Johnny Kyriacou (JK) introduced this item as a straightforward paper to update Forum on the number of places commissioned in academies by the Local Authority. This provides transparency and complements the LA’s overall place planning strategy which is due to be presented to cabinet in February.
NB drew attention to the appendix showing the commissioned places for September 2023 together with any changes from the current year. NB confirmed these places have been agreed with the individual schools.
JR asked why some of the resource bases, eg Wexham and Priory were not listed. NB advised that the report only concerns places commissioned in academies, and not maintained schools. This is because LA has to notify the DfE directly because of the different funding arrangements for academies. NB commented that in the future it would be helpful for Forum to see the overall Slough picture including maintained schools as well as Academy-based resource provision.
JR again emphasised the importance of an impact assessment; there were serious concerns about cutting AP or resource provision places without an impact assessment at a time when schools need support and help, for example which Haybrook would normally provide. JK advised that there were ongoing conversations between the LA and Haybrook and that he would also check whether a formal impact assessment has been completed.
Forum members noted the report.