Contact: Wayne Hemingway, Principal Democratic Services Officer
This report provided details of a proposal to change the Medway Test dates and arrangements in Autumn 2020, as a consequence of the COVID 19 pandemic, to which the Leader’s approval under urgency provisions was sought.
The report explained that education leaders in Medway, parents, members, other authorities and officers had all stated their concern at the short time available to prepare for the test. The report set out five options for the Leader’s consideration, with option 3 as the preferred option as it provided the longest delay which allowed for a review and would not negatively impact upon the admissions process.
The report noted that the urgency provisions were set out in the Constitution (paragraph 3.2 of Part 3 (Responsibility for Cabinet functions) of Chapter 3 (Responsibility for Functions) of the Constitution).
The Chairman of the Children and Young People Overview and Scrutiny Committee agreed that the taking of these decisions were urgent and could not be reasonably deferred until the next Cabinet meeting on 7 July 2020, in accordance with Section 11 (Cases of special urgency) of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements)(Meetings and Access to Information)(England) Regulations 2012 and Rule 17 (Special Urgency) of the Access to Information Rules (Part 2 of Chapter 4 in the Constitution).
Additionally, and in line with rule 15.11 of Chapter 4, Part 5 of the Constitution, call-in could be waived where any delay likely to be caused by the call-in process would seriously prejudice the Council’s or the Public’s interests. The Chairman of the Children and Young People Overview and Scrutiny Committee agreed that the decisions proposed were reasonable in all the circumstances and to them being treated as a matter of urgency and to waive call-in.
Given the severity of the Covid-19 pandemic it is reasonable to make changes to the Medway Test dates.