The Deputy Mayor and Executive Member for Children’s Services and the Director of Education and Partnerships submitted a report for the Executive’s consideration. The purpose of the report was to seek approval of schemes to be added to the Schools Capital Programme, for delivery to commence in the academic years 2021/22 and 2022/23.
The report set out Middlesbrough Council’s responsibilities to maintain school buildings and ensure there was sufficient school places to meet demand. The report outlined a programme of capital works to address school maintenance priorities and increase provision for pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). The report also identified the proposed financing from the Department for Education (DfE) capital grants.
Appendix 1 of the submitted report set out new schemes proposed to be added to the programme for delivery during the 2021/22 and 2022/23 academic years and beyond. It included schemes aimed at improving the condition of schools - roof works, improvements to heating systems, and drainage works.
The Executive could have chosen not to approve the schemes for inclusion in the Schools Capital Programme. In the short term, that could have led to elements of the buildings identified failing, resulting in lost teaching and learning time, inappropriate learning environments, health and safety risks, and a shortage of school places for some of the town’s most vulnerable learners.
In the longer-term, such an approach would have led to the gradual decline of the condition of the schools, children being out of school unnecessarily and escalating costs for both the schools and the Council.
That the new schemes included in Appendix 1, and discussed in the report, be approved and added to the Schools Capital Programme for delivery to commence in the 2021/22 and 2022/23 academic years.
To ensure that the grant funding available was spent in a timely manner on improving teaching and learning environments and outcomes for young people.
To deliver the Council’s statutory obligation to ensure there were sufficient school places to meet demand, in particular for children and young people with Special Educational Needs (SEN), and to meet suitability and condition requirements.
There was no obligation for the Council to consult over the schemes. Schools named in the programme had been engaged on a tentative basis to ensure that, where a school contribution to the cost of schemes was required, that could be agreed.