2019/20 Local authority schools building, maintenance programme and accessibility improvement works
Decision Maker: Cabinet
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: Yes
To approve the proposed expenditure of capital grants for schools building, maintenance and accessibility improvement works.
The Department for Education provides capital funding to local authorities responsible for schools. This funding includes the schools condition allocation which is intended for the maintenance of community and voluntary controlled schools, and the basic need allocation which is intended for the provision of additional of school places to meet the needs of growing populations. An individual pupil needs budget is intended for any accessibility improvement works identified to enable children with special educational needs to attend schools.
The distribution of this funding is determined in accordance with the principles set out in the schools capital investment strategy and is based on regular condition surveys and assessments of current and forecast demand for places.
The proposals are to spend £1.5m on maintenance improvements works and £120k on accessibility improvements works. Appendix 1 provides the details of the schemes being proposed as part of this programme of works.
(a) the school capital and maintenance schemes as set out in appendix 1 be approved for implementation in 2019/20; and
(b) the Assistant Director Education Development and Skills be authorised to take all operational decisions necessary to implement the approved schemes within an approved budget of £1.535m for maintenance and £120k for individual pupil needs.
Alternative options considered:
1. The capital and maintenance grants supporting building works in schools could be profiled differently. The schemes have been determined from the last condition reports produced for each school. The profile has been considered extensively by the schools capital investment strategy team, the council’s property services section and the capital strategy consultative group (involving headteachers). The proposed works are addressing the known priorities.
2. Basic need could be allocated to schools. The priorities are being formulated on the best information and advice available and consulted upon. Basic need allocation should be directed to projects that are clearly adding additional pupil places.
3. No funding is spent on accessibility works in schools and children are required to attend different schools. There is a statutory process which requires the council to arrange the admission of a child with a disability or an education health and care plan to the parents/carers preferred school, unless it can be shown that to do so would prejudice other children or it would be unreasonable to do so. The excessive financial cost of making the adaptations could be considered unreasonable.
Reason Key: Strategic nature / impact on communities;
Wards Affected: (All Wards);
Contact: Karen Knight, Sufficiency Planning and Capital Investment Manager Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 01432 383042.
Report author: Karen Knight
Publication date: 17/01/2019
Date of decision: 17/01/2019
Decided at meeting: 17/01/2019 - Cabinet
Effective from: 24/01/2019