Issue - meetings
School Modernisation Strategy
- Enc. 2 for School Modernisation Strategy, item 46 PDF 41 KB
- Enc. 3 for School Modernisation Strategy, item 46 PDF 336 KB
(a) That the updated School Modernisation report be noted; and
(b) That the Committee receive a report on the options for prudential borrowing to assist with the schools repair and maintenance budget at the next meeting of the Committee to be held on 26 February, 2015.
The Chief Officer (Education and Youth) introduced a report on the draft updated ‘Strategy for the Modernisation of Flintshire Schools’. He provided background information and invited the Cabinet Member for Education to give an overview of progress with the 21 Century Schools programme and local system developments.
The Chief Officer (Education and Youth) advised that it was a core education responsibility of Education Authorities to manage the supply of school places. The level of surplus places in Flintshire, whilst similar to the Welsh Average was above the Welsh Government target of 10% which meant that resources that could be focused on teaching were being used to pay for the upkeep of buildings, leadership and administrative costs which was inefficient. He outlined the key drivers for school modernisation and reorganisation.
The Chief Officer reported on the main considerations as detailed in the report. He referred to the process of engagement, consultation, decision making, and implementation involved in the review and modernisation of school provision to ensure the best possible opportunities for learners to achieve their full potential.
In response to the questions raised by Councillor Nigel Steele-Mortimer the Chief Officer (Education and Youth) advised that the commencement of building work on the new school in Holywell was imminent. He also explained that work on the John Summers project was currently subject to pause and review and in response to the further comments and concerns raised by Members he agreed to circulate electronically the agreed statement which was being sent to all parents.
In response to the questions and concerns expressed by Members around the current backlog of repairs and maintenance work for school buildings the Chief Officer (Education and Youth) suggested that a report on the review of Service Level Agreements for schools repairs and maintenance being conducted by the Chief Officer (Organisational Change) be presented to the meeting of the Committee to be held on 26 February 2015.
Councillor Richard Jones commented on the backlog of repairs and maintenance in schools and the use of school organisational change as the key tool to address such deficits. He expressed concerns that whilst the potential closure of some school buildings which were no longer viable would alleviate the repairs and maintenance backlog, there would be social implications on the areas concerned as a result.
During discussion the Chief Officer (Education and Youth) responded to the further questions and concerns raised by Members regarding the issue of surplus places, mobile classrooms, S106 Agreements, and usage of school sites. The Chief Officer also advised that the WG had indicated that £500m, was available for the roll out of Band B of the 21st Century Schools programme from 2019, however, funding criteria for 21st Century schools would only be available for modernisation projects and refurbishment or maintenance projects were not eligible for grant via the programme.
Councillor Nancy Matthews asked how much of the £64m allocated for school modernisation in Band A of the 21st Century Schools programme had been spent and what ... view the full minutes text for item 46