Decision details

Grove Road and Woodfield Community Primary Schools, Harrogate

Decision Maker: Executive Member for Education and Skills, including early years, schools, apprenticeships, FE colleges & UTC`s, and engagement with the skills agenda of the LEP

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes

Purpose:

To seek approval to begin a public consultation on a proposal to amalgamate Grove Road and Woodfield Community Primary Schools. This would create a single primary school operating on both school sites, through the technical closure of Woodfield Community Primary School as a separate entity, and the enlargement of premises and expansion onto an additional site of Grove Road Community Primary School.

Decision:

To approve public consultation on proposals to amalgamate Grove Road Community Primary School and Woodfield Community Primary School in Harrogate from 1 September 2022. This would create a single primary school operating on both school sites through the technical closure of Woodfield Community Primary School as a separate entity, and the enlargement of premises and expansion onto the Woodfield site of Grove Road Community Primary School.

Reasons for the decision:

Grove Road Community Primary School serves much of High Harrogate. The school is currently operating at capacity. Woodfield Community Primary School serves Woodfield and parts of the Bilton area of Harrogate. The school has been under-subscribed for a number of years.

Grove Road Community Primary School was last inspected by Ofsted in June 2018 through a short inspection, which judged the school to continue to be good. Woodfield Community Primary School was inspected by Ofsted in January 2020, who found the overall effectiveness to be inadequate and the school became subject to special measures. Any maintained school that is judged inadequate by Ofsted is required to become a sponsored academy. If an academy sponsor cannot be found, a school judged inadequate usually has to close. Woodfield school was issued with a Directive Academy Order in June 2020 but the Regional Schools Commissioner has been unable to secure an Academy Trust to sponsor Woodfield school due to viability concerns.

Work began earlier this year to assess how education provision within the Woodfield community could be preserved. The current proposals for amalgamation have been developed by members of the school governing bodies and LA officers. The two governing bodies carefully considered the proposals before autumn half term, and both agreed to ask the County Council to start a consultation. Both Governing Bodies see this as an exciting opportunity to enhance the facilities of Grove Road School, organising sustainable education across both sites aiming for the best possible provision for all pupils, and importantly ensuring that the Woodfield site continues to be used for education of the wider community.

Alternative options considered:

None

Publication date: 23/11/2021

Date of decision: 23/11/2021

Effective from: 02/12/2021