Local Authorities are under a statutory duty to ensure that there are sufficient school places in their area. The Place Planning Team fulfils this statutory duty as set out in the Education Act 1996, added to by Section 2 of the Education and Inspections Act 2006 to secure sufficient primary and secondary schools (including having regard for the need to secure Special Education Needs Provision for pupils with SEN).
The team complete the mandatory School Capacity Collection (SCAP Return) for the Department of Education on an annual basis. The SCAP return provides school level data for every school in the Borough, including Number on Roll (NOR), Planned Admission Number (PAN), Net Capacity and Pupil Projections. All of this data and information is used to determine where school places are needed.
The team, on behalf of the Local Authority ensures statutory legislation, namely (Schedule 14 of the Education Act 2011) is adhered to.
Specifically for the following functions;
Alteration or expansion of maintained schools
Transfer of land on the change of a school category (e.g. from a community school to a trust or academy)
Closure of maintained schools
Disposal of land on school sites
The team reviews all Primary, Secondary and Special School Places against the demand. It identifies areas of shortfall and surplus to enable appropriate places to be commissioned, ensuring the local authority meets its statutory duty to provide sufficient places.