London Borough of Merton Primary School expansion programme

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					London Borough of Merton Primary School expansion
programme - Update 21 January 2010
Introduction

After a modest fall in demand for reception year places across the borough in the
years up to 2005/06, London Borough of Merton has experienced an
unprecedented increase in demand for reception year places, fuelled by an
accelerating increase in the birth rate from 2002. Demand is forecast to continue
to increase rapidly up to 2012/13.

LB Merton expanded Garfield school from 2006/07 to provide sufficient places in
Wimbledon but the first significant impact of the increase in demand across the
borough was for the 2008/09 reception year when it was necessary for three
schools to provide an additional reception class with a view to permanent
expansion.

Since this time a number of reports have been produced to the schools
admissions forum and to the council’s cabinet. There have been reports to cabinet
on 15 December 2009, 14 December 2009 and 18 January 2010, which can be
accessed on the council’s website
http://www.merton.gov.uk/council/committee.htm

This update incorporates these reports and decisions. The appendices to this
update are the same appendices as the 15 December 2009 cabinet report.

Level of expansion required

To meet demand in 2008/09 and 2009/10, 6 schools have expanded with a view
to the arrangements becoming permanent. Current information from school
admissions suggest this has been just sufficient, with 37 current vacancies across
the borough out of 2280 reception places. The paper to the Admissions Forum on
7 July 2009 recommended to plan for a rise of a further 12 FE (forms of entry)
beyond 2009/10 levels, making the total increase since 2007/08 18FE. It was
recognised that this provided a contingency and that at least some of this increase
would be planned for on a temporary basis.

Further work has been carried out to determine how sustained this increase may
be. Appendix 2 shows the rise and fall of demand of the expansion under high,
medium and lowest possible scenarios. In summary this provides the following
range in forecasting additional expansion from 2010/11:

      High: 12FE by 2012/13 then falling 6FE by 2018/19
      Medium: 9FE by 2012/13 then falling 6FE by 2018/19
      Lowest possible: 5FE then falling 4FE by 2018/19




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Pupil projections up to 2012/13 are more robust as they are based on live birth
data up to 2008. Nevertheless the required expansions above show a 7FE
differential based on whether the retention of pupils to births in the corresponding
year keeps to 2009/10 levels (the basis for the high forecast) or drops back to the
levels of 3-5 years ago (lowest possible scenario, and unlikely at least in the short
term).

After 2012/13 pupil projections cannot be so robust since they are not based on
live birth data but the GLA (Greater London Authority) forecast a drop in demand,
though still at 2010/11 levels by the end of the decade.

The December 2009 cabinet report suggested the medium scenario to be a
current working assumption on planning the additional places i.e. a further 9FE up
to 2012/13 and planning for a fall of 6FE by 2018/19. This will be reviewed with
the latest available information before all key expansion decisions are made.

However, the January 2010 cabinet report confirmed that the recent admissions
applications (closing date 4 December 2009) information for September 2010
reception year entry show just over 120 additional first preferences for LB Merton
schools. With only a bare minimum surplus in 2009/10, additional places will
need to be added in line with this growth so an additional four schools will need to
be expanded by a form of entry (30 places per school) for September 2010. This
is in line with the ‘high’ scenario

School expansions up to 2009/10

The following progress has been made on the six schools expanded on a
temporary basis in 2008/09 and 2009/10.

      2008/09 expansions
    Holy Trinity and Wimbledon Chase Schools – the legal process for
      permanent expansion has been completed and both have major committed
      capital schemes in progress with approved funding.
    St. Thomas of Canterbury returned to its previous capacity so requires only
      minor adaptation and the moving of a private nursery provider to the new
      children’s centre, funded from DCSF children’s centre grant.

