15 MARCH 2022


Report of the Corporate Director – Children and Young People’s Service

Appendices A, B and C of this report contain exempt information of the type defined in paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).

1.0          PURPOSE OF REPORT


1.1          To brief the Executive on the progress of the 2018-21 Basic Need programme and to seek approval for further investments in 2022-25.




2.1          Under his delegated decision making powers in the Officers’ Delegation Scheme in the Council’s Constitution, the Chief Executive Officer has power, in cases of emergency, to take any decision which could be taken by the Council, the Executive or a committee. Following on from the expiry of the Local Authorities and Police and Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority and Police and Crime Panel Meetings) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020, which allowed for committee meetings to be held remotely, the County Council resolved at its meeting on 5 May 2021 that, for the present time, in light of the continuing Covid-19 pandemic circumstances, remote live-broadcast committee meetings should continue (as informal meetings of the Committee Members), with any formal decisions required being taken by the Chief Executive Officer under his emergency decision making powers and after consultation with other Officers and Members as appropriate and after taking into account any views of the relevant Committee Members. This approach will be reviewed again at the Council AGM on 18 May 2022.


2.2          A £44m capital programme for 2018-2021 was approved by the Executive on 24 July 2018 for the provision of additional school places. This is funded from a combination of Basic Need Grant and developer contributions.


2.3          This programme is delivered in line with the requirements for school places. The position is changeable and re-prioritisation within the programme has been required. Some schemes have had to be advanced ahead of expectations and others have been subject to slippage, and both as a result of uncertainty over the speed of housing development. 


2.4          The overall programme has been reviewed and priorities for further additional places up to 2024/25 are identified in this report.


2.5          Despite the changing education landscape there is full expectation that the statutory responsibility for place planning will continue to rest with local authorities, so Basic Need Grant is fully expected to continue to be the primary source of funding for new school places.




3.1       Basic Need Grant

            Basic Need grant is not time-limited and so can be carried forward, if unspent, at the end of each financial year without risk of claw-back.  It is based on the DfE’s assessment of need derived from local authority data submitted annually via the School Capacity return (SCAP):



LA Basic Need 2015/16


LA Basic Need 2016/17


LA Basic Need 2017/18


LA Basic Need 2018/19


LA Basic Need 2019/20


LA Basic Need 2020/21 (announced in 2019)


LA Basic Need 2021/22 (announced in 2020)


LA Basic Need 2022/23 (announced Feb 2021)


Total 2015-2023



3.2       The allocation of Basic Need Grant for 2023/24 is expected to be announced in the next three months.


3.3       The amounts for individual years may appear different to those originally announced, and contained in earlier Basic Need Programme reports, due to occasions when the Department have paid the grant in advance. The overall total is unaffected by this.


3.4       Other Funding Streams for school places and/or educational provision

            The Council receives an annual allocation of school condition grant for capital maintenance and suitability projects at Community, Voluntary Controlled and Foundation Schools for whom NYCC is the responsible body. The 2021/22 programme of investments was approved by Executive on 8 June 2021. The allocation of School condition grant totalled £9.78m for 2021/22, but it included £3.41m of transitional funding as the DfE moved to implementing a new methodology. It has now been confirmed that the amount of transitional protection will reduce by 25% per annum between 2022-23 and 2025-26, at which point no protection will remain.


3.5       The authority received a High Needs Provision Capital allocation of £716K for 2021/22. There is expectation this will become an annual funding stream and the funding announcement for 2022/23 is awaited. These funds are to be deployed to meet the priorities for SEND developments under the SEND Strategic Plan.




4.1       A consultation is currently being undertaken on the County Council’s approach to estate management of schools. All North Yorkshire schools and Councillors have been consulted. The consultation closes on 18 March 2022, and it is anticipated the feedback will be presented to Executive in April 2022 for consideration prior to the adoption of the 2022/23 Schools Capital Programme.


