Agenda item

Informal consultation on the school organisation arrangements of Roe Green Infant School

The report informs Cabinet of the intention to informally consult on a change in the age-range of Roe Green Infant School and the closure of primary provision on the Roe Green Strathcona site from September 2020.

Decision:

RESOLVED that :

 

     i)        Cabinet noted that initial informal consultation would be undertaken with stakeholders that could lead to subsequent statutory consultation on proposals to:

·         change the age-range of Roe Green Infant School from 4-11 to 4-7

·         reduce the school’s Published Admission Number (PAN) from 150 to 120 for September 2020

·         implement a phased closure of provision on the Roe Green Strathcona site.

Minutes:

Councillor Muhammed Butt, Leader of the Council, informed the meeting that he had received a request to speak on this item from Mrs N Lobo, Executive Headteacher of Roe Green Strathcona School. Councillor Butt welcomed Mrs Lobo to the meeting.

 

Mrs Lobo thanked Councillor Butt for the opportunity to address the meeting on behalf of the School. Mrs Lobo reminded Members of the Cabinet the school opened in March 2014. She stated that initial contact with the School had been as long ago as 2012 and then again in December 2013. Mrs Lobo stated that this is of particular relevance, as all the other local schools listed at 4.7 in the report, were approved for expansion after Strathcona had opened.

 

Mrs Lobo stated that Strathcona had been an established part of the Council’s school place planning strategy.

 

Mrs Lobo informed Cabinet that the school had been rated by Ofsted as ‘Good’ in November 2017. She stated that this inspection was triggered by the existence of Strathcona. Mrs Lobo informed Cabinet that the lead inspector referred to the School as being ‘unique’, and commented that the School would have continued as ‘Outstanding’ if we had not opened Strathcona.

 

Mrs Lobo stated that the School had its first Year 6 in 2017/18 and is extremely proud of those pupils, who made excellent progress during their time at Strathcona.

 

Mrs Lobo stated that as Strathcona and Roe Green operate as one school, any redundancies will have an impact across both sites. Mrs Lobo stressed that the Cabinet proposals will impact across the school community on both sites. Mrs Lobo reiterated that the School has worked with the Council, responding to requests in a highly professional manner.

 

Councillor Agha, Cabinet Member for Schools, Employment and Skills, thanked Mrs Lobo for her intervention on behalf of the School.

 

Councillor Agha informed Cabinet that the purpose of this report is to inform Cabinet of the intention to informally consult on a change in the age-range of Roe Green Infant School and the closure of primary provision on the Roe Green Strathcona site from September 2020.

 

He stated that the 2019-23 School Place Planning Strategy, approved by Cabinet in November 2018, identifies reducing demand for primary places and increasing spare places across the borough. Within this context, officers propose to undertake initial informal consultation on a proposal to cease primary provision on the Roe Green Strathcona site.

 

Councillor Agha stated that, subject to the outcomes of this consultation, Cabinet approval would be sought to consult formally, through publication of a statutory notice, on a change in the age range of Roe Green Infant School from 4-11 to 4-7, a reduction in the school’s Published Admission Number (PAN) from 150 to 120 and a phased closure of provision on the Roe Green Strathcona site.

 

Councillor Agha stated that the Informal consultation phase provides the local Community with an opportunity for discussion with staff, parents, and local residents about the issues that need to be considered before the decision is taken to publish a statutory proposal.

 

Gail Tolley, Strategic Director, Children and Young People, reminded Cabinet Members that the Brent School Place Planning Strategy 2014-18 approved by Cabinet in October 2014, had identified an increasing demand for primary school places and the need for additional places across the borough. Ms Tolley stated that, as set out in the Brent School Place Planning Strategy 2019-23, agreed by Cabinet in November 2018, the January 2018 Greater London Authority (GLA) projections for Reception for the 2018/19 academic year are 12% lower than they were in January 2014, when the Strathcona site provision opened. Ms Tolley stated that this is partly due to revised ONS population and migration data, but also due to falling birth rates across London.

 

RESOLVED that :

 

     i)        Cabinet noted that initial informal consultation would be undertaken with stakeholders that could lead to subsequent statutory consultation on proposals to:

·         change the age-range of Roe Green Infant School from 4-11 to 4-7

·         reduce the school’s Published Admission Number (PAN) from 150 to 120 for September 2020

·         implement a phased closure of provision on the Roe Green Strathcona site.

Supporting documents: