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School Organisation Review (SOR)

T Watson made this Freedom of Information request to Suffolk County Council

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Dear Suffolk County Council,

I am writing to you in order to make a Freedom of Information Request regarding the School Organisation Review (SOR) in Suffolk.

I would be very grateful if you would kindly respond to this email electronically, with responses to the following requests for information:

1) The Stowmarket Consultation Booklet states that "Data from the health authority on pre-school children suggests
that there are not enough children LIVING in the school’s catchment area to fill 60 places in future years.". This is given as justification for reducing the size of each year group to 45 places in Bosmere Primary School. What assessment has been undertaken into the future birth-rate or rate at which infants will move into the catchment area of Bosmere Primary School?

2) What is the anticipated future demand in primary school places in the catchment area for Bosmere Primary School , taking into account the 14.9% growth in the population of 0-15yr old to mid-2021 in the East generally (Office of National Statistics Interim 2011-based subnational population projections for England) and the additional housing planned in and around Needham Market (e.g. the former Unilever factory site, Needham Chalks site, Needham Market Middle School site and others).

3) What is the difference between the total number of places currently available in school year groups 5 and 6 at Needham Market Middle School, compared to the total number of places in the same year groups proposed under the SOR in each of the Primary Schools which would have otherwise fed Needham Market Middle School?

4) What proportion of the existing surface area of the Needham Market Middle School playing field will transfer to Bosmere Primary School?

5) What arrangements will exist to link the existing Bosmere Primary School grounds to the Middle School playing field?

6) What are the proposals with regard to the public footpath which currently runs between the Bosmere Primary School and Needham Market Middle School sites?

7) The plan for Bosmere Primary School is to increase the Number on Roll by 63% from 193 to 315 (Summer 2012 NOR and proposed NOR).
a) What assessment has been undertaken on the impact that this will have on the use of communal facilities at the school, specifically the canteen, school hall, library, assembly's, playground, toilets, storage, swimming pool and entrance/exit footpaths?
b) What assessment of the impact that such a large increase in the number of children at the school will have on the children themselves has been undertaken?

8) The Number on Roll at Needham Market Middle School in Summer 2012 was 262 compared to 193 at Bosmere Primary School. The middle school building and site are larger than those of the primary school.
a) What consideration was given to relocating Bosmere Primary School to the existing Middle School building and facilities?
b) Why was this not given as an option in the Consultation documentation?
c) Why was this not given consideration by Cabinet?

9) What is the estimated commercial resale value of the existing Bosmere Primary School site?

10) What is the estimated commercial resale value of the Needham Market Middle School site, less the area of playing field to be provided to Bosmere Primary School?

11) What arrangements will be put in place for the teaching of swimming as part of the national curriculum for PE at Bosmere Primary School, bearing in mind the 63% increase in pupil numbers at the school, the size and availability of the existing swimming pool?

12) What 'resources' were approved by the SCC Cabinet to complete the review in Stowmarket, Stowupland and Bury St Edmunds on 10th July 2012 (http://www.suffolk.gov.uk/education-and-...).

13) What funding has been approved - or indicative budget if not yet approved - for the move to a two-tier system in Stowmarket area?

14) What funding has been approved - or indicative budget suggested if not yet approved - for the move to a two-tier system in other areas where the move to a two-tier system is not yet completed? Please break down by high-school area.

15) What was the budget for the move to a two-tier system in all other areas within the SCC area where the move to a two-tier system has been completed?

16) Do Year 5 and 6 pupils at Needham Market Middle School currently make use of special facilities at the middle school - such as science labs and music room - which will not be available at Bosmere Primary School?

17) What assessment has been conducted into the impact that the withdrawal of special facilities - such as science labs and music room - will have on the achievement of pupils - regardless of the fact that such facilities are not specifically required under the national curriculum?

18) What assessment has been made of the impact on pupils and staff of using a classroom building, separate from the existing school building at Bosmere Primary School, isolating staff and pupils from the remainder of the school?