4.2       The consultation seeks views on the proposed strategic priorities for investment:

        Maintain school place sufficiency – provide additional school places as the need arises

        Ensure the safety and security of all school estate users – supporting schools with their delegated responsibility for health and safety

        Maintain the school estate - invest in capital maintenance to ensure that facilities remain fit-for-purpose

        Modernise and improve school estate facilities - help young people achieve by ensuring their accommodation is to modern standards

        Improve SEND provision - addressing the needs identified in the SEND Strategic Plan

        Sustain and improve schools through re-organisation of provision where appropriate

        Improve Accessibility where appropriate – support investment in facilities to enable access by children with medical or mobility needs

        Contribute to the Council’s target of achieving net carbon neutrality by 2030, or as near to that date as possible.


4.3       Maintaining school place sufficiency will always be a strategic priority for the County Council in line with the statutory duty.




5.1          In July 2018 the Executive approved a £44m investment programme in new primary school places to meet rising demand. This was funded through a combination of Basic Need Grant and developer contributions.


5.2          Fourteen additional capacity projects from the three year programme for 2018-21 have been completed since the last report to Executive in July 2018, with an investment requirement totalling £24.1m:


        Cambrai Primary School, Catterick

        Carleton Endowed Primary School

        Hambleton CE Primary School

        Harrogate Grammar School

        Keeble Gateway Academy, Sowerby

        Killinghall Primary School (phase 2)

        Malton St Mary’s RC Primary School

        Malton School

        Oatlands Junior School, Harrogate

        Overdale Community Primary School

        Rossett School

        Selby Community Primary School

        Sherburn Hungate Primary School

        Staynor Hall CP Academy (phase 2)


5.3       The individual project costs and funding sources are shown at private Appendix A.  Four of these projects were added to the Programme mid-cycle to meet demands, and reported through the capital monitoring arrangements. These were the projects at Carleton Endowed Primary School, Harrogate Grammar School, Rossett School and the phase two works at Staynor Hall CP Academy.


5.4       Two of the projects were the new free schools delivered by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) at Catterick and Sowerby respectively. In each case the LA financial involvement was largely to passport the relevant developer contribution amounts to the ESFA.


5.5       There were also four schemes that were delivered by academy trusts in partnership with the County Council. These were the projects at, Oatlands Junior School, Harrogate Grammar School (both Red Kite Learning Trust), Rossett School (Rossett School Trust) and Staynor Hall CP Academy (Ebor Academy Trust).


5.6       The most significant projects delivered by the County Council in this past period were the expansions at Sherburn Hungate Primary School and Overdale Community Primary School, the latter achieved by relocation to a new site.


5.7       Four proposed projects originally included in the 2018-21 programme have not been required to proceed as the anticipated demand has not yet transpired. It is proposed the Basic Need provision for the four schemes is re-prioritised to schemes that are expected, based on best available information, to address more immediate priorities. These are the schemes originally intended for East Ayton Community Primary School, Lindhead School, Masham CE Primary School and primary provision for North Scarborough. In addition, the proposed scheme for Olympia Park at Barlby has been removed from the new programme as this development is no longer progressing. Private Appendix B identifies all of the original 2018-21 schemes that either remain incomplete, or have been removed from the programme since the last report to Executive in July 2018.


5.8       Twelve schemes that were either originally identified in the 2018-21 programme, or added to it mid-cycle, have been carried forward to the new 2022-25 programme with uplifted budgets in some cases (private Appendix C). In addition it is proposed to make provision for six new schemes to be added to the programme. The required delivery timescale of most of these projects remains uncertain as they are linked to proposed new housing developments.