      2009/10 expansions
    Benedict Primary School is returning to its previous capacity but the school
      has unsuitable buildings to become 2FE and a major capital project is
      therefore required. The school was a major priority for PCP funding even
      before the expansion was proposed. Funding to be considered by cabinet
      in February as part of 2010/11 capital programme.
    Joseph Hood – Requires a major new build capital project to expand to
      2FE. Even as a 1FE school it was the highest priority for PCP funding. The
      site size makes the provision of temporary accommodation problematic.
      Following a feasibility study, funding to be considered by cabinet in
      February as part of 2010/11 capital programme. Statutory process to be
      undertaken for permanent expansion.



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    Hollymount also requires a major capital new build project to expand to
      2FE. The site size makes the provision of temporary accommodation
      problematic. Following a feasibility study, funding to be considered by
      cabinet in February as part of 2010/11 capital programme. Statutory
      process to be undertaken for permanent expansion.

Strategy for additional demand for School places

The strategy for deciding on expansion decisions is detailed in appendix 3.

In summary:

 Additional pupil numbers to be accommodated mostly through expansion of
   additional schools

 Cabinet agreed on 18 January to request officers to commence detailed work
   to identify potential sites and resources for the purchase of a site to enable a
   new school to be built in the north Wimbledon area. This is a priority area
   since in this part of the borough there is, and historically has been, a shortage
   of primary places, and the site constraints of existing schools in the area make
   expansion particularly complicated

 Schools chosen for expansion according to various published criteria, the most
   important being popular and successful, site capability, location and value for
   money

 Within the above criteria, a preference that 1FE schools should become 2FE
   rather than 2FE become 3FE. However, 3FE to be promoted when other
   criteria met. 4FE to be avoided where possible but cannot be discounted at
   this stage.

 An acknowledgement that the 12FE expansion from 2010/11/12 to 2012/13
   includes some element of contingency so 9FE may only be required. In
   addition the GLA forecasts show a drop in demand from 2014/15 to 2018/19
   so it is likely that at least half of the expansions from 2010/11 will be planned
   as temporary.

School expansions in 2010/11

Following the council’s commitment to a new school agreed by cabinet on 18
January 2010 firm decisions on the four schools to be expanded in reception year
for September 2010 are expected to be confirmed in February so that the
additional places will be included for places allocated on admissions offer day on
25 March 2010.




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Appendix 1

Primary School transformation - Update on progress 12 November 2009
(with minor amendments 2 December 2009)

Primary Strategy for Change (PSfC)

The council submitted its Primary Strategy for Change (PSfC) to the DCSF in mid-
2008. This was for the Primary Capital Programme (PCP), the government
initiative with new capital funding from 2009/10 to provide transformational change
to the primary school estate, linked to improved outcomes for children. Compared
to its secondary school equivalent, BSF (Building Schools for the Future) the
funding available to councils’ is relatively modest. In LB Merton it is £3 million in
2009/2010 and £5.378 million in 2010/11.

The PSfC was submitted following consultation with a broad range of
stakeholders including Headteachers, Governors, Diocesan Boards, School
Cluster representatives, scrutiny committee and cabinet.

The strategy can be summarised as follows:

1. Improving educational attainment
To improve educational attainment and well being through a range of leadership
strategies. This will be underpinned by ensuring all the school estate is fit for
purpose, with an investment programme based on objective ‘fitness for purpose’
surveys, and taking into account deprivation, to include appropriate provision to
provide extended services.

2. Effective and efficient planning of places including SEN and LDD
To ensure appropriate school places are provided for children, including for those
with SEN/LDD (special educational needs/ learning difficulties and/or disabilities).
This includes effectively addressing the rising demand for primary school places.

3. Mitcham Improvement Strategy
Mitcham requires a specific area based solution for investment to ensure schools
are better able to raise standards, surplus places issues are addressed, and
buildings are fit for purpose, including providing wider services for children and
families. This is our highest priority to use investment to raise educational
standards.

Major capital schemes funded from the PCP grant commenced at Poplar and
Bond Primary Schools during the summer holidays. Other prioritised schemes
were delayed, some because they needed to be developed as part of expansion
proposals (Benedict and Joseph Hood), and others due to the uncertainty of
affordability described below.

