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Cabinet Decision: 3rd September 2009
Title of Item/Report
Options for South of the Borough in BSF
Record of the Decision
Consideration was given to a report on Building Schools for the Future (BSF): Review of Options for the South of the Borough.

The BSF Strategy for Change Part 2 (SfC2) agreed by Cabinet in February 2009 included a commitment to review possible options to increase the number of secondary school places in Ingleby Barwick. The current preferred option, as set out in SfC2, is to increase capacity at All Saints Church of England Voluntary Aided School in Ingleby Barwick from 600 to 900 places, with corresponding reductions in the capacity of Conyers School in Yarm and Egglescliffe School, and to relocate Egglescliffe School to its playing fields at Allens West. These schools, the three highest achieving secondary schools in the borough, should be considered together because any action to increase capacity at one school would inevitably impact on the others.

Three other options had emerged from discussions between the school communities, members and officers, namely to establish another secondary school in Ingleby Barwick; to increase the size of All Saints School beyond 900 places (with greater reductions in the size of Conyers or Egglescliffe); or to relocate Egglescliffe School to a site within Preston Park.

These options had not yet been explored in detail because capital funding for these schools was not included in the first wave of BSF funding. As a result of strenuous efforts over the past year, the scope of the Wave 6 programme had been enlarged from five mainstream schools in Stockton to include all mainstream schools in Billingham, Stockton and Thornaby as well as two special schools and the pupil referral unit. However a letter from the Department for Children, Schools and Families dated 4 August stated very firmly that the three remaining schools in the south of the borough would not be brought into Wave 6. No indication had been received of the timing of a second wave of funding. This meant that the Council could not commit at this stage to delivering any of the options considered in the report.

RESOLVED that:-

1. Further work be carried out to explore the feasibility of the three new options, i.e. establishing a second school in Ingleby Barwick; increasing the capacity of All Saints School beyond 900 students; and relocating Egglescliffe School on land within Preston Park.

2. These options be explored further with Partnerships for Schools (PfS) and the Office of the Schools Commissioner (OSC) to obtain their views as these proposals would differ from those submitted and approved in SfC2.

3. If, during the feasibility study, other potentially viable options are identified, the Corporate Director of Children, Education and Social Care (CESC) be given delegated authority, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, to authorise similar feasibility work to be undertaken on these new options.

4. A further report be brought to Cabinet outlining the results of this additional work for consideration by Cabinet, prior to informing an extensive programme of public consultation.
Reasons for the Decision
Ingleby Barwick currently has one secondary school with 600 places to serve an area with a resident school population of around 1,300 (aged 11-16, not including Catholic students). Some 700 students resident in Ingleby Barwick currently attend secondary schools in Eaglescliffe and Yarm. The Council is committed to exploring deliverable options to increase the number of school places in Ingleby Barwick. A petition has been received asking for the establishment of another secondary school in Ingleby Barwick.

The options recommended in this report for further exploration would require negotiations with landowners, technical investigations of potential sites, and detailed discussions with planners. The resources allocated by the Council for managing the local BSF programme are fully committed to developing the projects in the first wave. Any additional work on the feasibility of options for Eaglescliffe, Ingleby Barwick and Yarm would require resourcing.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected
None
Declared (Cabinet Member) Conflicts of Interest
Councillor Cook declared a personal interest in this item as he was a governor of one of the schools referred to in the report.
Details of any Dispensations
N/A
Date and Time by which Call In must be executed
By Midnight, Friday, 11th September 2009
Attachment

Date of Publication: 07 September 2009


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