Agenda and minutes

Special Meeting, Wormwood Scrubs Charitable Trust Committee - Monday, 10th July, 2017 9.30 am

Venue: Linford Christie Outdoor Sports Centre

Contact: David Abbott  Tel: 020 8753 2063

No. Item


Apologies for absence


There were no apologies for absence.


Declarations of interest

If a Councillor has a disclosable pecuniary interest in a particular item, whether or not it is entered in the Authority’s register of interests, or any other significant interest which they consider should be declared in the public interest, they should declare the existence and, unless it is a sensitive interest as defined in the Member Code of Conduct, the nature of the interest at the commencement of the consideration of that item or as soon as it becomes apparent.


At meetings where members of the public are allowed to be in attendance and speak, any Councillor with a disclosable pecuniary interest or other significant interest may also make representations, give evidence or answer questions about the matter.  The Councillor must then withdraw immediately from the meeting before the matter is discussed and any vote taken.


Where Members of the public are not allowed to be in attendance and speak, then the Councillor with a disclosable pecuniary interest should withdraw from the meeting whilst the matter is under consideration. Councillors who have declared other significant interests should also withdraw from the meeting if they consider their continued participation in the matter would not be reasonable in the circumstances and may give rise to a perception of a conflict of interest.


Councillors are not obliged to withdraw from the meeting where a dispensation to that effect has been obtained from the Audit, Pensions and Standards Committee.


There were no declarations of interest.


Approval for a temporary school on the RedGra at Wormwood Scrubs


Steve Batcheler, Project Director - Education & Skills Funding Agency, informed the committee of the need to build a temporary school for the pupils of Kensington Aldridge Academy following the fire at Grenfell Tower.


David Benson, Principal of Kensington Aldridge Academy, addressed the committee and talked about the fall-out of the fire. All of his pupils live within half a mile of the school (and by extension, the tower) so many were affected by the tragic events of that night. It was important for them to open the school (temporarily relocated to Latymer Upper School and Burlington Danes) as soon as they could, to provide a sense of normality. They held emotional, but cathartic, assemblies – and had educational psychologists to provide trauma management support to those who needed it. The children’s education was remarkably unaffected – attendance was in the 90s. Most pupils were dealing with the situation well but around ten percent were experiencing varying levels of post-traumatic stress. Counselling and support was being provided for them.


Until recently it was thought that the school site could reopen relatively soon, but the scale and complexity of the forensic investigation at the tower would take a significant amount of time – then the tower had to be wrapped, demolished, the air quality passed as safe. Beyond that the school had to be cleaned, fire tested, and prepared for the pupils’ return. It was thought that this process would take two terms – up to April 2018.


David acknowledged that there would be some challenges having two large secondary schools within 250 yards of each other – particularly around arriving in the morning and leaving at the end of the day. However, he felt the issues were manageable. He gave assurances that there would be a senior staff presence outside the school during these times. He promised that the school would be responsive and would deal with any issues as soon as they arrive and they would engage actively with the local community. They would also be receiving additional money from the Education & Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) for support and alternative provision for the few pupils who had challenging behaviour etc.


Stephen Waley-Cohen asked how many pupils the temporary school would cater for. David said there would be 960 students.


Steve Batcheler said the ESFA had looked at a number of site options. The initial choice was using the sports fields at Burlington Danes Academy but it would have removed the use of the fields for a whole year so was rejected. It quickly became apparent that the RedGra at Wormwood Scrubs was the best available option. He said the ESFA would leave the site in a better condition than it was now – and they would consult on how best to achieve that. Steve took a moment to thank Dave McNamara and Council colleagues for the ‘unprecedented’ level of support for the project.


Phoebe Leach, Technical Consultant – Mace, took the committee through the proposal presentation. She highlighted the following  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.