Additional demand for School places - evolving strategy

Since mid-2008 two years of birth data and changes to the pupil retention rate
from birth to reception year has demonstrated a much larger and sustained


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increase in demand, so that rather than a small number of expansions the
increase could be 18 forms of entry by 2012/13 compared to 2007/08 levels. With
6 schools increased in 2008/09 and 2009/10, this is a further 12FE from 2010/11.

Of the 6 schools that have expanded in reception year the position is as follows:
 Holy Trinity and Wimbledon Chase Schools have major committed capital
    schemes with approved funding
 St. Thomas of Canterbury returned to its previous capacity so requires only
    minor adaptation and the moving of a private nursery provider to the new
    children’s centre, funded from DCSF children’s centre grant.
 Benedict Primary School is returning to its previous capacity but the school
    has unsuitable buildings to become 2FE and a major capital project is
    therefore required. The school was a major priority for PCP funding even
    before the expansion was proposed. Funding to be considered as part of
    2010/11 capital programme.
 Joseph Hood – Requires a major new build capital project to expand to 2FE.
    Even as a 1FE school it was the highest priority for PCP funding. The site size
    makes the provision of temporary accommodation problematic. Funding to be
    considered as part of 2010/11 capital programme.
 Hollymount also requires a major capital new build project to expand to 2FE.
    The site size makes the provision of temporary accommodation problematic.
    Funding to be considered as part of 2010/11 capital programme.

Unfortunately the council has no substantial external capital grant to provide
additional school places so until this is forthcoming from the DCSF it is necessary
to form an affordable strategy based on the highest priorities and finance
available. The provision of statutory school places, after urgent health and safety
items, has to be the first priority for capital expenditure and the PCP grant needs
to also be used for school expansion projects. It will therefore impact on the
original capital investment priorities for the PCP, whilst still acknowledging the
principles of the PSfC.

The strategy based on affordability that is evolving for expansion and PCP from
2010/11 is as follows:

 Additional pupil numbers to be accommodated mostly through expansion of
   existing schools
 One new school in Wimbledon (north side) would be highly desirable as site
   information shows expansion of existing schools particularly problematic.
   However, this requires capital for a site purchase and a new build and the
   financial commitment to purchase a site can only be met as part of the
   council’s budget process for 2010/11, and some confidence that DCSF funding
   could contribute to the building of the school in the 2011/12 and 2012/13
   financial years. Due to the current lack of government grant this can presently
   only be a strategic aspiration.
 Schools chosen for expansion according to various published criteria, the most
   important being popular and successful, site capability, location and value for
   money




                                         5
 Within the above criteria, a preference that 1FE schools should become 2FE
   rather than 2FE become 3FE. However, 3FE to be promoted when other
   criteria met. 4FE to be avoided where possible but cannot be discounted at
   this stage, particularly if funding is not available to purchase a site for a new
   school.
 Where a school is not providing satisfactory standards but expansion is
   otherwise value for money, appropriate solutions to be considered to ensure
   affordable additional places can be provided.
 Within the short term to work on a contingency of less than the 5%
   recommended by the Audit Commission – as little as 1% on a yearly basis
   when projected pupil numbers are more reliable.
 The expansion required to be reviewed as soon as new data arrives to ensure
   we do not over provide for places.
 An acknowledgement that the 12FE expansion from 2010/11/12 to 2012/13
   published to schools in July 2009 included a 3% contingency and adjusted up
   the latest GLA forecasts that had under estimated the September 2009 roll.
   Due to financial constraints, financial planning to be on the basis of the GLA
   projections and a 1% contingency so 9FE but with contingency plans. In
   addition the GLA forecasts show a drop in demand from 2014/15 to 2018/19
   so it is likely that at least half of the expansions from 2010/11 will be planned
   as temporary.
 An acknowledgment that under the current financial climate in addition to the
   above there will need to be a greater reliance on temporary accommodation
   than would ideally be the case, and the choosing of sites for expansion will
   need to acknowledge this.
 The views of schools on expansion provided in October 2009 will influence the
   council’s longer term plan. However, given the financial and site constraints it
   is inevitable that for the council to deliver sufficient school places it will need to
   challenge the preliminary views of some governing bodies on expansion.
 In the absence of sufficient designated funding from the DCSF for additional
   school places, the funding of priority PCP improvement schemes need to be
   considered alongside that of school expansion schemes. This will inevitably
   reduce the transformational capital investment for schools not expanding. Any
   funding for general improvement schemes will need to provide a clear and
   demonstrable link to improvement in standards and well being.