19) What is the impact likely to be, on both pupils and staff, of using a new classroom building, separate from the existing building? How will children in these classrooms be made to feel 'inclusive' within the school, bearing in mind the impact on whole-school assembly's due to the 63% increase in Number on Roll?

20) What consultation will be carried out on the future of the Needham Market Middle School site?

21) What assessment of traffic volumes and vehicular access has been carried out in relation to Bosmere Primary School - in particular coach and taxi movements and those of vehicles belonging to parents/guardians?

23) What will the funds derived from the sale of the Needham Market Middle School site be used for? Will they be ringed-fenced for education and specifically for the benefit of pupils in the Needham Market Middle School pyramid?

24) What is the annual financial saving the Council expect in the Stowmarket pyramid, following the move to a two-tier system?

25) What was the annual financial saving the Council expected to make following the move to a two-tier system in the areas of the county where such a move has been completed, prior to the move being completed? Please break down by high school pyramid.

26) What is the actual financial saving the Council has made following the move to a two-tier system, in the areas of the county where such a move has been completed? Please break down by high school pyramid.

27) Of the £5m funding approved by the Cabinet in July 2012 to support the cost of SOR in Stowmarket, Stowupland and Bury St Edmunds, how much is allocated to each high school pyramid?

28) What is the budget for the proposed secondary school at Moreton Hall in Bury St Edmunds?

29) Please provide a copy of any feasibility report(s) relating to:
a) the proposal to close Needham Market Middle School and increase the Number on Roll at Bosmere Primary School
b) the proposal to move to a two-site school at Stowmarket High School

30) If no feasibility report(s) have been written in relation to each item at question 29, please explain why.

Yours faithfully,

T Watson

Information Management Services, Suffolk County Council

 
Dear T. Watson
 
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 – ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
 
Thank you for your request received on 29 August 2013 requesting
information about the School Organisation Review (SOR) in Suffolk.
 
Your request is being dealt with under the terms of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 and will be answered within 20 working days. 
 
While no charges are made for the submission of requests, the council is
entitled to apply reasonable costs for disbursements (i.e. photocopying,
postage etc).  Where such costs are under £5.00 the council is pleased to
make no charge, however, if costs exceed that limit then these additional
costs are payable to the council.  Where charges will apply proper notice
will be given to you prior to the information being released.  For more
information on charges please use the following link to our website:
[1]http://www.suffolk.gov.uk/about/contact-...
 
 
If you have any queries about this request do not hesitate to contact us. 
Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future
communications.
 
Yours sincerely,
 
Information Management Services
Corporate Information and Records Management
Information and Data Management
Suffolk County Council
Endeavour House
Russell Road
Ipswich
IP1 2BX
 
Tel:    01473 264620
Fax:    01473 216843
Email:  [2][email address]
Web:    [3]www.suffolk.gov.uk
 
 

Emails sent to and from this organisation will be monitored in accordance
with the law to ensure compliance with policies and to minimise any
security risks.
The information contained in this email or any of its attachments may
be privileged or confidential and is intended for the exclusive use of
the addressee. Any unauthorised use may be unlawful. If you receive
this email by mistake, please advise the sender immediately by using
the reply facility in your email software.

References

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2. mailto:[email address]
3. file:///tmp/www.suffolk.gov.uk

Dear Information Management Services,

I am writing to enquire as to the progress of your response to my query regarding the SOR. By law, the authority should normally have responded promptly and by 26 September 2013 at the latest. I am yet to receive a response from you.

Yours sincerely,

T Watson

Information Management Services, Suffolk County Council

2 Attachments

 
Dear T. Watson
 
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 – REQUEST RESPONSE
 
Thank you for your request received on 29 August 2013 requesting
information about the School Organisation Review (SOR) in Suffolk.
 
