Issue - meetings

Education (Schools) Capital Programme 2020/21

Meeting: 15/12/2020 - County Council (Item 3)

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This report recommends proposals for allocating resources in the Education (Schools) Capital Programme to specific projects set out in Section 3. Some of the proposals include funding from developer contributions. (The proposals and recommendations are due to be considered by Cabinet on 10 December 2020. Any updates from that Cabinet meeting will be presented to Council).

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Councillor Colin Hayfield (Portfolio Holder for Education and Learning) moved the motion and introduced the report stating that the bulk of the money to be allocated was to go to Stratford-upon-Avon and Nuneaton. That the report and proposals were not the Education Sufficiency Strategy was emphasised.


Councillor Jeff Morgan seconded the motion and reserved the right to speak.


Councillor Corinne Davies welcomed investment in schools although in some instances she considered that this was too late. The net result is that parents have to drive their children across the town to access school places. She asked whether a decision on the provider for the new Top Farm, Nuneaton school had been made.


Councillor Keith Kondakor expressed his concern over the way in which school places are assigned. Schools now have too much say in determining their numbers. In addition, government “wave funding” along with funding through the County Council leads to a degree of uncertainty. For example, in  June 2019 Nuneaton missed out on wave funding. Nevertheless, Etone has taken in more pupils. There is also a case for a new school in the Weddington/St Nicholas area of Nuneaton. A proper secondary school building programme is required.


Councillor Jeff Clarke welcomed the report and the investment at Etone College. He explained that school place planning is undertaken by the County Council. Schools that expand too soon tend to attract children from across town. The key is to provide places for local children. Councillor Clarke requested that local residents around Etone College be consulted prior to any development.


Councillor Mark Cargill thanked officers and members for supporting the development at Stratford-upon-Avon High School.


Councillor Clive Rickhards welcomed the proposals for Coughton C of E Primary School in Alcester adding that an overarching system for planning school developments would be of use. In addition, there needs to be more joined up thinking between services at the Council. For example, new toilets and a classroom are proposed for Coughton Primary but thought needs to be given to traffic issues as well.


Councillor Ann Parry welcomed the proposals for Stratford-upon-Avon High School but asked that secondary allocations for Wellesbourne be reviewed. At present half of year 6 children in Wellesbourne move to Kineton whilst half go to Stratford. This means that friendship groups are split.


Councillor Jenny Fradgley welcomed the proposals for Stratford-upon-Avon High School noting the need for new primary schools associated with major development.


Councillor Jeff Morgan (who had seconded the motion) observed that the allocation of school places is one of the few statutory responsibilities left with the County Council in terms of education. He observed that when the expansion is completed Stratford-upon-Avon High School will have a roll of around 2000 pupils. He assured members that school place planning is well managed.


In closing Councillor Colin Hayfield noted that the assignment of funds for expansion is a stage in the implementation of the Sufficiency Strategy. Responding to Councillor Corinne Davies, Council was informed that a provider had yet to be  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3

Meeting: 10/12/2020 - Cabinet (Item 4)

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Cabinet is asked in this report to express its support to a series of capital projects at Warwickshire schools.

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Councillor Colin Hayfield (Portfolio Holder for Education and Learning) explained that the report before Cabinet was one of a regular series of such reports. The principal points of focus of this report were Stratford High School and Etone College in Nuneaton. It was acknowledged that more school places will be required at Etone College and confirmed that plans are being developed for a new school at Top Farm, Nuneaton.


Councillor Jeff Clarke, whose division Etone College falls within, asked that before any new development is undertaken residents be consulted.


Councillor Keith Kondakor agreed that consultation in relation to development at Etone College should be undertaken with residents. Councillor Kondakor expressed the need for air quality monitoring around Nuneaton. In addition he expressed concern over the wave funding approach adopted by government. This, he stated, leads to uncertainty and increases the chances of school capacity being provided which will become redundant as new schools come on line. Three classrooms are required at Etone College but only one is to be built under current proposals. As new provision is made to the north of the town so traffic will increase as pupils are transported past Etone to the new school.


Councillor Jonathan Chilvers welcomed that the report included a section on environmental implications. He was, however concerned that environmentally friendly installations such as eco-heating would only be used if considered to be economically viable. Gas central heating, he added, will be banned in a few years so there seemed little point in installing it now. Councillor Izzi Seccombe agreed that there is a need for robust environmental assessments in drafting reports.


In closing Councillor Colin Hayfield agreed that consultation with residents would be undertaken in connection with developments at Etone College. Regarding environmental considerations Councillor Hayfield agreed that these should be given due consideration. The longer term aspiration is for Warwickshire to be a beacon for eco-schools. Regarding school sufficiency he assured Cabinet that there is a good understanding of current and future demand for school places in the County. An offer was made to provide further briefings for members on how school sufficiency is maintained.




That Cabinet:


1. Recommends that Council approves the addition of £16.594 million to the capital programme to deliver the schemes outlined in Section 3.


2. Authorises, subject to Council agreeing to add the schemes to the capital programme, the Strategic Director for Communities to invite tenders and enter into the appropriate contracts on terms and conditions acceptable to the Strategic Director for Resources, or (where the scheme is school-led) to make the necessary funding arrangements for these schemes.