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Cabinet Decision: 21st July 2008
Title of Item/Report
A Strategy For Change for Building Schools For The Future (BSF)
Record of the Decision
Members were reminded that on 11 February Cabinet had authorised officers to prepare a draft Strategy for Change Part 1 (SfC1) for discussion with government agencies. Those discussions led to a Remit Meeting on 5th June. This meeting marked the formal entry of Stockton-on-Tees into the national BSF programme. It was explained that a final version of SfC1 had to be submitted to government within eight weeks of the Remit Meeting (i.e. by 31st July 2008).

The first draft SfC1 included preferred options for school organisation following consultation in autumn 2007. Cabinet was provided with the latest draft SfC1, which reflected the outcome of discussions with government agencies over many weeks. Cabinet noted proposed changes from the options it had agreed February:-

• an increase in the capacity of All Saints School to 900 places rather than to 750
• a reduction in the capacity of Conyers School to 900 places rather than to 1050
• the Stockton Academy to have 1050 places rather than 900
• a 900-place Academy to replace Thornaby Community School
• a possible federation on three sites to retain distinctive Catholic education in Billingham, Stockton and Thornaby
• a possible federation of Northfield and Campus schools rather than an Academy in Billingham.

A leaflet summarising these proposals was widely distributed through schools and nurseries and placed on the Council website. The draft SfC1 was also published on the website and made available at six drop-in sessions held at public venues around the borough. A total of 24 people attended those sessions. 22 of these were parents or school governors with specific questions about the impact of BSF on their children or schools. One other was a Ward Councillor and the other represented a company with a potential interest in contracting work.

Members were reminded that the proposals in the Strategy for Change did not have the status of formal school organisation proposals. Any change such as establishing a new school or closing an existing school had to follow a statutory process of consultation and decision-making laid down in the Education and Inspections Act 2006. A decision by Cabinet to authorise the submission of SfC1 did not commit the Authority to any of the changes described in that document.

RESOLVED that the draft Strategy for Change Part 1 be submitted to government for formal assessment.
Reasons for the Decision
The BSF Remit Meeting on 5th June marked the formal entry of Stockton-on-Tees into the national BSF programme. The timetable laid down by Partnerships for Schools required a final Strategy for Change Part 1 to be submitted for assessment within eight weeks of Remit.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected
Declared (Cabinet Member) Conflicts of Interest
Councillors Cook, Cunningham and Nelson declared personal/non-prejudicial interests as they were members of governing bodies referred to in the report.
Details of any Dispensations
Not Applicable
Date and Time by which Call In must be executed
Not later than Midnight on Tuesday 29th July 2008

Date of Publication: 23 July 2008

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