5.9       It is proposed that provision is made for projects, or potential projects, at:


        Barlby CP School – BNG and developer contributions

        Easingwold CP School – Developer contributions only

        East Ayton CP School - Developer contributions only

        Greatwood CP School - BNG and developer contributions

        Harrogate West Primary - BNG and developer contributions

        Kirkbymoorside CP School - BNG and developer contributions

        Lindhead School - Developer contributions only

        Malton Town Primary - Developer contributions only

        Manse Farm, Knaresborough - BNG and developer contributions

        Masham CE VA Primary School - Developer contributions only

        North Northallerton - BNG and developer contributions

        North Scarborough - Developer contributions only


New inclusions

        Kirk Fenton CE Primary School - Developer contributions only

        Norton Lodge – Small BNG allocation for feasibility as required

        Ripon Primary - Small BNG allocation for feasibility as required

        Ripon Secondary - Small BNG allocation for feasibility as required

        South Craven School – Small BNG allocation for feasibility as required

        Tockwith CE Primary School - Developer contributions only


5.10     Where a scheme is showing as ‘Developer contributions only’ this means there is current uncertainty of the need for a project and/or the required delivery date, such that it is not yet a requirement to commit Basic Need Grant in the 2022-25 programme. These areas will be kept closely under review. Alternatively, it can mean that a project is more likely to proceed but is thought affordable within the contribution sum available.


5.11     Provision is made within the new programme to take forward a number of large scale projects which are directly associated with significant housing developments that are either ongoing, or appear to have some certainty of delivery:

               North Northallerton Development Area

               Manse Farm, Knaresborough

               Norton Lodge, Norton

               Ripon Barracks development

               West of Harrogate development


5.12     However, no financial commitments are yet included for proposed developments that are at an earlier stage including:

               South Cayton strategic area

               Maltkiln Village – HBC new settlement

               Selby DC – new settlement proposals


5.13     The housing development in North Northallerton is underway. A Free School Presumption route process was completed in spring 2021 with Dales Academies Trust appointed to operate the proposed new school on opening. Unexpected delays with the transfer of land have meant that the target opening date for the school has been revised to September 2024. The assessment of local pupil numbers indicates they are not currently rising by the previously projected rate, which means that the availability of school places is seen to be a manageable situation in the interim period before the new school opens. The budget for the scheme has been uplifted in the new 22-25 programme to allow for construction cost inflation, and also elements of potential re-design to meet revised building regulations and new DfE specification requirements including those for sustainability.


5.14     The housing development at Manse Farm in Knaresborough is underway. A Free School Presumption route process was completed in spring 2021 with Elevate Multi Academy Trust appointed to operate the school on opening. Delays in progress of the housing development site have, in-turn, impacted on the transfer of the school site to the County Council. This means that it is no longer possible to achieve delivery of the new school prior to September 2024. The current assessment of local pupil numbers indicates that the availability of school places is seen to be a manageable situation in the interim period before the new school opens. The budget for the scheme has been uplifted in the new 22-25 programme to allow for construction cost inflation, and also elements of potential re-design to meet revised building regulations and new DfE specification requirements including those for sustainability.


5.15     The County Council previously acted to add necessary capacity to Norton Community Primary School through expansion onto a satellite site. A planning application is underway for the Norton Lodge development site, and this includes provision for education land which is welcomed. However, it is not yet clear to what extent future additional primary school places will be required in Norton as latterly there have been smaller cohorts entering the primary phase. However, this will be kept under review alongside consideration of the development trajectory for the proposed new housing.


5.16     The County Council have been engaged with Harrogate Borough Council and the site promoters over the expected housing development at Ripon Barracks. The current indication is that the proposed new primary school to serve the development would be required to open in September 2026. It is expected that some expenditure would arise in this coming programme period and so an initial funding commitment is proposed for the new programme. The new programme will also include an initial allocation to allow feasibility and project inception work should additional places at Secondary phase become a requirement in Ripon.


5.17     The earlier 2018-21 programme included a commitment for new primary provision arising from proposed new housing to the west of Harrogate. Since that time, the County Council have been engaged with Harrogate Borough Council and the site promoters over the education infrastructure requirements. The current indication is that two new primary schools would be required to serve the development, one north of Otley Road and one to the south.  Although the required opening date of any new provision is currently uncertain it is proposed that the budget allocation is carried forward in its entirety to the new programme.


5.18     A summary of the projects that are being included in the 2022/25 programme, and their budget allocation, is provided at private Appendix C.




6.1          As indicated above the programme remains subject to change with a need to keep pupil forecasts under continuous review. New priorities will emerge as applications for further housing come forward. During 2018/21 it was been necessary to inject a number of projects into the programme mid-cycle, approved via the Quarterly Capital Monitoring process and funded from contingencies, to ensure places were available in time to meet demand. Given previous experience, this could again be a factor in the period of the 2022/25 programme.


