Issue details

Expansion of Oak Grove College, Worthing

The County Council has a statutory duty to provide sufficient school places for all children who need a place.


There is a need to reduce the number of children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) moving from maintained schools and academies into costly education provision in the Independent and Non-Maintained Special School sector, often at schools not situated in West Sussex.  Increasing provision for children and young people with SEND through the creation of additional places in County Council Special Schools will assist with the aim of enabling children to attend school locally.


Oak Grove College in Worthing caters for a wide range of Special Educational Needs, for children aged between 11 and 19 with moderate, severe or profound learning needs.


In March 2020 the Director of Property and Assets approved the budget required to  develop the design for the expansion of Oak Grove College in accordance with capital governance processes. Following this the County Council’s Multi-Disciplinary Consultant, Faithful+Gould Ltd. (MDC) were appointed to undertake the full design  in accordance with the Royal Institute of British Architects recommended process stages 2-7.


This report seeks approval for the allocation of funding from the Capital Programme to increase accommodation at the school in order to provide sufficient capacity for an increase of 15 planned places from 156 to 171, including all associated fees, ICT and furniture and equipment. The 4 additional classrooms will provide additional planned places and will enable reorganisation of existing accommodation to ensure appropriate provision for some pupils with very complex needs thereby maximising opportunities for future cost avoidance from expensive placements in the independent sector. The new facilities will provide increased opportunities and resources for the complex young children attending Oak Grove. Without these facilities these young children will be at risk of attending independent provisions which typically cost four times as much (not including travel costs) and potentially move them further away from being educated locally.

Decision type: Key

Reason Key: Expenditure > £500,000;

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Divisions affected: Northbrook;

Notice of proposed decision first published: 17/12/2020

Decision due: March 2021 by Cabinet Member for Education and Skills

Lead member: Councillor Nigel Jupp

Contact: Leigh Hunnikin, Project Manager Email: Tel: 033 022 23051.

Consultation process

Representations concerning this proposed decision can be made to the Cabinet Member for Education and Skills via the officer contact, by the beginning of the month in which the decision is due to be taken


Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources

Democratic Services Contact: Wendy Saunders Tel: 033 022 22553

Background3: Best Start in Life


Background papers

  • None