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Appendix 2

Section 1 – Fall and demand throughout borough – High, medium and
lowest forecast
TABLE 1 – FE INCREASE/DECREASE WITH GLA
FORECAST +1.4% & 3% CONTINGENCY. “HIGH FORECAST”
Peaks at 18FE (i.e. 12FE further from 2010/11) , then falls by 6FE by 2018/19

Academi PAN and                FE increase % Surplus /
c Year projected PAN           on previous deficit (-)
        for approx 3%          year
        surplus

2007/08           2100                                 8.3
2008/09           2190               3FE               2.3
2009/10           2280               3FE               1.3
2010/11           2400               4FE               2.6
2011/12           2610               7FE               3.3
2012/13           2640               1FE               3.1
2013/14           2640                                 3.4
2014/15           2610              -1FE               2.9
2015/16           2580              -1FE               2.9
2016/17           2550              -1FE               3.5
2017/18           2490              -2FE               3.0
2018/19           2460              -1FE               3.8


TABLE 2 – FE INCREASE/DECREASE WITH GLA
FORECAST & 1% CONTINGENCY. “MID –RANGE”
Peaks at 15 FE (i.e. 9FE further from 2010/11), then falls by 4FE by 2018/19
Academi PAN and                FE increase % Surplus /
c Year projected PAN           on previous deficit (-)
        for approx 1%          year
        surplus
2007/08       2100                                     8.3
2008/09       2190                   3FE               2.3
2009/10       2280                   3FE               2.7
2010/11       2340                   2FE               1.5
2011/12       2520                   6FE               1.2
2012/13       2550                   1FE               1.0
2013/14       2550                                     1.3
2014/15       2520                  -1FE               0.8
2015/16       2490                  -1FE               0.8
2016/17       2460                  -1FE               1.3
2017/18       2400                  -1FE               0.8
2018/19       2370                  -2FE               1.5



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  TABLE 3 – FE INCREASE/DECREASE WITH 71% SURVIVAL RATE UP TO 2012/13 BASED
  ON ACTUAL BIRTH RATES, THEN GLA PREDICTED BIRTH RATES - “LOWEST POSSIBLE”
  Peaks at 11FE (i.e. 5FE further from 2009/10), then falls by 4FE by 2018/19
  Academic      PAN and       FE increase    %
  Year          projected     on previous    Surplus /
                PAN for       year           deficit (-)
                approx 3%
                surplus
  2007/08            2100                       8.3
  2008/09            2190          3FE          2.3
  2009/10            2280          3FE          1.3
  2010/11            2280                       7.5
  2011/12            2400          4FE          3.9
  2012/13            2430          1FE          3.0
  2013/14            2430                       3.5
  2014/15            2430                       3.5
  2015/16            2400         -1FE          2.7
  2016/17            2400                       3.5
  2017/18            2340         -2FE          2.5
  2018/19            2310         -1FE          3.1

