To consider a report from the Executive Director – People (Deputy Chief Executive) (copy enclosed)
Members had before them a report from the Executive Director – People (Deputy Chief Executive) which dealt with the outcome of the representation period triggered by the publication of notices by the school governors of Mayfield School for the potential expansion of the school. The representation period opened on 22 May 2019 and closed on 19 June 2019.
Recently Mayfield School had relocated to the new Whitehaven Campus, and since then the governors of the school now propose to expand the existing offer of 130 places up to 160 places, an increase which would match the new accommodation and would require no additional expense.
Cumbria County Council’s Special Educational Needs and Disability Services had been facing pressures arising from increased demand for specialist education placements for a number of years. This increase in demand was in line with a national trend due to advances in medical technology and higher survival rates of children with complex needs and increases in medical diagnoses for conditions such as autism. Significant numbers of children were presenting with needs which could not be met in mainstream schools, and the shortage of places within the county meant that many have had to be educated elsewhere.
As a community special school, the governors had been able to carry out the necessary consultation and publish their own statutory notices, but it remained the responsibility of Cumbria County Council to make the final decision on the proposal having considered any responses received during the representation period.
Members noted that the governors had carried out a consultation between 4 March and the 15 April 2019, and that 35 responses had been received, 33 of which were in favour of the expansion (94%), 1 disagreed and 1 did not know.
Following consideration of the outcome of the consultation at a full governors meeting, it was decided to publish statutory notices starting a period of representation from 22 May to 19 June 2019. There were no responses during the representation period.
Members noted that both Allerdale and Copeland Local Committees had been made aware of the governor’s proposals, and were consulted, but that no comments had been received.
Cabinet acknowledged that 90% of the funding for the new build had been paid for by the nuclear industry, and without this the school would not have been built. Members hoped the success of this scheme would encourage other large industries to support similar projects in other areas of the county.
RESOLVED, that Cabinet agree to implement the proposals for the expansion of Mayfield School.