

 

8.3.1

The preferred option is to:

 

I.               Approve the use of up to £1.5 million corporate resource to support the development of secondary school places

II.             II. Delegate authority to the Chief Property Officer in consultation with the Director of Legal and Governance to proceed in the sale of caretaker properties to reimburse the corporate investment and the preparation of all necessary legal documentation.

III.            Notes that allocation of future Basic Need funding, to support the development of permanent and temporary secondary provision in the city, will be approved via the Capital Approvals Process.

 

 

8.3.2

This option has been chosen because it helps ensure that the LAs statutory duties relating to mainstream and SEND place are met, improve outcomes for pupils in the southwest of the city and also the potential to recoup funds through the sale of caretaker properties across the city.

 

 

8.3.3

The intended outcomes are:

 · Development of permanent and temporary secondary provision in the city by utilising future Basic Need funding to meet statutory duties

 · Supporting the SEND strategy across the city

 · Reimburse the corporate investment through the sale of caretaker properties

 

8.4

Alternatives Considered and Rejected

 

 

8.4.1

Do nothing - This option has been ruled out as the LA would be in breach of its statutory duties under the Education Act to ensure sufficient school places, promote parental choice, diversity and fair access.

 

 

8.4.2

SW schools offer places above current admission numbers - This will involve negotiating with SW schools to accommodate the shortfall of places. Schools may be provided with Growth Funding as they have agreed to offer above current admission numbers on a temporary basis to provide a flexible solution that meets the Year 7 demand in the short term. This may reduce the threat of overcapacity in later years towards end of the decade also. However, SW schools will not be able to absorb the increasing demand over the next decade within existing accommodation as they are already near full capacity due to compounding effect of offering places above PAN the past few years. Health & Safety concerns around overall building capacity – corridor space etc have also been highlighted to the LA. There is a high risk that the LA will be unable to fulfil its statutory duties if the required places are not offered by the SW schools.

 

 

8.4.3

City wide allocation - This would involve allocating pupils who are unable to obtain a place at a local school to travel outside of their local area/catchment to access a place in other parts of the city where places are available. This would keep a tight system as city moves into a surplus in future years and reduces need to invest substantial capital funding. However, this could have a disproportionate impact on families. SW schools will have a less balanced socio-economic intake as children from deprived inner-city areas in the SW may miss out on admission to SW schools. This risks significant appeals from parents and puts pressure on schools outside of SW. If parents are successful on appeal, SW schools risk unplanned numbers through this process and have a further compounding effect on the overall capacity of the school. This would also have a greater level of impact on transport, impact on environment, cost for LA to transport these pupils out of area and cost to parents.

 

 

8.5

Any Interest Declared or Dispensation Granted

 

 

 

None

 

 

8.6

Reason for Exemption if Public/Press Excluded During Consideration

 

 

 

None

 

 

8.7

Respective Director Responsible for Implementation

 

 

 

Executive Director, People Services

 

 

8.8

Relevant Scrutiny and Policy Development Committee If Decision Called In

 

 

 

Children’s Scrutiny and Policy Development Committee

 

Report author: Nicola Shearstone

Publication date: 23/11/2021

Date of decision: 17/11/2021

Decided at meeting: 17/11/2021 - Co-operative Executive

Effective from: 30/11/2021

Accompanying Documents: