The review of our school estate was carried out following a number of guiding principles which were agreed by the Executive Committee in October 2012:
- Every school should be rated as A or B for both condition and suitability to include a number of accessible schools in each geographical area.
- Schools should have an occupancy rate greater than 60% of capacity and in order to ensure equity in provision, schools should be operating within an optimal occupancy and efficiency range of 80-100%. Consideration should be given to establishing a minimum number of pupils in any school which is less than 5 miles from another school; therefore schools should have a minimum of 3 classes, recognising that effective learning requires interaction between pupils. This group activity is most effective when children are of a similar age and to enable this, where possible schools should have a minimum roll of 50 pupils.
- A strategy for a sustainable school estate should support the progressive reduction in the overall carbon footprint for the Council.
In addition, the following factors were also considered as part of the review;
- Educational benefits to pupils
- Condition surveys
- Suitability assessments
- Recent Investment in school buildings
- Energy Performance Data
- School Roll Projections and Capacities
- Catchment areas, including impact of Strategic Land Allocations and Local Development Plans
- Cost Per Pupil
- Distance to nearest school
- Best Value model for existing Public Private Partnership (PPP) contracts such as increasing occupancy.