School Enlargement Process

Expanding a Mainstream School

Governing Bodies of all categories of mainstream school can expand (physical enlargement of premises) without following a formal statutory process. However the Department for Education still expects Governing Bodies will follow a fair and objective process, as outlined below, in three stages.

Governing Bodies should ensure:

  • they liaise with the LA and trustees/diocese (if any) to ensure that, where possible, a proposal is aligned with wider place planning/organisational arrangements, and that any necessary consents have been gained.
  • they have secured necessary capital funding;
  • they have identified suitable accommodation and sites;
  • they have secured planning permission and/or agreement on the transfer of land where necessary;
  • they have the consent of the site trustees, or other land owner where the land is not owned by the Governing Body;
  • they have the consent of the relevant religious authorities, as required;
  • the Devon Schools Admissions Team is content for the Planned Admission Number to be changed where this forms part of the expansion plans, in accordance with the Schools Admissions Code and
  • that any school travel plans are up-to-date.

Governing Bodies should ensure effective consultation with parents and other interested parties to gauge demand for their proposed changes and provide sufficient opportunity to give their views, and for the Governing Body to take into account all relevant considerations.

It is recommended that Governing Bodies should:

  • consult for a period of six weeks;
  • consult during term time, rather than school holidays;
  • take the admissions cycle into account for changes that will impact on the school’s admission arrangements;
  • consider holding a consultation meeting with parents, staff and other stakeholders;
  • produce a consultation document. A template brochure is provided here;
  • directly share the consultation document with all parents (current and prospective), staff and governors at the school and any school Trustees;
  • publish the consultation document on the school’s website and
  • consider displaying consultation details in local public places, i.e. local library, post office and notifying local residents.

The Local Authority will, on your behalf:

  • share the consultation document with all schools in Devon, the Chair of your Local Learning Community, Diocese (if applicable), Unions, MP, District and County Councillors, Town or Parish Council;
  • publish the consultation document on the DCC Have Your Say public consultation website.

After the consultation period has ended the Governing Body should:

  • review any responses received;
  • ensure the decision is fully minuted at a governor’s meeting and forward the minutes to the Local Authority;
  • notify parents (current and prospective), staff and governors at the school and any school Trustees;
  • should publish the decision on the school’s website and
  • update the school’s EduBase entry.

The Local Authority will, on your behalf:

  • notify all schools in Devon, the Chair of your Local Learning Community, Diocese (if applicable), Unions, MP, District and County Councillors, Town or Parish Council and
  • publish the decision on the DCC Have Your Say public consultation website.