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The Vale of Glamorgan Council

Cabinet Meeting: 11 January, 2016

Report of the Cabinet Member for Children's Services and Schools

Internal and External Refurbishment works to Barry Comprehensive School, Port Road West, Barry, to support implementation of the school's Post Inspection Action Plan

Purpose of the Report

  1. To update Members on the proposed refurbishment works to Barry Comprehensive School and request approval from Cabinet to include the sum of £900,000 in the Capital Programme to fund these works.

Recommendations

  1. That Cabinet note the content of the report.
  2. That Cabinet approves the inclusion of £210,000 into the 2015/16 Capital Programme and £690,000 into the 2016/17 Capital Programme, funded from the School Investment Reserve.
  3. That Cabinet grant delegated authority to the Managing Director, in consultation with the Leader and Cabinet Member for Children's Services and Schools, to award the contract for these works, provided the works and ancillary costs are within the approved budget.
  4. That subject to recommendation 3, Cabinet grants delegated authority to the Head of Legal Services to execute the relevant contract.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1. To ensure Members are provided with the necessary information with regard the proposed works at Barry Comprehensive School.

2. To amend the 2015/16 and future years Capital Programme and to seek approval from Cabinet.

3&4. To allow the contract to be awarded and entered into without seeking further Cabinet approval.

Background

  1. Cabinet considered on 5 October 2015, a report on the "Proposal to Transform Secondary Education in Barry" (minute C2931 refers) and resolved to progress recommendation 4 "That the development of a programme of work for Barry Comprehensive School be authorised to enable improvements to be made to the learning environment in the short term and that a further report on the proposed programme and estimated funding requirements be presented to Cabinet for further consideration in due course". Subsequently, site visits and consultation with the Directorate of Learning and Skills and the senior leadership team at the school have highlighted a number of deficiencies which negatively impact on the learning environment at the school.
  2. The school building is currently concealed by the nature of the landscape. By providing a level of soft landscaping alterations and hard landscaping improvements the school will be more identifiable. The current school car park is poorly set out and in poor condition. By overlaying the existing car park together with providing designated car parking spaces and fencing to the perimeter of the car park, a more formal parking provision will be provided.
  3. Access to the school is through a concealed main entrance and reception area. To improve way finding, disabled access, visitor parking and the main school entrance area, improvements will be made to the layout of the reception area with designated visitor parking and a reconfiguration of the main reception area, including external signage to supplement visitor information.
  4. The current main pupil toilets are subject to vandalism and pupil relationship challenges. There are also ventilation and cleaning issues to consider which require attention. In addition, the number of pupil toilets needs to be increased. To satisfy these challenges, the toilets are to be re-designed with an open plan approach.
  5. External navigation between the school buildings does not currently allow for dry transit. To address this, covered external walkways will be provided between the main school building and canteen / dining hall building together with a new, dry external courtyard.
  6. A number of the existing building fire doors will be replaced with new fire doors. This will improve the compliance of the existing building with safety regulations together with providing a safer environment for the pupils and staff.
  7. Additionally, the school has been constructed in a number of phases with additions and alterations made on a number of occasions over time. By implementing a number of internal adjustments and improvements, the existing school building will provide a better learning environment.

Relevant Issues and Options

  1. The school has been working to improve educational facilities and pupil attitude towards learning. Implementing the outlined building and environment improvements will continue to assist in providing an improved educational and community facility.
  2. Consultation has taken place with the school on the recommendations for the site, together with discussions on what is, and is not, possible to carry out within a live school building. Cabinet is requested to consider and approve the list of scheduled works as attached in Appendix A to be funded through the capital programme.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

  1. Cabinet is being requested to include the sum of £210,000 in the 2015/16 Capital Programme with an additional £690,000 to be included in the 2016/17 Capital Programme to fund the identified works. These works will be funded from the School Investment Reserve.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

  1. The proposed works to the school will enhance the learning environment for pupils and increase the effective life span of the building contributing towards the Council's sustainability agenda.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

  1. Contract standing orders will apply given the value of the proposed works.

Crime and Disorder Implications

  1. The refurbishment of the toilets, which follows the design principles adopted at other secondary schools, will increase passive supervision while maintaining privacy and reduce anti-social behaviour in these areas. The external work to the grounds and to the external doors will improve security on the school site.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

  1. The proposal includes the refurbishment of the main entrance to the school buildings and improvements to parking on site which will increase accessibility to the school for the wider community. The refurbishment of the pupil toilets will include additional accessible toilets improving facilities for pupils and contributing towards compliance with the Equalities Act 2010.

Corporate/Service Objectives

  1. This report will assist in meeting priority LS1 of the Corporate Plan 2013-17 to implement the School Investment Programme.

Policy Framework and Budget

  1. This is a matter for Executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

  1. Ward member consultation is not applicable.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

  1. Lifelong Learning.

Background Papers

None

Contact Officer

Mark Haynes          School Planning and Buildings Manager

Officers Consulted

Paula Ham          Head of Strategy, Community Learning & Resources

Victoria Davidson          Operational Manager, Legal Services

Jane Wade          Operational Manager, Property

Carolyn Michael          Operational Manager, Finance                               

Responsible Officer:

Jennifer Hill          Director of Learning and Skills

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