6.2          The Council’s established forecasting method uses three year trends to assess which way the numbers might be expected to move and has, to this point, been dependent on birth statistics drawn from the Office of National Statistics (ONS). However, in July 2021, for the first time, the LA was provided (by NHS via the DfE) with access to data identifying by postcode the numbers of Primary aged children registered at GP practices across the County. This, we expect, will provide a greater level of detail for pupil forecast purposes than has previously been possible. A review of how this can best be incorporated into a revised forecasting methodology is expected to be completed during this coming year.


6.3          Over-time the revised ONS demographic data has shown a significantly lower birth rate in some areas. As a result some schemes included in Basic Need programmes have not needed to progress to date. This includes, for example, the earlier provisions made for North Scarborough.




7.1          Moving towards the end of the 2021/22 financial year there are the following uncommitted amounts:



Amount £

Total £



21/22 BNG uncommitted



Allocated to LA in 2020


22/23 BNG uncommitted



Allocated to LA in 2021


Schemes underwritten by Basic Need Grant (BNG) in advance of expected receipt of developer contributions



Contributions expected to be received via signed section 106 agreements at which point BNG can be released back to programme contingency


Receipts of developer contributions currently held in S106 holding account



Contributions received via signed section 106 agreements but held in holding account pending allocation


Corporate County Council funding



Only to be used for future priorities – BNG to be used first


7.2          Of the identified funding available item 3 in the table carries some risk as the developer contribution amounts have not been received. It is entirely normal for projects to require delivery in advance of receipt of the whole amount of developer contribution to which we are entitled. This is due to the staged trigger point arrangements common in agreements for sizeable housing developments. When this arises the project is front funded by Basic Need grant to be ‘re-paid’ to the programme on receipt of the section 106 sums. It is proposed that the overall amount of £4.56m (rising to £5.57m in 22/25) be effectively held as a programme contingency rather than make specific commitments against it at this time.


7.3          Item 5 in the table is Corporate funding with most of the amount agreed by Council In February 2016. The Council at that time agreed to earmark a further £7.5m for the provision of additional primary school places over the coming years. The bulk of this support funding has since been returned to the Corporate Capital Plan. However, c. £2.49m remains in place to underpin the proposed new school to serve the Manse Farm development at Knaresborough. In addition, c. £100k remains unallocated in the Basic Need programme. It is proposed that the commitment be maintained to ensure that some of the larger developments, which may be required in future, can be adequately funded. This funding element will only be utilised as the last resort.


7.4          The proposed 2022/25 programme at Appendix C would see a further £1.595m committed against the available Basic Need grant at items 1 and 2 which total £3.758m.  This therefore leaves £2.163m of the grant unallocated and available to meet the changing demand. Experience from the 2018/21 programme has shown the flexibility to utilise the capital in a flexible way mid-cycle to be advantageous. Table 2 below shows the proposed commitments:




Amount £

Total £

2022/25 Programme Notes


21/22 BNG



Fully committed


22/23 BNG



£0.816 committed

£2.163 uncommitted


Schemes underwritten by Basic Need Grant (BNG) in advance of expected receipt of developer contributions



All uncommitted


Receipts of developer contributions currently held in S106 holding account



All uncommitted


Corporate County Council funding



All uncommitted - only to be used for future priorities – BNG to be used first




8.1          A review of the GP registration data and pupil forecasts is showing that in general there is a recent falling birth rate which will impact on the need for school places in years to come. To what extent this is part of a downward trend or, alternatively, linked to the pandemic and a short-term issue is as yet unclear. The current view is that housing growth and the pupil yield arising is expected to have the most significant impact on the demand for pupil places beyond the current supply from 2025.


