Our ref: SOT10166/DET
Date: 30th June 2021
Letter by email to:
Skilts Special School
Chair of Governors – Moira Gilligan (IEB Chair)
Head Teacher – Mel Keating
Office of the Schools Adjudicator
Jonathan Vesey – Archdiocese of Birmingham
Toni Guest – Archdiocese of Birmingham
Determination: Proposal to Permanently Alter the Age Range of Skilts
Special School from aged 5 – 11 years to 5 -14 years
I am writing to advise you that on 30th June 2021 Birmingham City Council, as the Local
Authority, in exercise of the powers conferred on it, has determined to implement the proposal,
The Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Culture has approved the proposal to:
- Permanently Alter the Age Range of Skilts Special School from aged 5 – 11 years to 5 –
- With effect from 31st August 2021 (modified from the date consulted upon of 1st
Full details of the proposal and link to the decision report can be found via the consultation
Should you need any further information, please do not hesitate to contact the Education
Infrastructure – Property Management Team using the details below.
Head of Education Infrastructure
Birmingham City Council
PO Box 15843
1 Lancaster Circus
Tel: 0121 303 8847
16th June 2021
I hope that this letter finds you and your family well.
Sometime ago you were notified of a change of term dates (see attached form). This information has also been available on our school website via this link:
Please take particular note of:
- Early Summer finish for pupils on Friday 9thJuly 2021.
This early finish is required for staff to pack up the current Skilts school. As you can imagine this is quite an undertaking.
AUTUMN TERM RESTART at LEA HALL ACADEMY
- Later start date of Monday 13thSeptember 2021.
This later start date is required to allow staff time to unpack and set up the environment at the new Lea Hall Site.
I will write to you next week with further information about the school move, ongoing arrangements and support.
Thanks in advance for your support.
21 June 2021
Dear Parents & Carers
Lea Hall Academy School Uniform
As you are aware Skilts School is moving to a new site in Kitts Green, Birmingham, and will become Lea Hall Academy on 1 September 2021.
Lea Hall Academy will have a brand new uniform, and as a gesture of goodwill, the Trust will provide each pupil with a free sweatshirt and poloshirt with the new logo and also a free rucksack with the school logo.
The new uniform will consist of:
White poloshirt with logo
Forest Green sweatshirt with logo
Black shoes, (no trainers)
White t-shirt (logo optional)
Black jogging bottoms or shorts
In order for the Trust to have the uniform delivered to school by the end of term to distribute to pupils, we need to know your child’s size.
Please complete the slip below and return to school by Friday 25 June 2021.
If you would like to order additional uniform for your child, please see the attached information from Brigade Schoolwear.
Forward Education Trust
Name of Pupil
Sizes are 22”,24”,26”,28”,30”,32”34”S,M,L (Sizes are the same as current uniform)
For full uniform list and details of how to order please click on the following links:
Full Proposal Document
Proposal to permanently change the age range (upper age limit).
Name of School: Skilts Special School
Birmingham City Council, as the Local Authority for Birmingham, is consulting on a proposal to make changes to Skilts Special School.
• Skilts Special School is one of 27 Birmingham special schools and can offer up to 90 places for pupils with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) for Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs, (SEMH). Skilts Special School is a Birmingham School that is currently located outside of the City of Birmingham boundary, in Worcestershire.
• The school currently offers education in key stage 1 (infants; reception to Year 1) and key stage 2 (juniors: Year 2 to Year 6).
Type: Special School (Local Authority Maintained)
Name: Skilts Special School
Address: Gorcott Hill, Redditch, Worcestershire B98 9ET
Ward: Sambourne District:
Age Range: 5 – 11 years
Last Ofsted: 5th December 2017
Ofsted Rating: Overall Effectiveness: 4 (inadequate – special measures)
What changes are proposed?
We are proposing to carry out the following change to Skilts Special School:
• Permanently change the upper age limit;
• Change the age range to aged 5 – 14 years (reception to Year 9)
• The school will offer KS3 (secondary: Year 7 to Year 9) education
If this proposal is approved, when will these changes happen?
• 1st September 2021
• The school is currently located outside the City on Birmingham City Council owned land in Worcestershire.
• The school is relocating to a new purpose-built site within Birmingham at Hallmoor Road, Birmingham B33 9QY from 1st September 2021. The new school will have increased physical space so that in the future the school can offer up to 120 pupils (the current accommodation can offer up to 90 places).
• Skilts Special School received an OFSTED rating of “inadequate” following an inspection on 5th December 2017.
• The School became subject to a Directive Academy Order on 5th February 2018 and is in the process of converting to academy status with the approved academy trust being Forward Education Trust.
