Expansion Consultation

Overview

KAA, working in partnership with the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC), wishes to expand its pupil allocation number (PAN) in Years 7-11 and at sixth form. We want to increase our Year 7 PAN from 180 to 210, and our sixth form from 240 to 270. We are proposing to phase this expansion over a five year period, starting in September 2023.

This is considered a “significant change” and we must consult locally in line with guidance from the Department of Education (DfE). This overview gives further detail of the proposals that may be of interest for parents, residents, and other local schools.

The consultation period runs from Tuesday 22nd February 2022 to noon on Monday 4th April 2022.

Click here for a letter which outlines the proposals to parents

Click here for a letter which outlines the proposals for the wider community

Answers to frequently asked questions can be found below.

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why is there a need for more school places in RBKC?

An RBKC analysis from July 2021 revealed the following:

·         Student numbers are already 2.1% above capacity – with significantly increased overcapacity forecast.

·         Student numbers across the borough are predicted to peak in 2023/24 at up to 200 above current levels. Numbers should then reduce back to current levels by 2027/28.

·         All RBKC schools are currently fully subscribed, with an overall excess of 2.1% compared to capacity.

·         In response to these capacity issues RBKC was allocated £4.9M in “basic needs funding” by the DfE, some of which is being used to part fund this expansion programme.

·         Even allowing for falling birth rates and uncertainties caused by Brexit and Covid, demand for secondary school places in RBKC is likely to continue due to the high proportion of other-borough students in RBKC schools (currently 42% of the cohort are resident in other boroughs).

Will there be changes to the admissions criteria?

We are not proposing to link any admissions change to this expansion – KAA will remain a community school for local children.

What happens next?

This consultation will run from Tuesday 22nd February 2022 to Monday 4th April 2022 at noon. As the consultation progresses we will update the FAQ document on our website. Consultation responses will then be considered by the KAA Board of Trustees and they will consider what changes we need to make to our proposals. If Trustees then decide to proceed with the expansion then a business case will be submitted to the Regional Schools Commissioner, as required under Department of Education guidance.

How will pupil numbers be affected?

Although KAA’s current official “Pupil Allocation Number” (PAN) is 1,140, we have had more students than this in school for many years now. This is in response to the high demand for places locally, and the economies of scale that being a larger school brings. This policy of going “above PAN” is common in West London – most successful academies will do a version of it – as it keeps schools financially secure.

A breakdown of current and future numbers is below:


Under the new arrangements we do not expect to go over PAN in the same way – instead the PAN and the reality will be matched more closely.

Will the look and feel of the school change?

The proposed site of the extra classrooms is the 3rd Floor Art Terrace, on the Silchester Road side of the school. To compensate for the loss of the terrace, we are planning a new outdoor communal area on the roof. A new staircase and toilets will also be added internally.

KAA is lucky to have a distinctive building which people in our area know well. The overall look and feel of our building will not change as a result of these works. The new classrooms will be in keeping with the current design, and the outward appearance of the building won’t be altered in any sigfnciant way.

Where is the planning permission and planning consultation?

Please note this is not a planning consultation. RBKC will handle all planning matters separately, and there will be detailed analysis on all possible impacts on residents. Full designs and specifications for the project will be shared, and people will be able to respond formally. This letter is an initial communication to make our parent community aware and gauge the level of support for the expansion.

How will it be paid for?

We anticipate the total cost of the new classrooms will be £4 million. The project has already secured a total of £3 million in funding from RBKC, and we are bidding to the Department of Education for the remaining capital.

What effect will the proposed building have on the education of existing students, either during the redevelopment, or after the extension is completed?

Current students will continue their education as normal during the building process. After the extension is complete, existing students will have a wider range of subjects available to them after they sit their GCSEs, so enabling a higher proportion to stay on into the sixth form.

Will the proposal have any implications on the pupil-teacher ratios at the school?

Pupil-teacher ratios at KAA are significantly better than the national average and we expect this to continue. The extension will bring more students into KAA and hence higher revenue. This will be used to protect and even improve our current pupil-teacher ratio.

What further subjects are likely to be available after the extension is complete?

Our current plans are to deliver T levels in Science, Media, Broadcast & Production and Digital Production, Design and Development.

Will the increase in size of year groups at years 7-11 adversely affect pastoral support with the school?

No. KAA has very strong pastoral support for students and this will continue, and will be supported by more staff funded by the increased revenue.

How will the school ensure there is still sufficient play/recreational space for students?

The planning application includes a relocation of the lost play and social space on the current third floor terrace to a new area on the current roof of the school.

How will the school ensure that the dining room is able to cater for the additional students during lunch times?

Additional catering space will be developed on the terrace adjacent to the current Multi Use Games Area. This will ease pressure on the main dining room.

How will the school prevent overcrowding in corridors and communal areas at times such as lesson changeovers?

All staff at KAA carry out break and lunch duties to ensure easy and safe movement around the school and this will continue. There will be more students but equally there will be more staff for supervision and more corridor space.

Will additional students bring additional traffic to an already crowed local area?

Nearly all of our students live in the local area and walk to school. Only a very small number come by car so we do not see this as being an issue.

How will contractor access be managed during the building process to ensure there are no health and safety issues?

Our contractors will work with the local authority to ensure minimal disruption. Health and Safety considerations will always be given the highest priority.

How will this scheme affect any long term plans for Grenfell Tower?

Our scheme does not relate to any planning around Grenfell, as it is based on the opposite side of the school (Silchester Road).

How will the proposed building of a residential block of up to 9 floors in Silchester Road affect this scheme?

The residential block is close to our proposed development, but we do not anticipate that there will be any issues even if both schemes are developed at the same time given they are separate and unrelated.

Why can’t KAA develop its temporary site in Scrubs Lane W12 – (KAA2) – rather than extend its main site?

The temporary site is not owned by KAA and is also in another borough. There are strict planning consent restrictions on what can be done at the temporary site and it is not practical to consider building a school there. Also all staff and students need to be based in one building for the timetable to function smoothly.

How will the new scheme ensure it uses the most carbon neutral construction processes and the most environmentally efficient heating and power systems?

The planning process will include environmental and sustainability assessments and these will form an important part of the final design.