Decision details

School Capital Programme 2017/18 and Lobby Team Update (Decision 01104391)

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision status: For Determination

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes


To seek approval for the funding of the proposed School Capital Programme 2017-18 to accommodate future demand for pupil places.



Councillor Halden, Cabinet Member for Education and Health, presented the report to Members informing them the report sought approval for up to £7 million funding to implement the next schools capital programme. He continued by explaining the programme would include secondary school expansions and possible expansion of a further two primary schools in 2017.


The Cabinet Member for Education and Health commented that the programme would give parents and children more choice of where they want to study. It was hoped it would assist in stopping children being sent across the borough for school.


Members were informed a Lobby Unit had been established to work with schools to lobby the Department for Education (DFE) to help deliver new free schools. Councillor Halden further informed Cabinet Members that Thurrock had national press coverage for its policy position of being pro-grammar schools. He continued that at least one hundred children attended grammar schools outside of the borough and that it was time to give the best choices possible to Thurrock’s young people.


Councillor S Little thanked the Cabinet Member for his report and welcomed the idea of grammar schools in the borough.


Councillor Coxshall commented that he had concern if a postcode lottery was used as not all children would be offered the same education. He used the Harris Academy as an example.  Councillor Halden stated that the use of a postcode lottery would enable children whose parents might not be able to afford, to send their child to a grammar school would also get the opportunity to the same education.


The Cabinet Member for Education and Health mentioned that schools were under pressure. He continued that St Clere’s and the Ockendon Academy were good schools and could accept a greater number of children.


Both Councillors MacPherson and Tolson declared that they had children attending St Clere’s Academy and the Harris Academy.


The Leader also declared that his partner volunteered at St Clere’s Academy. He further thanked Councillor Halden for his report.




1.    That a provisional School Capital Programme budget of £7 million as set out in this report be approved.


2.    That authority subject to the Council’s procurement rules delegate to the Director of Children’s Services, in consultation with the relevant Portfolio Holder and Head of Legal, to commence, negotiate and award any contracts/agreements or documents incidental to the School Capital Programme within the budget as set out in this report.


3.    Cabinet note the work of the lobby unit and endorse the direction of travel.


Reason for Decision - as stated in the report

This decision is subject to call-in

Report author: Rory Patterson (Corporate Director of Children's Services)

Publication date: 20/12/2016

Date of decision: 14/12/2016

Decided at meeting: 14/12/2016 - Cabinet

Effective from: 30/12/2016

Accompanying Documents: