Agenda item - The future of secondary schools places in Brighton and Hove

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Agenda item

The future of secondary schools places in Brighton and Hove

Report of the Executive Director Families, Children and Learning (copy attached)

Decision:

RESOLVED – (1)That the committee note the secondary school pupil forecasts from September 2022 – September 2031 detailed in Appendix 1 and recognise that from September 2028 – September 2031 these are illustrative and not calculated using a recognised methodology as detailed in a previous committee report.;

 

(2) That the committee approve the recommendation to undertake a pre-consultation engagement between 21 June 2021 and 18 July 2021 including 8 public events held remotely in order to ensure early community involvement and a survey hosted on the council’s Have Your Say portal; and

 

(3) That the committee note that the responses will be used to inform future discussions about the admission arrangements  for secondary schools which will be subject to public consultation.

Minutes:

8.1      The Committee considered a report of the Executive Director Families, Children and Learning which considered the future projection of secondary aged pupils needing places in the city’s schools and compared this to the number of places currently available.

 

8.2      The report proposed that a pre-consultation engagement exercise was undertaken to consider what proposal should be put forward in a future formal public consultation regarding the admission arrangements for the city’s secondary schools. The council was actively seeking to develop a strong consensus across the city about what action should be taken.

 

8.3      Councillor Brown stated that she supported the report recommendations considering that it was timely for the current problems to be addressed. It was explained in answer to further questions that the Executive Director explained that the Assistant Director, Education and Skills and herself had met with all secondary school heads, there had been no consensus and a variety of views had been expressed .

 

8.4      Councillor O’Quinn asked how many students who had been unsuccessful in obtaining places at Varndean had subsequently accepted places at other schools. The Executive Director explained that she did not have that information immediately available but would be able to provide that outside the meeting.

 

8.5      It was confirmed that based on existing predictions it was not envisaged that additional accommodation would be required, although the situation would continue to be reviewed. It was very important to support the city’s family of schools as whole and to seek to avoid actions which would have a detrimental impact on other schools. If non-L A schools altered their existing arrangements that could have a detrimental impact and the Executive Director confirmed that conversations were taking place with local academies and free schools.

 

8.6      In answer to further questions it was explained that the consultation timeframe which had been set was considered to be adequate and that feedback would be gathered on- line and from public meetings.

 

8.7      Councillor O’Quinn stated that new housing developments were planned across the city which included family units, it was important that this was taken account of when making future projections. It was confirmed that demographic projections were being made over a ten year period.

 

8.8      Mr Parr stated that projections for primary schools were lagging behind currently and The Executive Director explained that the Assistant Director, education and Skills and herself had met with all secondary school heads, a variety of views that needed to be addressed.

 

8.9      The Chair, Councillor Clare stated that the feedback collected would be used in order to inform the process with predictions made being kept under review. It was very important for people to feel that they had been consulted and had had the opportunity to have their say.

 

8.10    RESOLVED – (1)That the committee note the secondary school pupil forecasts from September 2022 – September 2031 detailed in Appendix 1 and recognise that from September 2028 – September 2031 these are illustrative and not calculated using a recognised methodology as detailed in a previous committee report.;

 

(2) That the committee approve the recommendation to undertake a pre-consultation engagement between 21 June 2021 and 18 July 2021 including 8 public events held remotely in order to ensure early community involvement and a survey hosted on the council’s Have Your Say portal; and

 

(3) That the committee note that the responses will be used to inform future discussions about the admission arrangements  for secondary schools which will be subject to public consultation.

Supporting documents:

 


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