Agenda and minutes

Call-In Sub-Committee (Education) - Wednesday 30 January 2008 7.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Harrow Civic Centre, Station Road, Harrow, HA1 2XY. View directions

Contact: Miriam Wearing, Senior Democratic Services Officer  Tel: 020 8424 1542 E-mail:

Note No. Item




Attendance by Reserve Members

To note the attendance at this meeting of any duly appointed Reserve Members.


Reserve Members may attend meetings:-


(i)                 to take the place of an ordinary Member for whom they are a reserve;

(ii)               where the ordinary Member will be absent for the whole of the meeting; and

(iii)             the meeting notes at the start of the meeting at the item ‘Reserves’ that the Reserve Member is or will be attending as a reserve;

(iv)              if a Reserve Member whose intention to attend has been noted arrives after the commencement of the meeting, then that Reserve Member can only act as a Member from the start of the next item of business on the agenda after his/her arrival.



RESOLVED:  To note the attendance at this meeting of the following duly appointed Reserve Members:-


Ordinary Member


Reserve Member


Councillor Tony Seymour

Councillor Mark Versallion

Councillor Ashok Kulkarni

Councillor Robert Benson



Declarations of Interest

To receive declarations of personal or prejudicial interests, arising from business to be transacted at this meeting, from:


(a)               all Members of the Committee, Sub Committee, Panel or Forum;

(b)               all other Members present in any part of the room or chamber.



RESOLVED:  To note that the following interests were declared:


Agenda Item




Nature of Interest

4.       Call-in of the decision of the Cabinet Meeting




CouncillorDinesh Solanki


Governor of Belmont Middle School

          on 17 January 2008: Amalgamation of




Councillor Ashok Kulkarni


Governor of Roxbourne First and Middle School

          First and Middle Schools




CouncillorMrs Lurline Champagnie


Governor of Hatch End High School




Reverend P Reece

Chair of Governors of St Johns Church of England School



Arrangement of Agenda

To consider whether any of the items listed on the agenda should be considered with the press and public excluded on the grounds that it is thought likely, in view of the nature of the business to be transacted, that there would be disclosure of confidential information in breach of an obligation of confidence or of exempt information as defined in Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972.



RESOLVED:  That (1) in accordance with the Local Government (Access to Information) Act 1985, this meeting be called with less than 5 clear working days’ notice by virtue of the special circumstances and grounds for urgency stated below:-


Special Circumstances/Grounds for Urgency: Under Overview and Scrutiny Procedure rule 22.6, a meeting of the Call?in Sub?Committee must be held within 7 clear working days of the receipt of a request for call?in.  This meeting therefore had to be arranged at short notice and it was not possible for the agenda to be published 5 clear working days prior to the meeting.


(2)  under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting whilst legal advice is given to the Sub-Committee, on the grounds that it was thought likely that there would be disclosure of exempt information under paragraph 5 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Act, in that there would be disclosure of information in respect of which a claim to legal professional privilege could be maintained in legal proceedings.



Call-in of the decision of the Cabinet Meeting on 17 January 2008: Amalgamation of First and Middle Schools pdf icon PDF 172 KB

The following documents are attached:-


(a)               Notice Invoking the Call-in

(b)               Extract from the Minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 17 January 2008

(c)               Report submitted to the Cabinet meeting held on 17 January 2008

Additional documents:


The Cabinet had agreed at its meeting held on 17 January 2008 to undertake a consultation in response to parental representations in relation to West Lodge First and West Lodge Middle Schools.  A call?in notice had been subsequently received, signed by 181 members of the public who were registered on the electoral role of the Borough, calling in the decision and this decision had therefore been referred to the Call?in Sub?Committee for consideration under the call?in procedure.


The Sub-Committee received the notice invoking the call-in procedure, the report of the Director of Schools and Children’s Development submitted to Cabinet and the relevant minute extract.


The decision had been called-in on two grounds:


·                     inadequate consultation;


·                     insufficient consideration of legal and financial advice.


The Chairman, after outlining the procedure to be followed at the meeting, invited a representative of the signatories to speak.


Pamela Fitzpatrick, a member of the public representing the signatories to the call?in notice, put the case for the call?in.  She referred to the details of the grounds outlined in the supporting information to the Call?in.  She was of the opinion that the Middle School Governing Body had not been consulted on the proposal, the timeframe for establishing the proposed Steering Group was unrealistic and could not be met, and the proposed consultation did not comply with the Statutory Guidance on the closure of a maintained school.  It was her opinion that parents wished the matter discussed by the school, not determined by the Local  Authority.


She further stated that West Lodge Middle School was a successful, over?subscribed school.  She referred to the public criticism at the Cabinet meeting that the school had not followed procedure, advising it had submitted reports to the Steering Committee in accordance with the timetable and had attended all its meetings.  However, the implication was that the school had done something wrong.  The Local Authority had stated that it had taken action in response to parental representation, whilst the normal procedure was to send complaints to the Governing Body which had not been done.  Mrs Fitzpatrick further considered that the Local Authority had failed to state which part of the statutory guidance to Section 14 of the Education Act 1996 had been triggered.


Mrs Fitzpatrick expressed the view that the Local Authority had not been neutral in its proposals and concluded that she believed any decision could be delegated to the Governing Body.


Upon being invited to respond, the Portfolio Holder for Schools and Children’s Development explained that in accordance with the Council’s Amalgamation Policy, the resignation of the Head of the Middle School had triggered the investigations undertaken.  A Steering Group had produced a feasibility study and its findings were made available to the schools.  West Lodge Middle School had voted against amalgamation and the West Lodge First School had voted in favour of amalgamation.  The officers had been in contact with both schools to ascertain whether joint consensus of agreement could be reached and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.