Report from the Strategic Director for Children and Young People’s Services.
1. That Cabinet note that there are no representations in relation to the statutory consultation or public notice.
2. That Cabinet approve the proposal to close the Rowan Centre PRU.
3. That Cabinet approve that the Department for Education be formally notified of the intention to close Rowan Centre PRU.
4. Delegate authority to the Strategic Director of Children and Young Peoples Services to invite formal expressions of interest to take forward long term usage of the site.
Consideration was given to the report submitted which was a follow up to reports to Cabinet on 21st November, 2022, and 20th February, 2023, where approval was granted to enter into a period of pre-statutory and statutory consultation on the proposal to close the Rowan Centre Pupil Referral Unit following the Department for Education (DfE) prescribed process.
The report outlined that Elements Academy was established under the Department for Educations (DfE) Free School presumption procedure and opened in September 2022 as a new Academy for pupils with Education, Health, and Care Plans (EHCPs) with a presenting need of Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH). Elements Academy was situated on the old College site at Dinnington.
All pupils who attended the Rowan Centre Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) had transferred to Elements Academy as a special school specialising in supporting the SEMH presenting need of pupils, and this has been facilitated by amendments to individual pupils EHCPs.
Teaching, support, and ancillary staff who worked at the Rowan Centre PRU, had also transferred to Elements Academy to ensure a continuity of education and support for pupils. Subsequently Rowan Centre PRU has now been completely vacated.
The report of 20th February, 2023, gained approval to commence the statutory processes prescribed by DfE to bring forward proposals to formally close Rowan Centre PRU, following DfE Statutory Guidance for Proposers and Decision makers 2019 – Opening and Closing Maintained Schools. Should the proposal be approved, the site would become available for other educational purposes. It was noted that a period of pre-statutory and formal statutory consultation was undertaken with a wide range of stakeholders during which no representations has been made.
The recommendations were then proposed and seconded.
The Leader asked, given that no representations had been made, whether the Council could be reassured that all voices had been heard. The Cabinet heard that there had been a significant amount of consultation with stakeholders, together with public notices and coverage in the local media.
2. Approved the proposal to close the Rowan Centre PRU.
3. Approved that the Department for Education be formally notified of the intention to close Rowan Centre PRU.
4. Delegated authority to the Strategic Director of Children and Young Peoples Services to invite formal expressions of interest to take forward long term usage of the site.