The information you requested is attached.  
Most information supplied by Suffolk County Council will have been
produced within the Council and will continue to be protected by
copyright.  You are free to use it for your own purposes, including for
private study and non-commercial research, and for any other purpose
authorised by an exception in current copyright law.  Documents (except
photographs) can be also used in the UK without requiring permission for
the purposes of news reporting.  Any other reuse, for example commercial
publication, would require the permission of the copyright holder.
 
If the information you have been sent includes a copyright statement, you
must not alter or remove this statement.  For information about re-using
copyright see the Office of Public Sector Information website at
[1]www.opsi.gov.uk.  The copyright in some documents may rest with a third
party.  For information about obtaining permission from a third party see
the Intellectual Property Office’s website at [2]www.ipo.gov.uk.
 
If you are dissatisfied with the way your request has been handled, you
have the right to ask for an internal review.  Under Regulation 11(2),
internal review requests should be submitted within 40 working days of the
date of this letter and should be sent to: Information and Data
Controller, Information Management Services, Endeavour House, 8 Russell
Road, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP1 2BX or, alternatively, by email for the
attention of the Information and Data Controller at
[3][email address]
 
Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future
communications.
 
If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have
the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a
decision.  The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: Information
Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9
5AF.
 
Yours sincerely,
 
Information Management Services
Corporate Information and Records Management
Information and Data Management
Suffolk County Council
Endeavour House
Russell Road
Ipswich
IP1 2BX
Tel: 01473 264620
Fax: 01473 216843
Email: [4][email address]
Web: [5]www.suffolk.gov.uk
 
 

Emails sent to and from this organisation will be monitored in accordance
with the law to ensure compliance with policies and to minimise any
security risks.
The information contained in this email or any of its attachments may
be privileged or confidential and is intended for the exclusive use of
the addressee. Any unauthorised use may be unlawful. If you receive
this email by mistake, please advise the sender immediately by using
the reply facility in your email software.

References

Visible links
1. file:///tmp/www.opsi.gov.uk
2. file:///tmp/www.ipo.gov.uk
3. mailto:[email address]
4. mailto:[email address]
5. http://www.suffolk.gov.uk/

Dear Information Management Services,

Many thanks for the information that you have provided in response to my query regarding the SOR plans for Bosmere Primary School and Needham Market Middle School.

I would like you to clarify a number of points that you have made in your response please:

Q2. You have not responded to my question:
"What is the anticipated future demand in primary school places in the catchment area for Bosmere Primary School?"

Clarification required:
Please provide figures and calculations for the anticipated future demand as requested.

You responded:
"Future housing development that has yet to receive planning permission is not included in forecasts."

Clarification required:
Can you please explain why the Council is taking a such a short-sighted view and not taking into account the potential future growth in the population of the local area and hence increased demand in school places - e.g. the potential for 610 new dwellings around Needham Market by 2025 was outlined in the MSDC Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment April 2009 - whilst undertaking the SOR. This is a project which will impact children in the area for many years to come.

The DfE's School Capacity Survey forecasts an increase of over 7% in the number of primary school age children in Suffolk between 2011/12 and 2016/17.

Has this forecast been factored into your calculations for the provision of places at Bosmere?

Q6. You responded:
"No changes proposed." in relation to the realignment of the public footpath.

Clarification required:
The Bosmere Community Primary School Feasibility Report makes passing reference to the footpath. What assessment has been made of the impact to primary school children and their safety, with regards to a public footpath bisecting the school site?

If you believe this to be "a matter for the headteacher and governing body", please explain why?

Q7. You responded:
"While the current roll of Bosmere is nearer to 200, the capacity of the buildings is 300. The communal facilities would have originally been designed to serve this number of pupils.".

Clarification required:
Where does the figure of 300 come from please? The school was originally built in the 1980s and has been expanded since then. Please provide full details of the *original* planned capacity of the building at the time of the original build.

You also responded:
"The pupils will benefit from economies of scale of a larger school and are expected to reach higher levels of attainment at the age of 11."

Clarification required:
Please elaborate on the 'economies of scale' anticipated?

