Greenwich Council

Agenda item.

School Place Planning and Capital Programme 2017/18- 2019/20

 

 To note the demand for places at Royal Greenwich schools and post 16 provision and the action being taken by the Council.

Minutes:

The Panel was addressed by the Assistant Director (Commissioning and Resources), who summarised the contents of the report and confirmed that it had been taken to the June 2017 Cabinet which agreed the Capital Programme as a result of the projections and the recommended priorities.

 

In Response to Panel Member questions on the expansion of places in existing schools and the percentage of new places being provided in good and outstanding schools the Assistant Director confirmed that Corelli College had been reverted to its existing published admissions number and currently had 39 vacancies. She added that there had been no expansions in schools that were not good or outstanding.

 

In response to Panel Member questions on the Forms of Entry at the Eltham Church of England Primary School the Assistant Director stated she had recently met with the Head Teacher who confirmed that the 0.5FE increase was working better in terms of class numbers.

 

With regards to the Vincent Road provision the Panel was advised by the Assistant Director that it was an expansion of Plumcroft Primary School with an additional 2 Forms of Entry. she confirmed that there had been delays and extra costs incurred during the demolition process and that additional funding was provided for the IT infrastructure from the Basic Needs Funding allocations. she added that there was no adverse impact on the provision of places as existing schools were able to meet the projections.

 

In response to a question, the Assistant Director stated that projections of schools places were within 2 percent for the last couple of years and in terms of Primary School places the projected to actual figures were 3760 & 3767 respectively.

 

In terms of teacher recruitment, the Director advised the Panel of the problems faced nationally. She continued that the aim locally was to work closely with schools to increase the retention of good teachers as well as attracting them to the Borough.

 

Members felt the issue in respect of teacher recruitment needed addressing and requested a verbal update at the next meeting.

Action: DCS

The Assistant Director informed the Panel that the total number of pupils on roll at Royal Greenwich primary Schools had increased by 21% over the last 5 years as a result of a previous surge in birth rate and children moving into the Borough. She added there are programme contingency’s in place, which include liaising with neighbouring boroughs who have vacancies, to meet any future requirement of schools places.

 

In response to a questions, the Assistant Director confirmed the current vacancies in secondary schools across the Borough highlighting that some schools had taken control of their admission numbers. She stated that Plumstead Manor was traditionally a low recruiting school and faced more competition with the disproportionate number of all girl’s schools within the Borough. She added that the school was moving to a co-educational offer from next year and the Director of Children Services was working closely with the Headteacher.

 

Members recognised that school place planning was a huge piece of work that required further discussions to ensure the programme remained on track. They requested an item to be included early within the 2018/19 Scrutiny work programme to ensure this took place.

Action: DCE

 

Members raised the issue of Academies and Free Schools not having Local Authority representation on their governing bodies, as this was not a statutory requirement. Members requested an update on which schools have councillors on governing bodies brought to a future meeting. It was agreed that this would be included within the education achievement report coming to the February 2018 Panel

Action: DCS

Resolved –

The Panel noted the demand for places at Royal Greenwich Schools and post 16 provision and the action being taken by the Council.

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