That the Executive:
i. Resolve that the four key issues listed in paragraph 7.3 of the report have been satisfied and therefore there can be a determination of the proposal.
ii. Reject the proposal to amalgamate Grove Road and Woodfield Community Primary Schools, as the proposal is no longer supported by the governing body of Grove Road School.
County Councillor Patrick Mulligan, introduced the report, noting that a lot of work had gone into the proposals that went out for consultation to amalgamate Grove Road and Woodfield Community Primary Schools in Harrogate, following requests from the governing bodies of both schools. On 31 March, members of the governing body of Grove Road Community Primary School decided to withdraw their support for the amalgamation proposal. As a result, officers are recommending that the amalgamation proposals are rejected and will now reflect on the situation over the coming weeks with professional stakeholders.
County Councillor Paul Haslam addressed the meeting, expressing his disappointment at the outcome of the amalgamation proposals, but thanking the officers involved for the work carried out. He noted there is still a lot of work to do, with quick decisions needed to reassure pupils and parents about the future of Woodfield Community Primary School. As Woodfield is an area of deprivation, and having discussed the matter with Andrew Jones MP, it is believed that education is a way out of poverty and requested help to ensure a school remains in the Woodfield area.
In response, Stuart Carlton, Corporate Director for Children and Young People, pledged to work with other key stakeholders, such as the Regional Schools Commissioner, to look at next steps. These discussions were in the early stages at the moment.
Having noted all of the information provided, it was
i. That having undertaken the required preliminary checks, the four key issues have been satisfied and there can be a determination of the proposals
ii. The proposal to amalgamate Grove Road and Woodfield Community Primary Schools is rejected, as the proposal is no longer supported by the governing body of Grove Road School.