Agenda item

Proposal to close Woodfield Community Primary School, Harrogate


Considered – A report of the Corporate Director – Children and Young People’s Service presenting the findings of the public consultation carried out by North Yorkshire County Council on a proposal to close Woodfield Community Primary Schools in Harrogate from 31 December 2022, and seeking authorisation to publish statutory proposals, and to schedule the taking of a final decision on the proposals in October 2022.


Executive members noted that Harrogate Borough Council had submitted a letter requesting that consideration be given to asking the Secretary of State to reverse the academisation of Woodfield Community Primary School, and that the Education Authority secure the future of the school.


In the absence of County Councillor Annabel Wilkinson, County Councillor Janet Sanderson introduced the report and confirmed that a wide and extensive consultation had taken place.


Stuart Carlton, Corporate Director – Children and Young People’s Service provided an overview of the steps taken to date and highlighted the considered amalgamation with Grove Road Community Primary School that had been rejected.


Attention was drawn to:

·         The consultation feedback with the report – it was noted that some parents did not want the school to close;

·         The current and key issues with the school including its financial deficit, and;

·         The various options that had been considered and rejected e.g. academisation;


County Councillor Paul Haslam provided an overview of the reasons behind the drop in the number of pupils on the school roll, and Andrew Dixon, Strategic Planning Manager, Education and Skills summarised the current position regarding allocations for September 2022.  It was noted that as from September 2022 the number on the school’s roll would likely be in single figures.


Members agreed it was a sad situation and a lesson for all schools who needed to be vigilant and maintain a working relationship with neighbouring schools.  In this instance it was noted that the neighbouring schools were all academies and responsible for their own over subscription.


It was also confirmed there would be no effect on the Home to School Transport Budget as all of the children affected lived within a 2-mile radius of the school they would move to.


Having accepted that all alternative options had been considered, it was accepted the proposal to close the school was the only way forward at this stage, and it was therefore


Resolved – That:

i.      Statutory proposals and a statutory notice be published on 8 September 2022 proposing to close Woodfield Community Primary School from 31 December 2022 - the proposals to include that from 1 January 2023 the catchment area of Bilton Grange and Grove Road Primary Schools be expanded in some form to cover the current Woodfield School catchment area.

ii.     The Executive schedule taking a final decision on the proposals on 18 October 2022.



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