Decision details

Award of Contract for the construction of a new school building to accommodate the expansion of Heltwate SEN School - OCT20/CMDN/39

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Education, Skills and the University

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes


The Cabinet Member, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Finance:


1.         Authorised the expansion of Heltwate SEN School and the construction of new accommodation, up to the value of the budget sum of £6.8m. This sum shall include legal costs associated with the purchase of the Silver Jubilee site and the anticipated design and build contract costs and funding for Information and Communications Technology (ICT), all site surveys and project management and technical advisors fees.


2.         Authorised the Executive Director People and Communities to award the design and build contract to the successful contractor, subject to planning consent and, approval by delegated members.


3.         Authorised the Head of Legal Services or delegated officers to enter into any legal documentation on behalf of the Council in relation to this matter, including the design and build contract.

Reasons for the decision:

As a result of removing the temporary accommodation, the increase in the level of student need, the ongoing health and safety concerns and lack of essential facilities for staff, Heltwate School is expanding to accommodate their pupils across the three sites – existing Heltwate site, Silver Jubilee site and St Georges, Lawn Avenue site.

Alternative options considered:

The following options were considered and rejected:


To do nothing. This option was considered and rejected due to the shortage of special school pupil places in the Peterborough area and the Local Authority’s statutory duty to provide sufficient school places. Heltwate School’s accommodation requires expansion to ensure the number of children on site can be accommodated appropriately without the need for temporary mobile provision.


To tender via the Peterborough Construction Framework – this option has been considered and rejected due to the value of the project and the programme which would mean procurement processes would take place after this framework has expired.


Transport children out of Peterborough to attend other special schools– this would have considerable financial implications not only for transport costs but also to purchase places at neighbouring authorities, if available. There are statutory guidelines for distances allowed to transport children with special needs and currently there are limited spaces in neighbouring authorities. This could mean children may need to be sent to residential units further afield at a much higher cost.

Interests and Nature of Interests Declared:


Background Documents:

Publication date: 19/10/2020

Date of decision: 19/10/2020

Effective from: 23/10/2020

Accompanying Documents: