Agenda and minutes

Children, Families and Education Select Committee - Thursday, 27th July, 2023 7.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 5 - Civic Centre. View directions

Contact: Ryan Dell  Email:

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


Apologies were received from Councillor Kishan Bhatt with Councillor Philip Corthorne substituting. Apologies were also received from Councillor Rita Judge with Councillor Kamal Kaur substituting.


Declarations of interest in matters coming before this meeting





Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 326 KB


RESOLVED: That the minutes of the previous meeting be agreed



To confirm that the items of business marked as Part I will be considered in Public and that the items marked as Part II will be considered in Private


Twice Yearly School Place Planning pdf icon PDF 1 MB


Officers noted that the School Places Planning report was one that was presented to the Select Committee twice per year.


It was noted that the forecasted need for school places had been in line with recent years, and there had been no big swings. Therefore, the need for school places was as predicted.


There had been a gradual reduction in need for Primary School places, while there was a high and rising demand for Secondary School places. There was a challenge of meeting the demand for children with additional needs, but officers were working with parents, carers and schools to meet this need. It was a statutory duty to ensure a sufficiency of school places.


In Primary Schools, there had been a gradual decline in the termly census returns since January 2019, however there had been an increase in the recent January 2023 census. Officers were working closely with schools over Published Admission Numbers (PAN).


For Secondary Schools, a correction was made to the report, whereby Secondary Schools were expected to see an increase in demand for the next four years at least (the correction was that this did not apply to year 7 only). There had been a peak for September 2023 for year 7 projections. There were bulge classes of 101 extra places in a small number of Secondary Schools.


Specialist provision was at capacity. Officers were also working with the Department for Education (DfE) and specialist providers to increase the provision to accommodate the growth.


Members referenced previous suggestions around a new Secondary School. Officers noted that there was a question of finding a suitable site for any new school. Officers were confident of being able to meet the need, whilst also providing value for money. It was noted that a new secondary school would cost tens of millions of pounds to build. However, the forecast was always under review. Members further noted consideration for pupils who move into the Borough and also increases in primary school numbers.


Members congratulated officers on managing the service, and asked how officers were working with schools. Officers noted that they liaised regularly with schools and considered the school census, finances and Published Admission Numbers. The schools estate was constantly being reviewed.


Members also asked about the big picture and noted that there were falling school rolls in inner London. Officers noted that forecasting needed to be kept under regular review. The COVID-19 pandemic and Brexit had affected ‘where to live’ choices. However, there was a strong Hillingdon economy, and Hillingdon was a Borough that people wanted to come to. It was noted that the birth rate was slowing slightly.


Members noted that Hillingdon was a net exporter of year 7 pupils due to parental preference, and asked how officers were supporting schools to be competitive and to be parents’ first preference. Officers noted that Hillingdon school had good Ofsted outcomes. Officers also noted the partnership model of working with schools. There were also education advisors to look at data outcomes  ...  view the full minutes text for item 19.


Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 224 KB


Members asked about the SEND Strategy. Officers clarified that the Forward Plan within the agenda was the July Forward Plan, which listed the SEND Strategy as a Cabinet Member decision expected in July. The August and September Forward Plan had been shared with Members and listed the SEND Strategy as expected in August. Members asked if this item would come to Select Committee and officers noted that it already had come to Select Committee in November 2022, where comments were submitted to Cabinet.


RESOLVED: That the Children, Families and Education Select Committee noted the Forward Plan



Work Programme pdf icon PDF 171 KB


Members asked about starting the next review. It was noted that this process could begin as the current review was coming to its conclusion. Members also suggested an item at a future Committee on how school places/ projections are used, and also an item from the School Improvement Team.


RESOLVED: That the Committee noted the Work Programme