Agenda item

School Capital Programme Update 2023/24


This item was introduced by Sarah Williams.  Key points included:

·       Cabinet approval would be sought on one of the options proposed within the report including the approval of additional spend that was required for the expansion of Tilbury Pioneer Academy.

·       On 15th March 2023, Cabinet approved a budget of £3M along with the procurement process to appoint a design and multi-disciplinary project team to undertake required surveys and develop a detailed cost plan for the refurbishment of the part of the old block that was on the Tilbury Pioneer site that was due to be demolished. Following this detailed work and the increase in cost, Cabinet needed to reconsider whether new build is more feasible than refurbishment.

·       The expansion works for Tilbury Pioneer Academy would be funded from the Department for Education (DFE) basic need grant (not Council general fund), which had sufficient funds available to cover either option presented within the report.

·       Cabinet approval would also be sought for the approval of £1M to proceed with works to convert a council owned building in Northview Avenue, Tilbury to a secondary SEMH (Social, Emotional, Mental Health provision, which would be run by Olive Academy. The works would be funded from the DfE SEN Capital Grant (not Council general fund), which had sufficient funds available.

·       Additionally, this report provided an update on current capital projects managed by Thurrock Council which formed part of the current school capital programme outlining the progress that had been achieved since the last report to Cabinet in March 2023.

·       The current programme aimed to deliver sufficient pupil places for 2024/25 academic years in mainstream and SEN provision.


During discussions, the following points were raised:

·       Members welcomed the report and advised that the new build was the preferred option (1.2)

·       Members questioned whether green areas of the school would be lost and were advised that the existing building would be demolished which would give the green space back.

·       Members requested that contingencies be put in place for the prevention of extra costs for this project. The Committee were reassured that this was considered within the budget, as well as inflated prices, however it was recognised there were challenges to mitigate issues outside of Thurrock’s control.




The Committee supported the recommendation of 1.2 rather than 1.1. 


Cabinet to approve recommendation 1.2 set out below:


1.2 To approve a budget of £4.75M budget for the new build works to allow for the expansion of Tilbury Pioneer Academy to be funded from the School’s Basic Need capital funding 2023/24


Recommendations 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, and 1.6 were agreed and supported by the Committee. 


1.3 To approve the commencement of the procurement process in accordance with Council & UK procurement procedures to vary the appointment and scope of works to be undertaken by the Multi Discipline design team for the Tilbury Pioneer Expansion Project and appoint the Principal Contractors to take forward the proposed desired scheme.


1.4 That authority be delegated to the Director of Children’s Services, in consultation with the Education Portfolio Holder, to enter into any form of agreement following the award of the agreements arising from 1.1 or 1.2 above in compliance with the Council’s procurement regulations.


1.5 To approve a £1M budget for alternation works at Northview Avenue , Tilbury to allow for a secondary SEMH provision to be funded from SEN Capital government grant 2023/24.


1.6 Note the recent in-year accommodation works that have commenced and completed in order to ensure sufficient pupil places for 2023/2024.


Sarah Williams left the meeting 10.57pm


Supporting documents: