Equality impact assessment (EIA) form: evidencing paying due regard to protected characteristics

(Form updated April 2019)


Proposal to close Hovingham CE VC Primary School from 31 March 2023


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Equality Impact Assessments (EIAs) are public documents.  EIAs accompanying reports going to County Councillors for decisions are published with the committee papers on our website and are available in hard copy at the relevant meeting.  To help people to find completed EIAs we also publish them in the Equality and Diversity section of our website.  This will help people to see for themselves how we have paid due regard in order to meet statutory requirements. 


Name of Directorate and Service Area

CYPS Strategic Planning Team


Lead Officer and contact details

Andrew Dixon, County Hall


Names and roles of other people involved in carrying out the EIA

Matt George, Strategic Planning Officer


How will you pay due regard? e.g. working group, individual officer

LA Officers and School Governing Body



When did the due regard process start?

Consultation started on 31 October



Section 1. Please describe briefly what this EIA is about. (e.g. are you starting a new service, changing how you do something, stopping doing something?)


The proposal is to close Hovingham CE VC Primary School from 31 March 2023. A period of consultation with the community has been carried out, including written consultation and an online public meeting. A statutory representation period will follow.



Section 2. Why is this being proposed? What are the aims? What does the authority hope to achieve by it? (e.g. to save money, meet increased demand, do things in a better way.)

The main factor prompting the request is there are currently no pupils on roll at Hovingham. The School has operated with 40 pupils or below for the last decade. Since the 2017/18 academic year there has been a downward trend of pupil numbers and pupils numbers fell from 33 in May 2020 to 24 in May 2021. This trend accelerated across the 2021/22 academic year with the school having 20 pupils on roll in October, 16 in January and only 7 in May 2022 (all of whom were in key stage 2). Between May 2022 and the start of the new term in September 2022 all remaining pupils departed and no new starters commenced the term in September.


Finance is also a key concern. The pupil numbers for the October 2022 census form the basis of a schools’ funding for the 2023/24 financial year. The Department for Education (DfE) have confirmed that where a school has no pupils in the October census they will not allocate any funding for that school in the schools block element of Dedicated School Grant (DSG) funding that a local authority receives to fund schools and academies located within the local authority area.


In the event of the school remaining open, the local authority would need to determine whether the school should continue to be funded through the school funding formula. If this were agreed, the school would receive the formula lump sum funding (2023/24 indicative value £128k) and the school rates funding (£2.5k). Any 2023/24 formula funding allocation for Hovingham CE Primary would need to be funded from the DSG funding allocations provided for other schools and academies within North Yorkshire.


If the school closure were to go ahead, the individual school budgets would need to be separated out from the current amalgamated Federation budget. Initial work has been undertaken on this process; the indicative position as at 31 March 2022 is a cumulative revenue budget deficit of £5.2k for Hovingham CE Primary School. Work is currently being undertaken with the Federation leadership on forecasting the budget position to the end of the current financial year.



Section 3. What will change? What will be different for customers and/or staff?


If this proposal went ahead, Hovingham CE VC Primary School would close with effect from 31 March 2023.


The proposals is that from 1 April 2023 the parishes of Gilling East, Grimstone, Cawton and the smaller part of Coulton parish  which currently form a part of a shared catchment area between Hovingham CE and St Hilda’s CE will remain part of the St Hilda’s CE catchment area. The parish of Stonegrave which was part of the discrete catchment area for Hovingham CE would also become part of the St Hilda’s CE catchment area. The parish of Scackleton and the larger part of the parish of Coulton which were part of Hovingham’s discrete catchment area will become part of the catchment area for Terrington CE VA Primary School. The parish of Fryton and the larger part of Hovingham Parish which formed part of the Hovingham catchment area will become part of the catchment area for Slingsby Community Primary School.


Section 4. Involvement and consultation (What involvement and consultation has been done regarding the proposal and what are the results? What consultation will be needed and how will it be done?)


The consultation period ran from 31 October 2022 to 28 November 2022, and subsequently extended to 12 December 2022. Consultation documents were distributed to a wide range of stakeholders, and a public engagement meeting was held.  The consultation document, responses, and notes of the public meeting are included in the report to the Executive on 24 January 2023.





Section 5. What impact will this proposal have on council budgets? Will it be cost neutral, have increased cost or reduce costs?


Please explain briefly why this will be the result.


Any annual savings to the Dedicated Schools Grant arising from the closure, if approved, would remain within the ring-fenced Dedicated Schools Grant as part of the funding for all schools. Any surplus revenue or capital balances would be allocated in line with the Closing School Accounting Policy.


As there are currently no pupils at Hovingham CE VC School there would be no immediate transportation costs. Any pupils living in the current Hovingham catchment area applying for school places at other local schools after the closure would be assessed under the home to school transport policy at the appropriate time. As such future transport costs cannot be estimated.



Section 6. How will this proposal affect people with protected characteristics?

No impact

Make things better

Make things worse

Why will it have this effect? Provide evidence from engagement, consultation and/or service user data or demographic information etc.





Currently there are only 0 pupils on roll.






Pupils – The school is mainstream offering universal provision.


Expertise will be utilised from the County Council to provide appropriate SEN support.


Staff – As an organisation NYCC will continue to meet the requirements of the Equality Act 2010 which obligates us to make reasonable adjustments to accommodate disabled individuals as employees or service users.






No impact is anticipated.






No impact is anticipated.


Gender reassignment




No impact is anticipated.


Sexual orientation




No impact is anticipated.


