Issue - decisions

Pupil Place Planning and Capital Schools building programme

02/12/2016 - Pupil Place Planning and Resultant Capital Programmes

Cabinet Member for Children and Schools, Councillor Jane Edbrooke, introduced the report and explained that:

·         The council had provided enough primary school places to meet current demand and had comprehensive plans to help secondary schools expand.

·         No disruptive ‘bulge’ classes had been created since 2015 and the council did not anticipate the need for any further such classes in the next few years.

·         Government policy and funding cuts served to fracture local education systems put education provision at risk. However the Lambeth Schools Partnership remained strong and the proposals demonstrated the council’s commitment to working with local partners.

 

The Director of Education, Cathy Twist, added:

·         The council had successfully managed the effects of a huge increase in the local population and consolidated 33.5 bulge classes into more than 23 additional forms of entry. An additional four primary forms of entry had also opened in September 2016.

·         The council had a comprehensive plan for secondary school expansion that would be carried out in forthcoming years.

 

In response to questions from Members, officers provided the following information:

·         The majority of available funding for the next three years had been committed to the Capital Investment Programme for expansion projects already underway. The remaining funded would be committed following the completion of feasibility studies at a number of local schools.

·         School expansion programmes were driven by Government funding and extra funding was unlikely to be obtained from the local diocese.

·         Officers predicted that if the Gypsy Hill Free School did not open in 2017/18, the demand for secondary school places in the borough would still be met. However if the school was still not forthcoming in 2018/19 and other bulge classes had not been created, there was likely be a deficit of secondary places for this school year.

 

The Leader of the Council, Councillor Lib Peck, commended officers for their work, particularly for consolidating a huge amount of bulge classes into additional forms of entry. This work, combined with the ongoing improvement of local schools, presented a compelling story of recent educational success in Lambeth.

 

RESOLVED:

1)    To note the planned primary expansions and Planned Admission Number (PAN) changes for the period 2018 to 2020.

2)    To note the projections of demand for places and the priority for creating additional secondary school places and to agree the approach to planning additional secondary school places.

3)    To agree to the proposed programme of work subject to appropriate statutory consents.

4)    To agree that in addition to the currently planned expansion of a secondary provision at Woodmansterne, the available funds be identified to undertake further secondary expansion following an updated feasibility review of delivery costs including acquisition of additional land if required.

5)    To delegate further decisions on the final capital programme to meet the demand to the Cabinet Member for Children and Schools, Councillor Jane Edbrooke, in consultation with senior officers.