A report from the Director of Schools and Children’s Services and Director of Finance, Resources and Customer Services is attached. This updates the strategy for the provision of pupil places. (Key decision – reference number 3719)
(8.45 – 8.50 pm)
Councillor Ayfer Orhan (Cabinet Member for Children and Young People) introduced the report of the Director of Schools and Children’s Services and Director of Finance, Resources and Customer Services (No.13) updating the strategy for the provision of pupil places.
1. that a previous decision of the Cabinet in June 2012 had established phase one of the primary expansion programme. Cabinet approval was now being sought to establish phase two of the school expansion programme, as set out in full in the report. This represented a robust and comprehensive strategy to meet future demand and the Council’s statutory responsibilities. The strategy would be kept under constant review to ensure that the effects of any changes in the Borough including demographic changes and welfare reform, would be taken into account and appropriate action taken. Members noted the current impact of the Government’s housing benefit cap on families in the Borough and across London as a whole.
2. Members’ attention was drawn to sections 1.2, 1.3, 3.2 and 3.3 of the report. Section 3.2 of the report noted the removal of three schools from the current phase of the programme – Oakthorpe, Broomfield and Walker. Discussions would continue with the schools and their Governing Bodies.
3. Andrew Fraser (Director of Schools and Children’s Services) outlined the difficulties that were being faced across London in meeting the statutory responsibilities for the provision of sufficient school places. The Council had used independent evaluations for projected pupil numbers in the Borough. The School Expansion Programme, as detailed in the report, provided a clear framework for the way forward and would provide flexibility in meeting identified needs.
4. Councillor Hamilton expressed her congratulations to the Lead Cabinet Members and Directors for this significant piece of work which would ensure that the Council continued to deliver high quality education for the Borough’s children.
5. Councillor Orhan outlined the new school which was being built at Garfield; the Council had listened to the concerns expressed and was taking appropriate action in moving forward.
6. Councillor Taylor commended the bold and imaginative action which was being taken and expressed the need for sufficient Government funding to be allocated to the Council to meet its basic needs requirements.
Alternative Options Considered: Enfield Council had a statutory responsibility to provide the necessary school places. The Primary Expansion Programme created a mechanism to assist with the delivery of extra capacity required. Not providing places could not be considered an option. The following proposals had been considered but rejected: