Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

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Cabinet Decision: 6th October 2011
Title of Item/Report
School Organisation Plan 2011-16
Record of the Decision
Cabinet considered a report that presented the draft School Organisation Plan 2011 - 2016.

The Plan provided information about the number, types and sizes of schools maintained by the Council. It recorded the number of places available in those schools and it included forecasts of pupil numbers over the next five years. This information was an important resource to support the Council in carrying out its statutory duty to ensure a sufficient supply of school places to meet the needs of children and young people in the borough.

It was explained that, when taken together with documents relating to the condition of school buildings and their suitability for purpose, the information in the plan might help to inform decisions about capital investment in existing or new school buildings.

The 2011-16 plan described three specific issues to be confronted over the next five years:
• rising numbers of four-year-olds starting school

In September 2012 it was anticipated that 2,448 4 year olds would start school in the borough as opposed to 2,100 four years ago.

• falling numbers in borough secondary schools

The schools census in January 2011 recorded a total of 11,216 students attending secondary schools, which have a capacity of 12,431 (9.8% empty places)

• uncertainty over the impact of Academies and possible Free Schools.

The two academies, and future academies, in the borough may increase their student numbers at the expense of other schools. Free schools would have a similar effect.


RESOLVED that

1. the information in the draft School Organisation Plan 2011 - 2016 be noted.

2. the School Organisation Plan 2011 - 2016 be published on the Council website and made available to partner organisations.
Reasons for the Decision
The Council as Local Education Authority was under a statutory duty to ensure a sufficient supply of primary and secondary school places to meet the needs of children and young people resident in the borough. The School Organisation Plan brought together relevant information about the number, types and sizes of schools in the borough, the number of pupils on roll and projections of future pupil numbers. The projections could point out trends that might lead to a need to increase or reduce the pupil capacity of schools in particular areas of the borough.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected
None
Declared (Cabinet Member) Conflicts of Interest
Councillor Beall, Cook, Coleman, Dixon, Harrington, Nelson and Rose each declared personal, non prejudicial interests in the item entitled School Organisation Plan 2011 - 16 as they were all school governors or had had involvement with Free School applications.
Details of any Dispensations
Not applicable
Date and Time by which Call In must be executed
Midnight on Friday 14 October 2011
Attachment

Date of Publication: 10 October 2011


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