Venue: Committee Rooms 1 & 2 - Deanes. View directions
Contact: Democratic Services
Link: Video recording
Apologies for absence and substitutions
Councillor T Robinson was replaced by Councillor R Golding
Councillor K Rhatigan was replaced by Councillor K Carruthers
Councillor C Phillimore was replaced by Councillor P Harvey
Mark Kingswood – Chair of Basingstoke Head Teachers Group
Councillor S Bound – Cabinet Member for Communities and Community Safety
Declarations of interest
Councillor P Harvey declared a non-pecuniary interest on the grounds that he was a governor of the Vyne School
Councillor G James declared a non-pecuniary interest on the grounds that his;
· daughter attended Costello School
· son had been accepted for the Costello School
· sister was a teacher at Fort Hill School
Councillor G Falconer declared a non-pecuniary interest on the grounds that he was the community governor at the Clere School
Councillor K Carruthers declared a non-pecuniary interest on the grounds that her son had been accepted for the Hurst School
To consider any items of business, other than those shown on this agenda and which, by reason of special circumstances to be stated at the meeting, in the opinion of the Chairman, should be considered at the meeting as a matter of urgency.
There were no urgent items.
The Chair will move that the minutes of the meeting be signed as a correct record. The only part of the minutes that can be discussed is their accuracy.
The minutes of the meetings held on 17th January 2017 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chair.
The committee will receive a presentation from the School Improvement Manager - Education and Inclusion (Basingstoke and Deane) from Hampshire County Council.
The Chair invited Andrew Hood, a visiting member of the public to address the committee.
Mr Hood spoke to the committee on the proposed closure of Fort Hill School. His comments and questions included;
· The evidence from Hampshire County Council included in the attainment report showed that Fort Hill was improving and that the Hampshire County Council School Places Plan 2017 – 2022 showed that pupil numbers across the borough were forecast to rise.
· 3,400 properties scheduled to be built on Manydown land were not included in the forecasts and that, including properties being built at Rooksdown, the threshold for a new school of 4,500 dwellings would not be reached and would not justify a new school for the area.
· By removing Fort Hill School, Hampshire County Council (HCC) removed parental choice.
Mr Hood concluded by asking the committee to agree that the formal response from the Cabinet Member to the consultation on Fort Hill School did not include the evidence from HCC and asked the Cabinet Member to expand on his response.
Members of the committee then expressed disappointment that HCC were not present at the committee and commented on the importance of discussing educational attainment.
The Executive Director of Borough Services advised the committee of the chronology of events leading up to HCC deciding not to attend.
The Chair invited Mark Kingswood, Chair of the Basingstoke Head Teachers Group to address the committee.
Mr Kingswood’s comments covered a range of issues including;
· Students going to schools out of the town
· Problems with staff recruitment and retention
· Local perception of Basingstoke schools
· Schools collaborative approach to continuing professional development for staff and delivering an excellent education for students
The committee thanked Mr Kingswood for his presentation and commented that head teachers were the best ambassadors for the borough and for education.
Members of the committee asked questions on specific projects the borough council could undertake to help improve the position, including key worker housing delivery and promoting the borough at recruitment fairs.
The Cabinet Member addressed the committee to advise councillors of work undertaken to supplement the work of the local education authority and head teachers group, including;
· Working with Head Teachers of primary and secondary schools.
· Research on housing issues.
· How the borough council can assist with recruitment and marketing, with conversations having taken place on the possibility of assisting with recruitment packs and selling the advantages of living in the borough.
The Cabinet Member also expressed disappointment that the local education authority were not present.
The Chair summarised the views of the committee, covering the sense of disappointment that the County Council did not attend to discuss the information presented in the report and asked the committee for their views on how to proceed.
Councillor Harvey asked the committee to support a proposal that the Chair write to HCC on behalf of the Scrutiny Committee to clearly express that the committee did not support the closure of Fort Hill School.
A vote was held with 5 ... view the full minutes text for item 36/16
The committee is asked to note and review its work programme
The Chair invited visiting speaker Councillor David Potter to address the committee on his work programme suggestion form on the Access to Information Protocol.
RESOLVED:The committee includes the Access to Information Protocol on it’s work programme for the 2017-2018 municipal year and establishes a Task and Finish Panel, including Councillors L James, P Harvey, I Tilbury and D Potter to consider the work required with the Chair to be notified of the names of any other members who wish to be involved.