Agenda item - Member Involvement
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To consider the following matters raised by Councillors:
(a) Written Questions: to consider any written questions;
(i) Schools involved in September 2019 Reception Baseline Assessment Pilot – Councillor Nield
(b) Letters: to consider any letters;
(i) Stringer Plastics – Councilor Heley and Councillor Rainey
(A) WRITTEN QUESTIONS
(i) Schools involved in September 2019 Reception Baseline Assessment Pilot
46.1 Councillor Nield put forward the following question:
“Do we know how many schools in Brighton and Hove took part in the September 2019 pilot of the Baseline Assessment?”
46.2 The Chair gave the following response:
“The Department for Education are proposing that all reception children get assessed shortly after starting school. The rational is that assessing children when they start school identifies a baseline against which their educational progress can then be measured.
A national pilot project is being run in 2019/20 academic year by NFER (National Foundation for Educational Research).
The foundation approaches schools directly and asks them whether they want to be involved in a baseline assessment pilot. The Council have no involvement in this pilot and the Foundation have not shared information with us or communicated about schools that are involved. The Council asked the Foundation before Christmas to share information about which schools were involved and they refused. We have asked again in the New Year for numbers of schools only and they still refused.
We will be writing to headteachers and to their chairs of governors to ask them to supply this information, although I’m afraid Schools are not obliged to share this information with us.”
(i) The Committee considered a letter from Councillors Amy Heley and Clare Rainey which sought to request a report for schools to outline the most cost effective way, in regards to procurement and securing funding, for Schools in Brighton and Hove to become free of single use plastics.
46.3 The Chair gave the following response:
“I have received a letter from Cllrs Heley and Rainey regarding advice to schools on becoming plastic-free and specifically support for the work being undertaken at Dorothy Stringer School.
We need to support schools with the important task of minimising their carbon footprint and waste and I will ask that a report on the work being undertaken by the Council’s teams including the Sustainability Team to support schools comes to this committee. I will also ask that we report on how we work together with pupils, headteachers and governors to advance this work going forward.
The Council’s Property & Design Team are currently planning the retender of the Council’s Environmental Education Contract for the start of the 2020/21 financial year. This will involve a consultation with schools at the early part of this term to establish what their priorities are in this area. We will ask the schools specifically about what the contract could do to best support waste education.
In relation to Dorothy Stringer School, I know that the school have been working hard to understand how they can become plastic free. The support of colleague councillors is very welcome.
The school’s bottle filling station installed as part of the additional dining provision in summer 2018 was funded by the council. Proposals to install water dispensers at the school have been discussed at the monthly accommodation meetings and we are waiting for the school to specify what units they would envisage being installed and where.
Cllrs Heley and Rainey have asked if the Basic Need funding can be used to help the school achieve this goal. Basic need funding is the money the DfE gives to Local Authorities each year specifically to help them fulfil their duty to make sure there are enough school places for children in their local area. The allocations are paid to Councils to support the capital requirement for providing new pupil places by expanding existing schools or by establishing new schools. There is an expectation that the funding will not be used for other purposes.
Basic need funding has been allocated to Dorothy Stringer School as a result of the school agreeing to take additional pupils for a temporary period. We have worked with the school to ensure that the basic need funding allocated is used to provide additional facilities required by the additional pupils while at the school. The facilities will also provide an enhanced school environment for the future once the additional pupils have moved through the school. The facilities already provided include additional dining space and 4 temporary classrooms. Proposals for the next year include additional toilets, some internal remodelling of space to provide enhanced learning spaces and the remodelling of 2 science laboratories. There has been discussion with the school as to whether the sink area adjacent to the additional toilets could include further taps dedicated to bottle filling and this will be considered as designs are developed.”