Kings Hill School

Kings Hill Primary School

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Nursery Public Consultation

Kings Hill School is currently undertaking a consultation to open a Nursery from September 2020.

To view the full consultation document please click here.

If you would like to register an interest, then please contact the School Office on 01732 842739.

 Introduction

Kent County Council (KCC), together with the Governing Body, is seeking the views of parents/carers, staff and other stakeholders on a proposal to permanently change the age range of the school from 4-11 years to 2-11 years, to enable the school to run a nursery. This document is part of a four-week consultation process which opens on 16 September and closes on 14 October 2019. At the end of the consultation period a decision will be taken by KCC’s Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Education on whether to proceed with the proposed change of age range.

Why are we proposing to establish a nursery at Kings Hill School?

Kings Hill School currently provides early years education for children who turn five when in the Reception class. Analysis by KCC Early Years relating to the sufficiency of nursery places in the local area indicates that there is a deficit of 80 nursery spaces in Kings Hill. Pressure for early year places has increased as additional houses have been built at Kings Hill and the demand is set to continue to increase as the 635 homes in ‘Phase 3’ are occupied. There is also a similar pressure for nursery places in the neighbouring area, with sufficiency data indicating a 106 space deficit in West Malling. This total 186 space deficit commonly necessitates parents traveling further afield to access nursery provision.

In both September 2013 and 2014 the school offered 90 Reception places (three classes) rather than its usual 60; these ‘bulge years’ were to ensure a sufficient number of Reception places were available. The school was provided with two additional classrooms to accommodate these larger year groups. The classes will be leaving over the next two years (currently in Years 5 and 6). Therefore, two additional classrooms will become available; one in September 2020 and one in September 2021, resulting in an overall loss of 60 pupils.

The nursery will initially provide 30 spaces in September 2020 that will increase to a maximum of 45 in 2021. Therefore, even with the establishment of the nursery, the school’s roll will decrease over a two-year period from 480 to a maximum of 465; a decrease of 15 pupils.

Where will the nursery be situated?

The nursery will be situated in the school’s current ICT suite. The suite is situated within its own section at the end of the building. This enables a direct front entrance to the nursery for parents without interfering with the running of the rest of the school. To ensure resources are maintained for the school age pupils, the ICT suite will be transferred into the spare classroom made available by the first bulge year leaving. When the second bulge year leaves in September 2021, the library will also be transferred to a classroom and the mezzanine area used as an extended schools provision facility. Library access will be maintained for the school in the first year. ``

How will the school deal with any possible increased traffic and congestion?

The total number of children attending the school will decrease by 15. The nursery entrance will be separate from the rest of the school and nursery opening/closing times will be different from the rest of the school to ease any congestion. It is also likely that congestion will be eased further by nursery pupils having siblings already attending the school.

About the proposed nursery

The nursery will offer a maximum of 30 spaces in the first year and will be equipped for 45 pupils over time. It is planned to open the nursery in September 2020

KCC is confident that the strong and effective leadership of the school has the capacity to establish a successful nursery provision. The Governing Body has also confirmed its support and is confident that the proposal can be successfully taken forward. The new nursery provision would operate under the school’s Ofsted registration and provide places for three and four year olds. The school will utilise existing Early Years expertise within its staff group to ensure the nursery runs effectively and will appoint additional staff as and when appropriate for the nursery

Will the nursery impact Reception Year entry to the school?

The proposed change of age range to the school would not affect the determined admission arrangements for entry to Reception Year. Parents will still need to follow the school admissions process and apply for a place for their child in Reception, even if he/she attends the nursery.

What are the financial implications?

The addition of the nursery will form part of a wider scheme to reorganise facilities that will result in enhanced ICT and library resources within the school and encompass exterior improvements to the school. The scheme will be funded by the school, utilising existing capital funds and via a loan from KCC. The school will receive revenue funding from the County Council based on the number of children in the setting and hours that they attend.

I have a question – who can I ask?

If you have any questions, please contact the school or email: school.consultations@kent.gov.uk

The consultation process - indicative timetable

16 September 2019

4 weeks public consultation period.

25 September 2019

‘Drop-in’ information session at Kings Hill School.

15 November 2019

The outcome of the Education Consultation will be reported to the Children's, Young People and Education Cabinet Committee.

December 2019

Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Education considers all responses and decides whether to continue with the proposal.

January 2020

Cabinet Member decides whether to proceed with a 4 week Public Notice; be published in a local newspaper, displayed at the school and available on the school and KCC websites. During the notice period comments and objections can be made about the proposal.

February 2020

The Cabinet Member considers all responses made and decides whether to confirm his decision.

September 2020

Subject to consideration of any objections, the proposal is implemented.