Proposal to close St Hilda’s Roman Catholic Primary School: Equality impact assessment (EIA)

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 2 November 2020

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?)

A proposal to close (cease to maintain) St Hilda’s Roman Catholic Primary School. A period of consultation with the community has been carried out, including written consultation and a virtual public meeting and 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 County Council is under a statutory duty to ensure there are sufficient school places in the area, promote high educational standards, ensure fair access to educational opportunity and promote fulfilment of every child’s educational potential. There are three key concerns: 1) Low pupil numbers; 2)The schools financial position, and 3) Lack of Demand for Catholic Places. These issues are laid out in detail in the consultation document and the report to CYPS Executive Members on 20 November 2020.

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

It is proposed that St Hilda’s Roman Catholic Primary School should close with effect from 9 April 2021.

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 2 November to 14 December 2020.  Consultation documents were distributed to a wide range of stakeholders, and a virtual public meeting was held. The consultation document and responses are included in the report to the Executive on 12 January 2021.

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.

There may be some additional pupil transport costs.

Any 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 revenue or capital balances would be made available to the receiving school in line with the Closing School Accounting Policy.

If the school closed, there could be a potential additional cost to the Local Authority in providing transport to other schools. Free home to school transport would be provided for entitled pupils in accordance with the revised catchment area arrangements in accordance with the County Council’s Home to School transport policy.

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.

Age

 

 

 

 

X

X

Currently there are only 2 pupils on roll. If the decision is taken to close the school this adversely affects the current cohort.

 

Moving to an alternative school will increase the opportunities for pupils to work and play with children their own age.

Disability

X

 

 

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.

Sex

X

 

 

No impact is anticipated.

Race

X

 

 

No impact is anticipated.

Gender reassignment

X

 

 

No impact is anticipated.

Sexual orientation

X

 

 

No impact is anticipated.

Religion or belief

 

 

X

If the decision is taken to close the School, this will adversely impact upon those pupils who wish to educated in a Roman Catholic School in Whitby. However, the nearest Roman Catholic School, 7.4 miles from St Hilda’s, is St Hedda’s Roman Catholic Primary School.

Pregnancy or maternity

X

 

 

No impact is anticipated.

Marriage or civil partnership

X

 

 

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.

..live in a rural area?

X

 

 

No impact anticipated.

…have a low income?

x

 

 

No impact anticipated

…are carers (unpaid family or friend)?

x

 

 

No impact anticipated

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

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

X

Selby district

 

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

Whitby

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 pupils and 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 children and families served by the school.

The Local Authority’s Admission Team will continue to work with families to try to meet their individual preferences for primary schools.

Home to school transport will be assessed in line with the County Council’s policy. 

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)

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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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)

x

  1. 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.)

This proposal may be considered to have an adverse impact for those two pupils currently on role at the school as they would have to move to an alternative a school, as set out above in Section 7.

Careful consideration has been had to alternatives to closure 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 and Skills Team and through Ofsted inspections. Monitoring of sufficiency of school places in the Whitby 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.

Action

Lead

By when

Progress

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, despite the adverse impacts identified, the proposal to close the school needs to be considered.

Section 14. Sign off section

This full EIA was completed by:

Name: Matt George

Job title: Strategic Planning Officer

Directorate: CYPS

Signature:

Completion date: 10/12/20

Authorised by relevant Assistant Director (signature): Amanda Newbold

Date: 18/12/20