Religion or belief




If the decision is taken to close the School, this will adversely impact upon those future pupils who wish to be educated in a Church of England School. Parents can apply to another CE school and the local authority will do its best to comply with their preference through the co-ordinated preference exercise.

Pregnancy or maternity




No impact is anticipated.


Marriage or civil partnership




No impact is anticipated.




Section 7. How will this proposal affect people who…

No impact

Make things better

Make things worse

Why will it have this effect? Provide evidence from engagement, consultation and/or service user data or demographic information etc. in a rural area?






This proposal would have an adverse impact for those living within its catchment that attend the school as they would have to travel to alternative schools. However, at present there are 0 pupils on roll meaning that parents are already travelling to neighbouring schools by choice.


The nearest school is Slingsby Community Primary School which is situated 2.2 miles from Hovingham CE VC School Primary School. This school is currently operating above its Net Capacity but with a significant proportion of pupils attending from outside its catchment area. The second nearest school is Terrington CE VA Primary School which is 4.6 miles and has places available in all year groups.


Free home to school transport would be provided for entitled pupils within the enlarged catchment area in accordance with the County Council’s Home to School Transport policy. The County Council’s Home to School transport policy sets out that free school transport will be provided to the catchment school or nearest school to a child’s home address if it is over the statutory walking distances set out by law.


…have a low income?






There may be adverse impact on those families with low incomes by the proposed closure of the school. However, this would be mitigated by the LA provided transport assistance, in line with the Transport Policy. As there are no current pupils this would only impact upon future pupils.


…are carers (unpaid family or friend)?




No impact is anticipated.



Section 8. Geographic impact – Please detail where the impact will be (please tick all that apply)

North Yorkshire wide



Craven district



Hambleton district



Harrogate district


Richmondshire district


Ryedale district



Scarborough district



Selby district



If you have ticked one or more districts, will specific town(s)/village(s) be particularly impacted? If so, please specify below.

Hovingham, Fryton, Grimstone, Gilling East, Scackleton, Stonegrave, Cawton and Coulton.


Section 9. Will the proposal affect anyone more because of a combination of protected characteristics? (e.g. older women or young gay men) State what you think the effect may be and why, providing evidence from engagement, consultation and/or service user data or demographic information etc.


All staff at the school would experience changes under these proposals that staff and governors would need to manage sensitively.


The County Council’s Officers now feel that this decision is in the best interests of educational provision in the area.




Section 10. Next steps to address the anticipated impact. Select one of the following options and explain why this has been chosen. (Remember: we have an anticipatory duty to make reasonable adjustments so that disabled people can access services and work for us)

Tick option chosen

1.      No adverse impact - no major change needed to the proposal. There is no potential for discrimination or adverse impact identified.


2.      Adverse impact - adjust the proposal - The EIA identifies potential problems or missed opportunities. We will change our proposal to reduce or remove these adverse impacts, or we will achieve our aim in another way which will not make things worse for people.


3.      Adverse impact - continue the proposal - The EIA identifies potential problems or missed opportunities. We cannot change our proposal to reduce or remove these adverse impacts, nor can we achieve our aim in another way which will not make things worse for people. (There must be compelling reasons for continuing with proposals which will have the most adverse impacts. Get advice from Legal Services)


4.      Actual or potential unlawful discrimination - stop and remove the proposal – The EIA identifies actual or potential unlawful discrimination. It must be stopped.


Explanation of why option has been chosen. (Include any advice given by Legal Services.)


Hovingham is designated as a rural school under the Designation of Rural Primary Schools (England) Order. The School Organisation regulations and guidance contain a presumption against closure of rural schools, and it is a requirement that proposers must consider the effect of the discontinuance of any rural primary school on the local community. The statutory guidance specifically states that ‘This does not mean that a rural school will never close, but the case for closure should be strong and a proposal must be clearly in the best interests of educational provision in the area.’ Careful consideration to alternatives to closure of the school, including transport implications and the impact on local people and the wider community has been given. A detailed analysis of these issues is contained in the Statutory Proposals and the report to Executive. It is concluded that the case for closure is strong and in the best interests of educational provision in the area.



Section 11. If the proposal is to be implemented how will you find out how it is really affecting people? (How will you monitor and review the changes?)


Monitoring of standards will be carried out through the County Council’s Education & Skills Team and through Ofsted inspections. Monitoring of sufficiency of school places in the area will be undertaken by the CYPS Strategic Planning Team.



Section 12. Action plan. List any actions you need to take which have been identified in this EIA, including post implementation review to find out how the outcomes have been achieved in practice and what impacts there have actually been on people with protected characteristics.



By when


Monitoring arrangements

Not applicable







Section 13. Summary Summarise the findings of your EIA, including impacts, recommendation in relation to addressing impacts, including any legal advice, and next steps. This summary should be used as part of the report to the decision maker.


The purpose of the consultation and proposed decision is to ensure that the children are provided with the best education provision in the area in a sustainable, stable and effective manner. In order to achieve these aims the proposal to close Hovingham CE VC School needs to be considered. Whilst it is recognised that there may be adverse impact upon those with protected characteristics of age and religion/belief, there are more positive impacts that will result if these proposals are implemented.  As these proposals develop any adverse impacts will be carefully monitored, and all reasonable mitigations will be taken.



Section 14. Sign off section


This full EIA was completed by:


Name: M George

Job title: Strategic Planning Officer

Directorate: CYPS

Completion date:  08/12/22


Authorised by relevant Assistant Director (signature): A Newbold

Date: 8/12/2022