Schools November 2022


The local authority has consulted with all mainstream schools and academies in the Autumn Term over school funding arrangements for 2023/24 and the results of that consultation will be discussed with the North Yorkshire Schools Forum. In line with national trends, schools have experienced in-year financial pressures particularly in relation to pay and energy costs and we will be assessing the aggregate impact on LA maintained schools as part of the mid-year update. We continue to work with schools that are facing financial difficulty through support, challenge and where necessary, intervention.



SEND Strategic Plan for Education Provision 2018-23


Progress towards the outcomes within the Plan continue to be strong. It is encouraging that 10 Targeted mainstream schools that will be established by January 2023 with discussions underway with a further 7 schools. This will potentially provide a further 136 places for children with SEND in mainstream schools that provide an enhanced offer of support.


The SEN Capital Plan is being finalised before seeking members approval and will specify how the latest DfE High Needs Capital Allocation will be used to build capacity for specialist places in North Yorkshire, reducing the number of children who will need to travel long distances to access their education.


Recent developments in terms of increasing capacity for specialist provision have included the submission of an application as part of the DfE free school wave for a further special free school to meet the needs of children with Social, emotional and mental health needs in the north of the county. A decision will be announced regarding successful bid applications in the New Year 2023.


Work has also commenced on the development of the new SEND Strategic Plan for Education Provision from 2023-26 in consultation with parents/carer and key stakeholders to ensure the pace continues in terms of provision developments for children and young people with SEND. The new Plan will be brought for approval in summer 2023 and the current plan can be found here.


Local Area Partnership SEND Strategy


Following significant engagement with parents/carers and key stakeholders the new partnership SEND Strategy (0-25 years) has been developed, specifying how we will work together on priorities for development over the next 3 years to improve outcomes for children and young people. This strategy is complementary to the SEND Strategic Plan for Education Provision and includes a focus on preparation for adulthood and independence including employment, transitions and joint commissioning together with achieving best value across the High Needs Budget. The Strategy will be presented for approval in February 2023.






Woodfield Community Primary School, Harrogate


The Executive formally rejected the amalgamation proposal for Woodfield and Grove Road primary schools in Harrogate at their meeting on 19 April 2022 following the Governing Board of Grove Road CP School withdrawing their support for the proposal.

Subsequently the Governing Board of Woodfield CP School requested a consultation on the school’s future.

The statutory representation period on the subsequent closure proposal ended on 13 October. Then, on 25 October, the Executive considered the responses received and determined that the school should close with effect from 31 December 2022.  



Hovingham CE VC Primary School


On 18 October 2022 the Executive Member gave approval to the Governing Board’s request for a consultation on the future of Hovingham CE VC Primary School. The consultation was launched on 31 October and will run for four weeks to 28 November 2022.

On 13 December 2022 the Executive are scheduled to consider the consultation responses on the proposal that the School should close with effect from 31 March 2023.



Music Service


The Music Service continues to bounce back from the negative impacts of Covid on the service. In the last academic year the service increased pupil numbers by over 1000 and delivered more whole class instrumental activity to primary schools than they have ever done before. They also engaged in some major performances at The Sage , Gateshead, Scarborough Spa and Selby Abbey. The service are continuing to deliver curriculum support to schools both online and face to face. In partnership with NYMAZ and Flash Arts the service is rolling out a free singing resource to all primary schools aimed at developing the skills of non-specialist teachers.


The service is proud to offer group lessons free to the most vulnerable children but there remains a considerable cost to the service which is not fully funded. The county ensembles are developing after Covid decimated numbers at Music Centres; last summer, the service was able to run a successful County Youth Big Band Tour to Europe and a County Youth Orchestra and Choir residential. However, numbers attending Music Centres remain below pre-covid levels and this is being addressed by the offer of taster sessions for beginners on a Saturday morning.



Adult Learning and Skills Service


The Adult Learning and Skills service closed the academic year 21-22 with strong achievement rates. The year saw greater support being provided to learners to support them in overcoming barriers to learning and this strong platform of support is to be a bedrock of the offer moving forwards. Following a successful consultation response, the service will continue to align its adult learning offer with the skills needs of the region with a greater focus on the recognition of transferable skills that support learners in maximising progression opportunities following engagement with our programmes.

The service is part of the authority level team that is rolling out Multiply - programmes are underway using the funding to provide advice and guidance on healthy eating on a budget, embedding maths in a practical and relevant ways to support confidence building. The Multiply initiative sees £2.7m of government funding to support individuals in the use of maths in daily life, leading to life changing qualification opportunities.

A key part of the strategy was built upon collaboration with other providers and we have already started working closely with Harrogate, Darlington and Askham Bryan Colleges to co-develop provision that will see engagement and expertise developing pathways into technical skills learning at the colleges. The service strongly believes that driving a coherent adult learning offer that brings together and maximises the strengths of all providers, means we can deliver an offer that will be a core part of the strategy for the potentially devolved Adult Learning Budget from 2025/26.


School Admissions


On the national offer days 2022 the Council’s school admissions team had dealt with 11,039 applications to start a new school in the main admissions rounds for September 2022, with 10,383 of those being allocated their highest preference school.


For pupils entering primary school, published data from the DfE shows that in North Yorkshire 95.6% of pupils received their first offer, above the national average of 92.2%. This trend is mirrored amongst pupils entering secondary school, with 92.6% of pupils entering their first preference This is notably stronger than the 83.3% reported for secondary schools nationally.


DfE Test and Learn opportunities


The valuable feedback about the white paper prompted the council to support officers to register an interest in two test and learn opportunities. No decisions have been made about the test and learn programmes and updates will be shared as soon as NYCC’s potential involvement the in the programmes is known.


Ofsted performance


81.5% of schools in North Yorkshire were ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ at the start of the autumn term 2021 compared to 86.6% of schools in England, however this Improved so at the end of July 2022, 83.4 % of schools in North Yorkshire were judged to be ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ (compared to 87.9% of schools in England). School Ofsted inspections have improved in primary schools in particular with 84% of Primary schools in North Yorkshire currently judged as ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ compared to 82% at the same point last year.  This is also the case for secondary schools, with 79% judged ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ compared to 74% last year. This is testament to the work of school leaders and governors and is reflective of the impact of the risk based monitoring and support the School Improvement Service is implementing as well as the strengthened relationships with school leaders and governors.