Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Education and Skills
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: Yes
Demand for places at single-sex boys’ schools in West Sussex has been declining in recent years and this is evidenced by a reduction in the overall number of families applying for boys schools as first preferences. Reduced pupil numbers impacts upon the finances available to schools and thereby on how the school can deliver the opportunities required to both staff and pupils.
During June 2020, the County Council consulted on changing from a single sex boys’ school to a co-educational school from September 2021 entry.
Following the outcome of the consultation, in October 2020 the Cabinet Member for Education and Skills approved the proposal to change The Forest School in Horsham from a Boys’ School to co-educational from September 2021 (decision reference ES08(20/21)). This will enable more school places to be available for girls in the Horsham area.
Following approval of a Strategic Outline Case and subsequent approval of capital funds for design fees, in accordance with the capital programme governance process, the County Council’s Multi-Disciplinary Consultant (MDC), Faithful+Gould, were appointed in November 2020 to take forward the design for an agreed first phase of works to be carried out at the school.
This report seeks approval for the allocation of funding required to undertake a first phase of works necessary to enable the school to accommodate girls from September 2021. The new facilities will provide increased opportunities for both boys and girls.
The Cabinet Member for Education and Skills has approved:
(1)The allocation of £1m to fund the phase 1 works as outlined in paragraph 2.1 of the report to enable The Forest School to admit girls from September 2021;
(2)The authorisation to commence a procurement process and delegation to the Director of Property and Assets to appoint contractors to fully design and cost the new accommodation;
(3)The submission of a planning application for any works requiring planning permission; and
(4)That subject to receipt of planning permission and statutory consents, the delegation of the authority to enter into a construction contract with the successful provider to the Director of Property and Assets.
Publication date: 17/03/2021
Date of decision: 17/03/2021
Effective from: 29/03/2021