Issue - meetings

Establishment and construction of a new 75 place special school for children and young people (aged 11-16) with Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) needs

Meeting: 09/10/2019 - Cabinet (Item 11)

11 Establishment and construction of a new 75 place special school for children and young people (aged 11-16) with Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) needs pdf icon PDF 730 KB

To seek approval to establish a new 75 place Special School for Children and Young People with Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) needs together with approval for commissioning, funding, land acquisition and construction of the new school.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Cllr Patrick Molyneux, Cabinet Member for Economy, Education and Skills, sought approval to establish a 75 place special school for children and young people aged 11-16 year with SEMH needs.

 

Having considered all of the information, including known proposals, alternative options and reasons for recommendations, Cabinet noted the report and,

           

RESOLVED to:

 

Approve the establishment of a new 75 place special school for children and young people aged 11-16 year with SEMH needs and delegate authority to the Director of Education, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Economy, Education and Skills, to:

 

1.  Hold a free school presumption competition in accordance with the Department for Education’s advice contained in, “The free school presumption” (May 2018) in order to identify a suitable Academy Trust to sponsor the school;

 

2. Upon conclusion of the competition, recommend to the Secretary of State the findings of the Local Authority’s assessment to enable him to decide upon the most suitable proposer to take forward the new free school;

 

Delegate authority to the Head of Property Services, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Economy, Education and Skills, to:

 

3. Acquire the land on which to establish and construct the new special school.

 

4.  Conduct a procurement process in accordance with rules of a public sector designed and managed framework agreement known as the “GCC procurement framework” for the purpose of awarding (a) a preconstruction design agreement and (b) subject to satisfactory planning permission, a contract for construction works relating to the establishment of a 75 place special school for children and young people aged 11-16 years with SEMH needs.

 

5.  Use a mini competition process through the GCC procurement framework to determine the Council’s preferred contractor(s).

 

6.  Upon conclusion of the mini competition to enter into the abovementioned pre construction design and, subject to satisfactory planning permission, a contract for the construction works with the preferred contractor(s) evaluated as offering the Council best value for money and quality for delivery of the new school. In the event that the preferred contractor(s) is either unable or unwilling to enter into that contract(s) with the Council, the Head of Property is authorised to enter into such contract with the next willing highest places and suitably qualified contractor.

 

Authorise the Director of Education and the Head of Property Services to:

 

7.  Undertake all ancillary matters to enable the establishment of the 75 place special school for children and young people aged 11-16 years with SEMH needs

Minutes:

Cllr Patrick Molyneux, Cabinet Member for Economy, Education and Skills, sought approval to establish a 75 place special school for children and young people aged 11-16 year with SEMH needs.

 

Cllr Molyneux explained that the County Council had a statutory duty to ensure sufficient school places were available for every child of school age, (where the parents or carers of that child wished them to have one), with social, emotional and mental health needs. He confirmed that, currently, Gloucestershire had insufficient special school places for children with such needs, resulting in the need to commission costly school places within the independent sector, often located some distance from the children’s homes.

 

Recalling the decision to approve the council’s High Needs Strategy in January 2019, (identifying the need for more specialist provision), Cllr Molyneux confirmed that a total of 98 pupils from Gloucestershire with social, emotional and mental health needs attended independent and non maintained schools at an annual cost of £4.45million.

 

Seeking to increase local provision across the county and reduce the council’s reliance on the independent/non-maintained special school sector, Cllr Molyneux anticipated making savings of an estimated £1.5m annually in placement costs and £360k in transport costs.

 

Cllr Molyneux stated that, in seeking to establish a new school for Gloucestershire, (anticipated to open in the 2021/22 academic year), the council would need to recommend a Multi Academy Trust to act as sponsor for the school. Negotiations were currently underway to secure a site central to Gloucestershire for the proposed development.

 

Consideration of the capital funding to support this proposal was considered under agenda item 12 of the meeting.

 

Leader of the Council, Cllr Mark Hawthorne and several members of Cabinet spoke in support of the investment and welcomed the proposal.

 

Having considered all of the information, including known proposals, alternative options and reasons for recommendations, Cabinet noted the report and,

           

RESOLVED to:

 

Approve the establishment of a new 75 place special school for children and young people aged 11-16 year with SEMH needs and delegate authority to the Director of Education, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Economy, Education and Skills, to:

 

1.  Hold a free school presumption competition in accordance with the Department for Education’s advice contained in, “The free school presumption” (May 2018) in order to identify a suitable Academy Trust to sponsor the school;

 

2. Upon conclusion of the competition, recommend to the Secretary of State the findings of the Local Authority’s assessment to enable him to decide upon the most suitable proposer to take forward the new free school;

 

Delegate authority to the Head of Property Services, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Economy, Education and Skills, to:

 

3. Acquire the land on which to establish and construct the new special school.

 

4.  Conduct a procurement process in accordance with rules of a public sector designed and managed framework agreement known as the “GCC procurement framework” for the purpose of awarding (a) a preconstruction design agreement and (b) subject to satisfactory planning permission,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11