• An Interim Executive Board (IEB)was established at the School on 10th July 2018 and replaced the Governing Body.
• Along with Birmingham City Council as the Local Authority, the academy trust is supporting the school on its improvement journey until conversion to academy status is complete.
Temporary Changes to the Age Range
The IEB has approved two temporary changes to the age range as follows;
1. Change the Age range from aged 5 – 11 years (Reception to Year 6) to aged 5 – 12 years (Reception to Year 7) with effect from 1st September 2020 for one year.
2. Change the Age range from aged 5 – 11 years (Reception to Year 6) to aged 5 – 14 years (Reception to Year 9) with effect from 19th April 2021 to 31st July 2022.
Why do we want to do this?
The above changes implemented by the IEB are only temporary, this means that they can only be in effect for a maximum of 2 years.
This means that currently, pupils who stay on in Year 7 and 8 (and any pupils who join in Year 9) will have to leave Skilts Special School at the end of the school year in July 2022.
The temporary changes have proved popular with families and the Local Authority are now proposing to permanently change the age range of Skilts Special School to 5 – 14 years. This will mean that if approved, pupils could stay on after Year 6 and would not need to transfer to another school until the end of Year 9.
How will the places be organised across the school?
Whilst the new school has been built to accommodate up to 120 pupils the school will continue to admit up to 90 pupils for the time being. Having a greater capacity in the new accommodation offers a level of flexibility to meet demand based on the sufficiency of places across the City and parental preference. It is anticipated that the school will grow over the years as places are filled year to year.
The 90 places that the school currently offers are allocated across all year groups to meet demand.
Current and Forecasted Numbers on Roll
The tables below show the current number on roll, the forecast for the number on roll in May 2021, when the second change to the age range is in place and the forecast for September when the new school year begins.
Current Number on Roll at January 2021.
R 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Total
0 1 4 7 15 10 21 11 69
Forecast of Number on Roll for May 2021 ( after the second temporary change to age range up to aged 14)
R 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Total
To be confirmed 1 4 7 15 10 21 11 7 – 76
Forecast of Number on Roll for September 2021
R 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Total
To beconfirmed To be confirmed 1 4 7 15 10 21 11 7 76
Why has this school been chosen?
The temporary age range that the IEB has approved has proven popular with many pupils opting to remain at Skilts in Year 7 in September 2020.
Skilts Special School is on an improvement journey with additional support from the incoming academy trust. It is anticipated that the school will convert to academy status later this year (2021).
Permanently changing the age range of the school allows for;
• extended education continuity
• provision for a wider age range of pupils
• enabling the offer of more places to pupils that need them.
The additional places offer greater financial stability and maximises the benefit of the new purpose-built school for a wider age range of pupils within the City.
How will this affect pupils at the school?
If the proposals are approved, pupils will no longer need to leave Skilts Special School at the end of Year 6. Where appropriate, pupils who opt to stay on will be able to do so until the end of Year 9, allowing pupils to take more time to consider their future and prepare for the transition to a Key Stage 4 provision.
What happens at the end of Year 9?
Pupils will be fully supported by the school and the Local Authority Special Educational Needs Assessment and Review (SENAR) Service/Team who will work closely with the pupils and their families to agree appropriate pathways to meet the pupil’s needs as set out in their EHCP’s and to make suitable transition arrangements.
How will the proposal increase educational standards and parental choice?
Birmingham City Council as the Local Authority, in discussion and collaboration with the IEB of Skilts Special School, consider that making a permanent age range change would benefit the current and future pupils of the school. The transition to a new school at Year 7/age 11 is often a difficult time for many pupils. There is strong evidence that continuity and consistency of learning has a significant impact on a pupil’s progress. Research shows that the fewer moves children have during their school career, the better they perform.
There are also benefits in terms of the children’s personal and social development, which can be supported throughout the Key stages 1,2 & 3 without a change of school at age 11.
The wider age range would increase parental choice when offering such places to families/carers of such pupils. The relationship between families and the school can also build over a longer period, allowing the school to better provide for the needs of each pupil, in particular identifying the right pathways at Key Stage 4 through the continuous assessment over a greater period of time.
Will there be any effect on other schools, academies and educational institutions within the area?
There should be no negative effects on any other SEMH School. There is a continued need for SEMH places City wide.
In February 2021 a school organisation proposal was approved to close Hunters Hill College with effect from 31st August 2021. If the proposal to change the age range at Skilts Special School is approved it will allow for pupils who may have transferred to Hunters Hill College to remain at Skilts Special School in Years 7, 8 and 9, if they wish to do so.
