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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting : 28th April 2014

 

Report of the Cabinet Member for Children's Services

 

Cogan Nursery School, Penarth - Enclosure of adjacent land into school site

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To request Cabinet approval to enclose land under the remit of the Directorate of Learning and Skills, but currently incorporated within Cogan Recreation playing fields, to increase the external learning areas of Cogan Nursery School.

Recommendations

1.         That the Head of Legal Services be authorised to give notice of the Council's intention to enclose an area of the playing fields adjacent to Cogan Nursery School for the purpose of extending the play area at the school.

2.         That subject to no objections being received, the Chief Learning and Skills Officer be authorised to enclose the land identified in Appendix A into the Cogan Nursery School site.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.         Despite the land in question being within the remit of Learning and Skills, it is currently used as open space by local residents.

2.         To increase external learning provision for Cogan Nursery School.

Background

2.         The Welsh Government's Foundation Phase initiative promotes the use of a variety of learning environments for children under seven.  This encourages the use of external areas to learn skills previously taught in classrooms.  The method of teaching requires a variety of external spaces to be provided.

3.         Cogan Nursery School currently has limited outdoor play areas consisting of tarmac playgrounds and limited grassed areas, which hinders the full implementation of the Foundation Phase.  Incorporating the grassed area into the school site will improve the provision of the Foundation Phase and provide improved external areas for all pupils attending the school.

4.         To meet the educational aspirations of the school, the Governing Body are funding the installation of a stand- alone independent teaching & community use room within a log cabin on the school site. The school actively promotes all aspects of community involvement and organises a number of programmes for adults.  The log cabin will provide not only additional teaching space for the pupils but a place where adults can learn new skills.

5.         The proposal is to incorporate approximately 500m2 of land shown on Appendix A into the school site to increase the external learning areas at the school.  The proposal will allow for a 1m zone between the proposed extended boundary fence and cycle path through Cogan playing fields to ensure a safe route. 

6.         The height and specification of the new boundary fence will be agreed between the Operational Manager, Parks and Ground Maintenance and the Chief Learning and Skills Officer and will include a gate access. The fence is to be erected by Cogan Nursery School.

Relevant Issues and Options

7.         The land in question currently forms part of the Cogan playing fields and must therefore, by its recent use and nature, be considered to be public open space. However, the situation is unusual in that the land in question is not appropriated to Parks and Grounds Maintenance but is already within the remit of the Directorate of Learning and Skills. Therefore the land does not need to be appropriated to the Learning and Skills Directorate and a statutory public consultation process under section 122(2B) of the Local Government Act 1972 is not required.  However, due to the fact that some open space will be lost, an informal consultation process will be carried out to inform all interested parties of the proposals prior to enclosing the land and, if necessary, consideration be given to any objections received.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

8.         Cogan Nursery School will fund the erection and maintenance of the fence to enclose the land if transferred.  The school will obtain planning consent for the proposed fence if required.

9.         Once enclosed, grounds maintenance costs associated with this land will transfer from Parks and Open Spaces to Cogan Nursery School. Funding will be delegated to the school in accordance with the agreed formula to carry out the grounds maintenance works required.

10.      Cogan Nursery school will fund the entire cost of the installation of the log cabin through the school's delegated budget.

11.      All costs incurred are to be funded by Cogan Nursery School or via external grants secured by the school.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

12.      There are no sustainability and climate change implications arising from this report.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

13.      As contained in this report.

Crime and Disorder Implications

14.      There are no crime and disorder implications arising from this report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

15.      The proposal will improve the external areas of the school enhancing delivery of the Foundation Phase curriculum to pupils attending Cogan Nursery School.

Corporate/Service Objectives

16.      This proposal will allow utilisation of Council land assets.

Policy Framework and Budget

17.      This is a matter for Executive decision by the Cabinet.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

18.      Ward Members have been consulted.  To date, no adverse comments have been received.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

19.      Lifelong Learning.

Background Papers

None.

 

Contact Officer

Jonathan Werrett, Schools Planning and Buildings Officer

 

Officers Consulted

Paula Ham, Head of Strategy, Community Learning and Resources

Mark Haynes, Schools Organisation and Buildings Manager

Phil Beaman, Operational Manager, Parks and Grounds Maintenance

Sian Cornwell Shaw, Estates

 

Responsible Officer:

Jennifer Hill

Chief Learning and Skills Officer

 

 

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