Decision details

Woodfield Community Primary School, Harrogate

Decision Maker: Executive Member for Education, Learning & Skills

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes


To seek approval to begin a public consultation on a proposal to close Woodfield Community Primary School.

Previous related reports concerning proposals to amalgamate Grove Road and Woodfield Community Primary Schools, Harrogate:

Report to Corporate Director Meeting with Executive Members, 23 November 2021; Reports to Executive, 22 February and 19 April 2022


To approve public consultation on
•a proposal that the County Council should close Woodfield Community Primary School in Harrogate from 31 December 2022.
•the potential catchment area arrangements that would apply from January 2023 in the event of closure

Reasons for the decision:

Woodfield Community Primary School is subject to a Directive Academy Order following an Inadequate Ofsted judgement from an inspection in January 2020. Any maintained school that is judged inadequate by Ofsted is required to become a sponsored academy or, if an academy sponsor cannot be found, a school judged inadequate usually has to close. The Regional Schools Commissioner has been unable to secure an Academy Trust to sponsor Woodfield School due to viability concerns. Where a school would not be viable as an academy, it is expected that the Local Authority will close the school and the Secretary of State can direct them to do so if necessary.
The Governing Bodies of Woodfield Community Primary and Grove Road Community Primary explored with Local Authority Officers combining the two schools in order to share the benefits of both school sites. The move would have meant Woodfield School would technically close and become part of Grove Road from September 2022. An extensive consultation process was undertaken involving public meetings and gathering the views of parents and the local community during December 2021 and January 2022. After careful consideration Grove Road Community Primary School decided in March, with regret, to withdraw its support for the amalgamation. In light of this, the County Council’s Executive decided to reject the amalgamation proposal at its meeting on 19 April 2022.
Following this, the Governing Body of Woodfield Community Primary School has looked again at what options are available for the school, and concluded that they have now exhausted all options. They have therefore had to request that the County Council undertake a consultation on a proposal that the school should close.

Publication date: 24/05/2022

Date of decision: 24/05/2022

Effective from: 01/06/2022