How will this affect staff?
A school offering both primary (Key Stage 1 and Key stage 2) and Secondary (Key stage 3) provision may offer staff the opportunity for career development with potential opportunities for staff who wish to teach across Key Stages, and this will be for the school to decide.
What are the project costs for this proposal and how is it funded?
There are no project costs associated with the change to the age range.
Will this definitely happen?
No, there is a statutory process we must follow to make these sorts of changes to schools;
Part One: Pre-Publication 22nd March 2021 to 1st April 2021
We sent a pre-publication letter to all parents, pupils and staff on 22nd March 2021, asking for any comments by 1st April 2021. Comments from part one of the process are for the attention of Local Authority officers developing the proposal (these comments are not forwarded to the decision maker).
We did not receive any comments during this pre-publication period.
Part Two: Statutory Representation Period: 22nd April 2021 to 20th May 2021
This document is the full proposal for statutory public consultation, referred to as the “representation period”. All comments received during part two, the representation period, will be forwarded to the decision makers for consideration.
Decision: By 20th July 2021
Within two months of the end of the representation period (by 20th July 2021) the Council’s Cabinet Member for Education Skills and Culture will make a final decision. It is only at that point that we will be able to say with certainty whether the permanent age range of Skilts Special School will change from 5 – 11 years to 5 – 14 years with effect from 1st September 2021.
What will happen if this proposal is rejected?
If this proposal is rejected, the age range of Skilts Special School will revert to 5 -11 from September 2022 when the secondary temporary change approved by the IEB, comes to an end. All Pupils in Year 6, 7,8 and 9 will need to find a new secondary school place for September 2022. In the future all pupils at Skilts Special School will need to leave the school at the end of Year 6 and transfer to a new school.
How can I make my views known?
We welcome comments within the four – week statutory consultation (representation) period between 22nd April 2021 and 20th May 2021.
Anyone wishing to make comments, support or objections to this proposal may do so through the BeHeard consultation website:
Or in writing to;
Birmingham City Council’s School Organisation Team through:
Education and Infrastructure
PO Box 15843
Birmingham B2 2RT
Or by emailing: email@example.com
Please include Skilts in the email subject
A consultation response form can be found at the end of this document and can be used if anyone would like to send their comments in writing or by email.
What happens next?
The dates set out below meet the government requirements for us to consult fully with the people affected by the proposal.
Statutory notice to be published 22nd April 2021
Beginning of 4-week consultation period 22nd April 2021
End of 4-week consultation period 20th May 2021
Final decision to be made no later than 20th July 2021
Implementation date 1st September 2021
Skilts Special School:
Proposal by Birmingham City Council to Change the age range from 5 – 11 years to 5-14 years
Thank you for taking the time to send us your comments/views on these proposals.
Please help us to analyse your response by completing the following:
Your name (optional): _________________________________________________
Your contact details (optional, if you would like a reply) _____________________________________________________________________
Are you in favour of the proposal (please circle one answer)?
Yes No Neither/Don’t know
Your interest in the proposal (please indicate one of the below):
Member of Parliament
Other (please specify)
Please provide your comments to the proposal.
Consultation Response Form
1. Increase in pupil places from 64 to 90 – 1st January 2020.
2. Relocate to Hallmoor Road and Increase pupil numbers from 90 to 120 – 1st September 2021
A full risk assessment for Skilts School during the Covid 19 pandemic and periods of lock down, has been reviewed in January 2021 and can be accessed by clicking HERE
Following the latest Ofsted Inspection on 15th October 2020, please click this link to read the outcomes.
More links to learning: https://stories.audible.com/
Launch of BBC Bitesize
The BBC has launched an education package across TV and online, featuring celebrities and teachers, helping to keep children learning at home and supporting parents.
BBC Bitesize can be accessed here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize
Please find attached a range of parent help-lines that families might find useful. Please click on the relevant link for:
Welcome to our School Website
We hope that it will be a useful source of information for parents, relatives or friends who already have children at our school and for those who are thinking of joining us in the future.
We are very proud of our school and its many successes in all aspects of school life. I hope as you explore our website that it will give you a clear insight into the life and work of our school and show you how the philosophy of our school with its strong commitment to high standards and its emphasis on developing each individual’s academic, social and personal potential to the full, impacts on everything we do.
If you are a pupil at our school I am sure you will have fun reading about our school and looking at the photographs of you and your friends! Please use the links throughout the website to help your learning!
If you are interested in working at our school, please refer to our “LATEST NEWS” section for any current vacancies.
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