   Cumulative impact of 15FE growth in number of additional classes
                 2008/ 2009/ 2010/ 2011/ 2012/ 2013/ 2014/ 2015/ 2016/ 2017/ 2018/
                 09    10    11    12    13    14    15     16    17   18    19
Wimbledon Ch.       1     2     3     4     5     6     7      7     7    7     7
Holy Trinity        1     2     3     4     5     6     7      7     7    7     7
St Thomas Cant      1     2     3     4     5     6     7      7     7    7     7
Hollymount                1     2     3     4     5     6      7     7    7     7
Joseph Hood               1     2     3     4     5     6      7     7    7     7
Benedict                  1     2     3     4     5     6      7     7    7     7
School 7                        1     2     3     4     5      6     7    7     7
School 8                        1     2     3     4     5      6     7    7     7
School 9                              1     2     3     4      5     7    7     7
School 10                             1     2     3     4      5     6    7     6
School 11                             1     2     3     4      5     6    7     6
School 12                             1     2     3     4      5     6    6     5
School 13                             1     2     3     4      5     5    5     4
School 14                             1     2     3     4      4     4    4     3
School 15                                   1     2     2      2     2    2     2
Total additional
classes             3     9    17    31    46    61    75     85    92   94    89




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Section 2 – Existing expansion of 6FE and further 9 FE from 2010/11

The table below shows the location of recent expansion and further expanding
schools by 9 FE (forms of entry – 30 places per year) and the school places
planning areas (collections of wards) where the expansion would need to be
based on demographic and existing supply and demand information.

The table illustrates that expansion is required throughout the borough, but
planning areas 3 (Wimbledon area) and 5 (central Mitcham area) require the
greatest increase in school places.

  EXISTING AND RECOMMENDED EXPANSION TO 2012/13 – MEDIUM OPTION
 Planning Area with  Actual   Actual   Recomm Recomm Recomm Total FE
 wards covered       increase increase end      end      end      increase
                     in       in       increase increase increase from
                     2008/09  2009/10  in       in       in       10/11 to
                                       2010/11  2011/12  2012/13  12/13
 ALL                 3 FE     3 FE     2 FE     6 FE     1 FE      9 FE
 1 (Hillside, Raynes          1 FE              1 FE              1 FE
 Park and Village             (Hollymo
 wards)                       unt)
 2 (Cannon Hill,              1 FE              1 FE              1 FE
 Lower Morden and             (Joseph
 West Barnes                  Hood)
 wards)
 3 Abbey,            2 FE              1 FE     1 FE     1 FE     3 FE
 Dundonald, Merton Wim
 Park, Trinity and   Chase &
 Wimbledon Park)     Holy
                     Trinity)
 4 (Ravensbury and                              1 FE              1 FE
 St. Helier wards)
 5 (Colliers Wood,   1 FE (St 1 FE     1 FE     1 FE              2 FE
 Cricket Green,      Thomas) (Benedict
 Figge’s Marsh,               )
 Graveney and
 Lavender Fields
 wards)
 6 (Longthornton                                1 FE              1 FE
 and Pollards Hill
 wards).




See over for high option




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EXISTING AND RECOMMENDED EXPANSION TO 2011/12 – HIGH OPTION
Planning Area with Increase  Increase Increase Increase Total FE   Total FE
wards covered       from     from     from     from     increase   increase
                    07/08 to 08/09 to 09/10 to 10/11 to from       from
                    08/09    09/10    10/11    11/12    07/08 to   09/10 to
                                                        11/12      11/12
ALL                 3 FE     3 FE     4 FE     8 FE     18 FE       12 FE
1 (Hillside, Raynes          1 FE              1 FE     2 FE       1 FE
Park and Village             (Hollymo
wards)                       unt)
2 (Cannon Hill,              1 FE     1 FE              2 FE       1 FE
Lower Morden and             (Joseph
West Barnes                  Hood)
wards)
3 Abbey,            2 FE              2 FE     3 FE     7 FE       5 FE
Dundonald, Merton Wim
Park, Trinity and   Chase &
Wimbledon Park)     Holy
                    Trinity)
4 (Ravensbury and                              1 FE     1 FE       1 FE
St. Helier wards)
5 (Colliers Wood,   1 FE (St 1 FE     1 FE     2 FE     5 FE       3 FE
Cricket Green,      Thomas) (Benedict
Figge’s Marsh,               )
Graveney and
Lavender Fields
wards)
6 (Longthornton                                1 FE     1 FE       1 FE
and Pollards Hill
wards).




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