The preferred option of Education, Sport & Culture emerged head and shoulders over other ideas, such as three 11-18 schools, or three 11-16 schools and a co-located sixth form college, it said.
Across a range of measurements, including class sizes, staff movement and timetabling, curriculum, revenue costs and capital costs, ESC’s model came out best.
In the document, capital costs for ESC’s model were estimated at up to £54.6m.
For three 11-16 schools and co-located sixth form college the maximum capital cost has been calculated at £87.7m. because it includes an 1,800sq. m. extension to the sixth form centre.
ESC president Andrea Dudley-Owen said the side-by-side review was independent and shone a light of clarity.
‘The model that we are proposing has been shown to be the most practical and workable amongst the whole choice of models that have been put forward, and they’re the most thought through.
‘That’s not by accident. It’s because actually we have looked at other models and we discounted them on the basis that they weren’t deliverable and they had too many other complexities around them and they didn’t satisfy what stakeholders were looking for in terms of size of school, a smooth, easy transition, to ensure the proposals were easily understood, that they were an investment in our future, and they used modern, fit-for-purpose buildings.’
The analysis did not aim to be the ‘pause and review’ demanded by some politicians and teachers, and it did not include some new models which have emerged from amendments placed in the last few days.
Deputy Dudley-Owen was keen to stress that the document was done entirely by civil servants, and any suggestion that officers had been 'leant on' was rejected by her.
‘You’re questioning the impartiality of our officers and there is a strict code of conduct by which our officers have to abide by, so my view is that are officers are always very impartial, balanced and objective in their advice because that is their job – that is what they are paid to do.
She added: ‘There’s been no political input in terms of content because we don’t own those facts. They are facts that have been researched and compiled by officers.’