Impact of Housing Growth


8.2          There are development proposals for the following areas which could create the need for new school buildings, or wholly new schools and other services, for young people and their families in the coming years:



         South Cayton

         Maltkiln Village (Harrogate BC new settlement)

         North Scarborough

         Selby DC – new settlement

         Skipton town


8.3          Catterick Garrison is the British Army’s largest garrison, comprising over 20 barracks and facilities spread across three civil parishes. Until recently, the MoD were firmly proposing an increase of 3,400 military personnel in order to locate rapid STRIKE brigades in Catterick.  However, the ‘Integrated Review’ of security, defence and foreign policy led the MoD to publish ‘Future Soldier, which involves a substantial reorganisation of the Army.  Although the detailed personnel moves on the Garrison are yet to be mapped, ‘Future Soldier’ indicates the reorganisation will result in no significant net gain in personnel, though there will be significant moves of units in and out. 


8.4       Catterick Garrison is the main area of projected housing growth in the Richmondshire Local Plan. Over 300 service family houses have received planning approval and the Richmondshire Local Plan proposes significant open market housing. There is still some uncertainty about the timing of the proposed service family and open market housing and, therefore, about the timing of the future demand for school places.  However, a new free school primary academy, known as Cambrai, has opened under phased and gradual growth to avoid destabilising existing local primary schools. Cambrai is currently a 1 Form Entry (1FE) school, but has the potential to increase to 2FE should that be required. The current assessment is that no additional school place capacity is likely to be required in the period of this new programme, but this will kept under review.


8.5       The LA has been consulted upon the potential housing allocation of c.2500 homes as part of the South Cayton Strategic Area and the education infrastructure requirement is considered to be one 630 place primary school and education land. Our expectation for delivery of additional secondary places is through the expansion of George Pindar School.


8.6       The LA has been consulted about the potential housing allocation for c.3000 homes as part of the Maltkiln Village development (Hammerton / Cattal area) and our requirement would be for two 420 place primary schools and educational land.  Our expectation for delivery of additional secondary places is through the expansion of Boroughbridge High School.


8.7       There is a significant dichotomy between falling rolls in the central area of Scarborough, compared to the scenario in North Scarborough where we may need additional capacity to mitigate housing growth. This will be kept under review, but it currently appears less likely that we would need to deliver an additional capacity scheme in the short-term period of this coming programme. As such, only developer contributions are included without a current commitment of Basic Need Grant.  


8.8       Selby District Council are proposing a new settlement at either Burn, Church Fenton or Stillingfleet through their Local Plan process and have engaged with County Council Officers in assessing the education infrastructure requirements. Options for other site allocations may also give rise to a need for additional school places or new provision, notably the major allocations proposed at Cross Hills Lane, Selby and at Eggborough.


8.9       There is currently surplus place capacity across the primary sector in Skipton but this is been slowly reduced through the impacts of housing delivery. A proposal is being developed, subject to Planning approval, to expand Greatwood Community Primary School by one form of entry in partnership with Northern Star Academies Trust. The target opening date for the new facilities is September 2024. The potential requirement to add a further one form of entry provision elsewhere in Skipton Town is being kept under review.


8.10     As the housing approvals occur the pupil yield data will be fed into the annual School Capacity return (SCAP) to the DfE which in turn will result in additional allocations of Basic Need Grant. We could also expect some developer contributions to supplement this. However, experience has shown that the combined amounts are often insufficient to meet the actual cost of development. In this context the County Council in 2016 earmarked c.£10m of corporate funding to supplement the available funding to ensure school place sufficiency was maintained. It has not yet become a requirement to call upon that corporate funding and most of it has subsequently been removed from the programme. However, it should be noted there could be future funding challenges ahead should all of the potential infrastructure requirements arising from proposed new housing come to fruition.




9.1          The Free Schools programme has previously been beneficial to LAs in that successful applications made by sponsors to the ESFA to create new free schools are centrally funded, such that the ESFA meets the site acquisition and capital investment costs.  In North Yorkshire we have seen two successful bids for Catterick and Sowerby. These were included in Wave 12 of the programme. The value of this to the LA is uncertain but a conservative estimate would be c. £9m. The once anticipated level of Basic Need Grant expenditure for these two sites was greatly reduced, and largely the County Council were only required to passport the relevant developer contributions to the ESFA.