Q8. You stated:
"The costs of converting middle schools to primary schools are greater than extending primary schools as extensive changes to the environment are required to make them suitable for the younger pupils."

Clarification required:
Please provide a copy of the feasibility report investigating the conversion of Needham Market Middle School into a primary school.

You state:
"This option was not feasible within the budget."

Clarification required:
Please provide full details of the estimated costs of the conversion of NMMS into a primary school - and of the budget for extending Bosmere Primary School as currently proposed.

Q12 You responded:
"See the following link – Agenda Item 10."

Clarification required:
The report accessed via the link ("Future Back Office Requirements for Suffolk County Council") makes no reference to resources specifically required to complete the Schools Organisation Review, but refers to returning Finance and HR services into the direct control of SCC; reducing service costs of these functions by 30%; and establishing an internal trading organisation to provide services to Schools.

I would repeat my original question, "What 'resources' were approved by the SCC Cabinet to complete the review?"

Q19. You responded:
"This is a matter for the headteacher and governing body"

Clarification required:
Why, as the SOR is being imposed on the school, are pastoral matters such as this not being considered by SCC?

Q27. You stated:
"The money is not allocated on the basis of high school pyramid."

Clarification required:
This appears to contradict your answers to questions 13 and 14?

Q29. Absent:
Feasibility report looking into the provision of a two-site school at Stowmarket High School.

Clarification required:
Please provide a copy of the report investigating the various options for the provision of a High School at Stowmarket.

Q30. You stated:
"Not required"

Clarification required:
Please see my clarification request for Q29. If no such feasibility report is available, please explain why.

Additional Questions

Q31. The Bosmere Community Primary School Feasibility Report provided states "This report has not looked at the size of the kitchen in regards to the proposed
extension, SCC catering would need to be contacted and further discussions would be needed to assess if the kitchen facilities could accommodate the
increase in pupil numbers.". What discussions have been held to-date regarding the kitchen facilities and what is the outcome? If no final decision has been reached, when will this be made?

Q32. The Feasibility Report provided states "Under CYP direction the projects do not include other facilities which may be considered with the increase in pupil numbers, such as learning resource areas or increased administrative accommodation."
Why were such facilities specifically *excluded* from the brief by Children & Young Peoples Services?

Yours sincerely,

T Watson

Information Management Services, Suffolk County Council

 
Dear Mr Watson
 
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 – ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
 
Thank you for your request received on 04 October 2013 requesting
information about Q31. The Bosmere Community Primary School Feasibility
Report provided states "This report has not looked at the size of the
kitchen in regards to the proposed extension, SCC catering would need to
be contacted and further discussions would be needed to assess if the
kitchen facilities could accommodate the increase in pupil numbers.". 
What discussions have been held to-date regarding the kitchen facilities
and what is the outcome? If no final decision has been reached, when will
this be made?
Q32. The Feasibility Report provided states "Under CYP direction the
projects do not include other facilities which may be considered with the
increase in pupil numbers, such as learning resource areas or increased
administrative accommodation."
Why were such facilities specifically *excluded* from the brief by
Children & Young Peoples Services?.
 
Your request is being dealt with under the terms of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 and will be answered within 20 working days. 
 
We are also dealing with the clarification that you have sent us in
relation to FOI 6098 and will be dealt with in 20 working days.
 
While no charges are made for the submission of requests, the council is
entitled to apply reasonable costs for disbursements (i.e. photocopying,
postage etc).  Where such costs are under £5.00 the council is pleased to
make no charge, however, if costs exceed that limit then these additional
costs are payable to the council.  Where charges will apply proper notice
will be given to you prior to the information being released.  For more
information on charges please use the following link to our website:
[1]http://www.suffolk.gov.uk/about/contact-...
 
 
If you have any queries about this request do not hesitate to contact us. 
Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future
communications.
 
