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There were no apologies for absence.
Declarations of Members' Interests
Councillor Horton declared a non-prejudicial interest in that she is Vice-Chair of Governors at Craneswater Junior School. Councillor Tom Coles declared a non-prejudicial interest in that he is a member of the Penbridge Academy Advisory Board.
Purpose of report
This report sets out the outcome of the statutory consultation which was undertaken between 16 January 2023 and 13 February 2023 on the proposal to close the Inclusion Centre for children with special educational needs (SEND) at Portsdown Primary School.
RECOMMENDED - the Cabinet Member:
a) Consider the response to the statutory consultation carried out on the proposal to close the Inclusion Centre at Portsdown Primary School
b) Authorise the Director for Children, Families and Education to implement the proposal so that the Inclusion Centre at Portsdown Primary School closes at midnight on 31 August 2023.
The report was introduced by Alison Critchley, Head of Sufficiency & Resources. No comments or feedback had been received during the formal representation period which ran from 16 January to 13 February 2023 so as per the proposal it was proposed to close the Inclusion Centre at the end of the school year on 31 August 2023. Alison confirmed that a lot of work had been done with children and families affected to ensure there was a smooth transition and that all the children had an appropriate school place from September 2023.
Councillor Coles had already commented on the proposals. He was happy to proceed with the recommendation as the Inclusion Centre would be replaced by a larger Inclusion Centre in the centre of the city. The Cabinet Member agreed and looked forward to seeing the new centre open.
The Cabinet Member thanked officers for their reports for all the portfolio's meetings in the municipal year, not just the current one. She also thanked Councillor Coles for being a great opposition spokesperson. Councillor Coles thanked officers and the Cabinet Member for their help and support and he would hopefully return to the portfolio once he had completed his year as Lord Mayor.