9.2          Unlike earlier versions, Wave 13 and Wave 14 were targeted free school programmes that sought to prioritise areas which had the lowest standards and lowest capacity to improve. NYCC did not fare well by this measure and could not access the free school programme for our priority areas for growth in Knaresborough and Northallerton.


9.3          Should Wave 13 and Wave 14 be typical of any future waves then this avenue of funding will be denied to the LA increasing the demands on our Basic Need Grant and potentially our corporate funding. In the absence of any Government announcements to the contrary, the working assumption is therefore that any future new school requirement will have to be approached via a Free School presumption route process where the delivery and funding responsibility rests with the LA. With delivery of a one form entry primary school costing in the region of £5m - £6m, and with a potential requirement for several new schools county-wide, this could be a significant issue for the County Council over the medium to long term.


9.4          Cost inflation is currently an issue in the construction sector and the impact of this is beginning to be felt by the Council in delivering our education projects. There is a risk that the funding per place that is provided by the DfE will not keep pace with the market costs. This adds to the existing concern around the adequacy of grant funding as it already does not take account of any abnormal factors experienced with project delivery, for example poor ground conditions. The mitigation measures required to make development acceptable in planning terms can be significant and, again, this is not factored into grant funding.


9.5          Historically there have been two main sources of funding for school places.  The first is Basic Need Grant which comes from central government via the ESFA, and the second is contributions from developers where housing generates the need for additional school places.


9.6          The County Council has for many years, as expected by the DfE, had a policy of aiming to secure contributions towards education provision wherever possible. In 2020 the County Council consulted on a revised policy for developer contributions for education which was subsequently approved by Executive and implemented from 1 July 2020. The changes adopted ensured the policy complied with DfE expectations, including use of their preferred cost per place methodology.


9.7          The proposed 2022/25 Programme is supported by approximately £11m of s.106 showing the importance of this funding source. However, where Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) has been adopted this can introduce uncertainty that the school place need arising from a housing scheme will be supported by developer contributions.




10.1       Although the County Council supports school autonomy and will continue to work with Academies in North Yorkshire, these changes create challenges in discharging our statutory duty to ensure an adequate supply of good school places, enshrined within the Education Act 1996 and retained in subsequent legislation. The LA’s role is shifting to become a ‘commissioner’ of school places and in future we will need to work in a very different way. Negotiating solutions with a range of providers will need to be carefully managed or it could become increasingly challenging to shape and maintain the stability of the education system. The risk is that failing to do so could either lead to a significant shortfall of places, or exacerbate over-supply, which could make the viability and/or sustainability of some schools a critical issue.


10.2       Although LAs receive Basic Need funding for all categories of school they cannot at present compel an Academy to expand to meet increased need for places. Although this has not yet presented any difficulty whatsoever in North Yorkshire there is a clear need to develop joint strategies between LA and Academy Trusts in areas of growth.


10.3       There is an expectation from DfE that new school places will only be provided in those schools rated either Good or Outstanding by Ofsted. LAs are closely monitored on this measure. The County Council supports this principle and will seek to comply wherever possible. However, given the rural nature of large parts of the County there could be times when our obligation to maintain place sufficiency may have to take precedence over quality i.e. where only a single school serves a large area.


11.0     LEGAL IMPLICATIONS        


11.1     The County Council has a statutory duty to ensure sufficient school places are available for every child under the Education Act 1996.  This programme is the key means of meeting that duty.




12.1     Executive Members are asked to recommend to the Chief Executive Officer that using his emergency delegated powers he approve the proposed 2022/25 programme of Basic Need Grant investments to meet the requirement for additional mainstream school places.



Corporate Director – Children and Young People’s Service





1 March 2022


Author of report – Andrew Dixon, Strategic Planning Manager


Background documents

Executive Report – 24 July 2018 – Basic Need Programme 2018-21

Executive Report – 9 June 2020 – Developer contributions for education


Exempt Appendices:

Appendix A – Completed schemes

Appendix B – Current budget provisions

Appendix C – Proposed Basic Need Programme 2022-25