Yours sincerely,
 
Information Management Services
Corporate Information and Records Management
Information and Data Management
Suffolk County Council
Endeavour House
Russell Road
Ipswich
IP1 2BX
 
Tel:    01473 264620
Fax:    01473 216843
Email:  [2][email address]
Web:    [3]www.suffolk.gov.uk
 
 

Emails sent to and from this organisation will be monitored in accordance
with the law to ensure compliance with policies and to minimise any
security risks.
The information contained in this email or any of its attachments may
be privileged or confidential and is intended for the exclusive use of
the addressee. Any unauthorised use may be unlawful. If you receive
this email by mistake, please advise the sender immediately by using
the reply facility in your email software.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.suffolk.gov.uk/about/contact-...
2. mailto:[email address]
3. file:///tmp/www.suffolk.gov.uk

Rhys Green (FOI), Suffolk County Council

1 Attachment

Please see attached the clarification requested, apologies for the delay in responding to you but due to the amount of questions asked we needed enough time to be able to answer them.

show quoted sections

Information Management Services, Suffolk County Council

1 Attachment

 
Dear Mr Watson
 
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 – REQUEST RESPONSE
 
Thank you for your request received on 04 October 2013 requesting
information about Q31. The Bosmere Community Primary School Feasibility
Report provided states "This report has not looked at the size of the
kitchen in regards to the proposed extension, SCC catering would need to
be contacted and further discussions would be needed to assess if the
kitchen facilities could accommodate the increase in pupil numbers.". 
What discussions have been held to-date regarding the kitchen facilities
and what is the outcome? If no final decision has been reached, when will
this be made?
Q32. The Feasibility Report provided states "Under CYP direction the
projects do not include other facilities which may be considered with the
increase in pupil numbers, such as learning resource areas or increased
administrative accommodation." Why were such facilities specifically
*excluded* from the brief by Children & Young Peoples Services?.
The information you requested is attached.  
Most information supplied by Suffolk County Council will have been
produced within the Council and will continue to be protected by
copyright.  You are free to use it for your own purposes, including for
private study and non-commercial research, and for any other purpose
authorised by an exception in current copyright law.  Documents (except
photographs) can be also used in the UK without requiring permission for
the purposes of news reporting.  Any other reuse, for example commercial
publication, would require the permission of the copyright holder.
 
If the information you have been sent includes a copyright statement, you
must not alter or remove this statement.  For information about re-using
copyright see the Office of Public Sector Information website at
[1]www.opsi.gov.uk.  The copyright in some documents may rest with a third
party.  For information about obtaining permission from a third party see
the Intellectual Property Office’s website at [2]www.ipo.gov.uk.
 
If you are dissatisfied with the way your request has been handled, you
have the right to ask for an internal review.  Under Regulation 11(2),
internal review requests should be submitted within 40 working days of the
date of this letter and should be sent to: Information and Data
Controller, Information Management Services, Endeavour House, 8 Russell
Road, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP1 2BX or, alternatively, by email for the
attention of the Information and Data Controller at
[3][email address]
 
Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future
communications.
 
If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have
the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a
decision.  The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: Information
Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9
5AF.
 
Yours sincerely,
 
Information Management Services
Corporate Information and Records Management
Information and Data Management
Suffolk County Council
Endeavour House
Russell Road
Ipswich
IP1 2BX
Tel: 01473 264620
Fax: 01473 216843
Email: [4][email address]
Web: [5]www.suffolk.gov.uk
 
 

Emails sent to and from this organisation will be monitored in accordance
with the law to ensure compliance with policies and to minimise any
security risks.
The information contained in this email or any of its attachments may
be privileged or confidential and is intended for the exclusive use of
the addressee. Any unauthorised use may be unlawful. If you receive
this email by mistake, please advise the sender immediately by using
the reply facility in your email software.

References

Visible links
1. file:///tmp/www.opsi.gov.uk
2. file:///tmp/www.ipo.gov.uk
3. mailto:[email address]
4. mailto:[email address]
5. http://www.suffolk.gov.uk/

We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are T Watson please sign in and let everyone know.