Report from the Strategic Director of Children and Young People’s Services.
1. That Cabinet notes the progress and additional capital funding provided to support the opening of the specialist Social, Emotional, Mental Health (SEMH) Free School in the Borough.
Consideration was given to the report which provided an update on progress towards the opening of a specialist Social, Emotional, Mental Health (SEMH) Free School in Rotherham. In November 2020, Cabinet had approved the proposal to develop the school and re-build Newman Upper School. In 2021, the Regional School Commissioner made the decision to award the Free School to a preferred Multi-Academy Trust. However, following the due diligence process, the decision was taken not to proceed. Following work between the Council and Department for Education, the decision was made in February 2022 to award the Free School to Ethos Academy Trust with a view to opening in September 2022.
In June 2022, a pre-opening inspection was held at the Dinnington site and assessed the site suitability against the statutory school building requirements, health and safety and Ofsted assessed that all statutory policies and key curriculum requirement were in place. All requirements were successfully met. The new school is to be named Elements Academy.
There had been a number of refurbishments to the site and costs identified have created a budget pressure and increase of capital investment to £3.043m from the original identified budget of £2.2m. This was due to increase in the costs of materials and labour due to external market conditions; increase in adaptation works needed to the building due to Ethos Academy Trust requests to deliver their specific SEMH educational model; building issues; and increase in programme costs caused by moving to an alternative academy provider.
The Assistant Director, Education and Inclusion explained the first group of students had begun to access the school.
1. That Cabinet note the progress and additional capital funding provided to support the opening of the specialist Social, Emotional, Mental Health (SEMH) Free School in the Borough.