Agenda item - Chair's Communications

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Agenda item

Chair's Communications


43.1    The Chair gave the following communications:


In today’s agenda we will be discussing published admissions numbers at some of our schools as part of the response to growing number of school vacancies - 349 this year and 719 by 2023.  We are working together on a cross party basis in to try to avoid any schools in our community closing and also ensuring they remain financially and educationally viable.


Decisions to reduce forms of entry are not easy, and all members understand how difficult this is for individual schools who work hard to ensure Children and Young People have great educational opportunities and outcomes. However, we all have a duty to take a sensible long-term strategic view and make some difficult decisions in the short term.


I would like to take this opportunity to let you know of a change of use at Former Portslade Sixth Form site and  Mile Oak Road.  As a result of Kings School moving to their permanent site the building they temporarily occupied has become vacant.   Following due consideration, it has been decided that the most sensible use for the building is to re-purpose it as a new office base for some of our children’s services social work pods (that are currently based in another part of the city).  They need to leave their current site to make way for a considerable amount of proposed new housing. 


We need to secure consent from the Secretary of State for Education to change the use of the former sixth form site and to take the associated school playing fields out of school use.  The first step is to undertake a public consultation regarding the change of use of the school playing fields. 


The consultation will commence tomorrow (14 January 2020) and continue for a period of 6 weeks.  During this time we will consult with a wide variety of stakeholders to see if there is any further education need for the site.  This will include a public meeting to be held on 23 January 2020 at Portslade Town Hall.


The consultation documents will be available in the council’s website for the duration of the consultation period.  These documents include details on how representations can be made. 


The views and thoughts collected during this consultation will be presented to me prior to the next CYPS meeting on 2 March 2020.  I will give a further Chairs communication on this matter at that meeting to inform you of the intended way forward. 


I very much enjoyed attending the Youth Wise meeting on 4 December, together with Councillors Clare and Brown.  We were very impressed with the work the young people have done so far including developing the Youth Led Grants.   There is a paper on Youth Wise on the agenda today and I am looking forward to hearing from members of Youth Wise about plans for this group.


I was also very proud to be at the awards ceremony for our Care Experienced children and young people back in November, along with Cllrs Knight and Simpson. It was a fantastic afternoon where we heard of their many achievements and aspirations for the years ahead. I would like to congratulate the children and young people again for their inspiring stories and thank them for my invite to a fantastic afternoon.


Following Pinaki’s move to an interim role in Housing, Neighbourhoods and Communities and Deb Austin stepping into the interim role here for Families, Children & Learning I am pleased to announce that Anna Gianfrancesco has been appointed as Interim Assistant Director for Children’s Safeguarding and Care. Anna is a really experienced senior leader and manager from the safeguarding and care world and she took up this interim position in November.


I am also sad to say that Item 48 - SACRE Video presentation will be removed from the agenda item today as Alison Haining is unable to attend the meeting. She is off work sick (in crutches) and we wish her a speedy recovery.”


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