To consider the report of the Director of Children’s Services and Director of Corporate Resources prior to the decision of the Executive Lead Member for Children’s Services.
The Committee received a report and presentation on the Children’s Services Capital Programme (Item 8 in the Minute Book).
Members were led through the presentation slides, and key issues within the Children’s Services Capital programme were highlighted. These included an increase of12,691 new school places between 2013 and 2018, investment of £216 million and the role of the local authority in strategically planning school places and capital investment. Members attention was drawn to the graph in the presentation which detailed previous, current and projected figures for primary numbers and movement into the secondary phase at Year 7. A number of new mainstream and planned schools to be completed by September 2022 in Hampshire was also highlighted and Officers drew attention to the issues relating to Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) and the amount of SEND national funding which totalled £4.668 million. A number of priority investment areas were highlighted as well as children’s services capital programme spend between 2017/18 to 2019/20.
Pressures on the Capital Programme were explained which included ongoing primary and secondary pressure, as well as inflation in the construction industry and uncertainties surrounding Brexit. Members noted the achievements of successfully delivering lower cost school buildings and the national reputation for quality school buildings whilst recognising the financial climate
Attention was also drawn to the new modular classrooms as listed in appendix 3 of the report.
That in response to questions, Members heard that:
· Where school places were available, then the education authority would seek to fill these before looking to expand capacity at the school.
· In relation to school new builds, the property team would take into account factors such as any ongoing maintenance costs.
· Any design solutions for a school shouldn’t produce high revenue costs to that school’s budget, and the property team would produce detailed life cycles to take into account all factors associated with the design.
· Hampshire County Council has a good reputation with the Department for Education for delivering new Free School projects, and attention was drawn to the new free school in Basingstoke.
That the Children and Young People Select Committee supported the recommendations being proposed to the Executive Lead Member for Children’s Services in Section 1 of the report.