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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber - County Hall, Bythesea Road, Trowbridge, BA14 8JN. View directions

Contact: Stuart Figini  Email: stuart.figini@wiltshire.gov.uk

No. Item




There were no apologies.




Minutes of the previous meeting

To confirm and sign the minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 30 April 2019, previously circulated.

Supporting documents:


The minutes of the meeting held on 30 April 2019 were presented.




To approve as a correct record and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 30 April 2019.




Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of disclosable interests or dispensations granted by the Standards Committee.


There were no declarations of interest.




Leader's announcements


The Leader explained the approach to public participation for the Special Schools item.




Public participation and Questions from Councillors

The Council welcomes contributions from members of the public. This meeting is open to the public, who may ask a question or make a statement. Questions may also be asked by members of the Council.  Written notice of questions or statements should be given to Stuart Figini of Democratic Services stuart.figini@wiltshire.gov.uk/  01225 718221 by 12.00 noon on 16th May 2019. Anyone wishing to ask a question or make a statement should contact the officer named above.


Supporting documents:


The Leader explained that statements and questions would be received during the discussions on the Special Schools Consultation at agenda item 6.




Specials schools consultation

    Report by Executive Director Terence Herbert

Supporting documents:


Cllr Laura Mayes, Cabinet member for Children, Education and Skills thanked members of the public that had taken the time to attend the meeting and responded to the consultation on the proposals for Special Schools.


The Cabinet member gave a presentation about the responses received to Phases 1 and 2 of the consultation on the proposals to close Rowdeford, St Nicholas and Larkrise special schools and open a new special school at Rowde. She reminded the Cabinet that they had considered the matter at their meeting held on 27 November 2018. Since that meeting, a case was taken to court by a group of families about the process used for consultation prior to November 2018, the outcome of which brought about an extension to the consultation process, thus phase 2. The report considered by the Cabinet at this meeting contained all the consultation responses received between 9 January 2019 and 6 May 2019, along with alternative proposals received.     


Cllr Mayes explained that the Council anticipated a total investment of up to £32 million in a purposed built Centre of Excellence at Rowde, to accompany provision at Exeter House in Salisbury. The Special Schools Larkrise and St Nicholas would stay open until the new school is built in 2023 and it is appropriate for children to transition to the new site at Rowdeford. The changes were necessary due to increased demand for specialist Special Education Needs and Disabilities (SEND) provision, increased pupil population as a result of Army Rebasing. In total an additional 120 school places were needed for specialist SEND provision in the north, and this was to be met by the expanded centre on the existing Rowdeford site.


The Cabinet member explained there was overcrowding in the current schools and the best option was to expand the school site at Rowde. Cllr Mayes highlighted the investment was an opportunity to improve the quality of education for those in a Special School setting, as well as improving opportunities for pupils with SEND in mainstream schools. The councillor outlined that Rowde was the ideal site for expansion due to its location and excellent community links. The councillor was confident an expanded site in Rowde would give the best opportunity for travel times to the majority of pupils and families. It was explained the expanded site would keep its small, safe setting by separate small learning areas on the site, landscaped to maintain a ‘countryside’ feel and additional therapy facilities would also be available at the school.


A number of statements were received from the public which covered the following points:


  • Experiences as a parent of a child with SEND
  • That the decision to proceed with the proposals had already been predetermined
  • Concern about the travel times
  • Current proposals were not acceptable and the current 3 special schools’ provision should remain at Trowbridge, Chippenham and Rowdeford.
  • The development of life skills
  • Importance of receiving an education close to home, integration and social inclusion into the local community
  • The need  ...  view the full minutes text for item 67.


Urgent Items

Any other items of business, which the Leader agrees to consider as a matter of urgency.


There were no urgent items.






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