Kell Bank Church of England Voluntary Controlled Primary School

Proposal to close Kell Bank Church of England Voluntary Controlled Primary School from 31 August 2021.

There will be virtual public meetings on Tuesday 17 November and Wednesday 2 December 2020 at 7pm

If you wish to be part of this virtual meeting could you please let us know by emailing schoolorganisation@northyorks.gov.uk  and joining instructions will be provided

If you do not have the facilities to participate in a virtual meeting but would still like to engage directly in the consultation process then please could you liaise directly with Kell Bank CE VC Primary School, Healey, Masham, Ripon, North Yorkshire, HG4 4LH (Tel. 01765 689410).

The Current Position

Following discussions and working closely with the Church of England Diocese of Leeds, North Yorkshire County Council is consulting on a proposal to close the school.

The Local Authority has reflected on the school’s position and agree with the conclusion reached by the Governing Body in September 2020 that the school is not viable as a result of a falling pupil roll.

The Local Authority and the Governing Body of Kell Bank Church of England Primary School have not reached this position lightly.

Background

Kell Bank is a Church of England Voluntary Controlled Primary school in the Masham area, serving the settlements of Fearby and Healey. The school has worked collaboratively with the Federation of Snape Community and Thornton Watlass CE Primary Schools since 2015. All three schools share the same Executive Headteacher, although Kell Bank has not formally federated with the other two schools and retains a separate governing body. The three schools maximise available opportunities to bring together pupils to share activities and learning opportunities. 

The School was last inspected by Ofsted in October 2013, when there were 45 pupils on roll. The overall effectiveness was judged to be ‘Outstanding’, as were all five contributory judgements. Under the current Ofsted Education Inspection Framework (introduced in September 2019), that level of judgement, given the significant weight on curriculum provision and the low level of pupil numbers at the school, would be difficult to maintain. 

Pupil Numbers

The number of children at Kell Bank CE VC Primary School has been falling over the past few years. At the beginning of September 2019, there were 15 pupils on roll in the school. This was well below the capacity of the school which could accommodate around 50 pupils. The Governing Body and Friends of the School have been active in their collective efforts to raise numbers at the school through many initiatives over recent years. However, since the start of this academic year there has been a further fall in numbers and in September 2020 the school had 6 pupils remaining on roll.

The October 2019 School Census recorded that the majority of primary aged pupils who lived in the school’s catchment area at that time were attending the school (8 pupils attended the school out of a total of 11 pupils who lived in the school’s catchment area). There is unlikely to be any significant new housing in the settlements of Fearby and Healey as they are not Designated Service Villages within the Harrogate District Local Plan.

 

2014/15

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

2019/20

2020/21

Reception

4

5

2

2

3

2

0

Year 1

4

4

5

2

2

3

2

Year 2

7

4

4

2

1

2

2

Year 3

4

5

3

4

2

0

0

Year 4

5

5

5

3

3

3

0

Year 5

6

5

5

5

3

3

0

Year 6

9

5

5

5

5

2

2

Total

39

33

29

23

19

15

6

Forecasts indicate that pupil numbers will not recover in the longer term and may reduce still further.

The Financial Position

Pupil numbers determine the school budget.  With these low numbers, and a reduced budget, the school would have to reduce staff. The school has projected in-year deficits of £17.7k in the financial year 2020/21, £17.5k in 2021/22 and £30k in 2022/23, and cumulative deficits of £2k in 2020/21, £19.5k in 2021/22 and £49.5k in 2022/23. These were based on pupil number assumptions of 16 in 2020/21 and 13 in 2021/22 so the position will be significantly worse now that pupil numbers have fallen and there appears to be no reasonable prospect of recovery.

The Proposal

For the reasons above it is proposed that Kell Bank CE VC Primary School should close with effect from 31 August 2021.

It is also proposed that the catchment area of Masham CE VA Primary School would, in the event of closure, be extended to include the current Kell Bank School catchment area.

Masham is the nearest alternative school to Kell Bank School. Masham School has reached its published admission number in some year groups, although there is capacity in others. The School has a capacity of 116 pupils and a total pupil roll of 121 in September 2020. It is therefore operating around capacity but this is due in part to attendance by pupils who reside in other areas. At the October 2019 census the total roll was 114 pupils of which 43 (37%) came from outside of the school’s catchment area. At the same time there were 85 primary aged pupils living in the catchment area of Masham School and 11 primary aged children living in the catchment area of Kell Bank School. The conclusion is that Masham CE Primary School would be the appropriate choice to adopt the existing Kell Bank catchment area as an addition to its existing area in the event of a closure.

The County Council would welcome views regarding this catchment area proposal as part of this consultation.

Other local schools

For children currently at Kell Bank CE VC Primary School, North Yorkshire County Council will work with each family to try to meet their individual preferences for other schools. Staff and governors at Kell Bank CE VC Primary School are also committed to supporting families in their choice of school and in making a smooth transition in the event of closure.

Other primary schools in the local area are:

  • Masham Church of England (Voluntary Aided) Primary School, 1 Millgate, Market Place, Masham, Ripon, North Yorkshire, HG4 4EG
  • Grewelthorpe Church of England (Voluntary Controlled) Primary School, Cross Hills, Grewelthorpe, Ripon, North Yorkshire, HG4 3BH
  • St Nicholas, Church of England (Voluntary Controlled) Primary School, West Tanfield, Ripon HG4 5JN
  • Thornton Watlass Church of England (Voluntary Controlled) Primary School, Thornton Watlass, Ripon, North Yorkshire, HG4 4AH
  • Kirkby Malzeard Church of England (Voluntary Controlled) Primary School, Church Street, Kirkby Malzeard, Ripon, North Yorkshire, HG4 3RT
  • Snape Community Primary School, Ings Lane, Snape, Bedale, North Yorkshire, DL8 2TF
  • Fountains Earth Lofthouse Church of England Endowed (Voluntary Controlled) Primary School, Fountains Earth, Lofthouse, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG3 5RZ

All these schools were judged ‘Good’ at their last Ofsted inspection.

Parents have a right to express a preference for any school. The Local Authority is the admissions authority for community and voluntary controlled schools and will meet that preference provided there are vacant places, or the school is happy to admit above the published admission number.  In the case of Voluntary Aided schools, the governing body decides the conditions for admission to their particular school. Some schools may be able to admit over their published admission numbers for some year groups.

Eligibility for home-to-school transport will be determined in line with the County Council’s current home-to-school transport policy and procedures, based on travel distances from each child’s home address and individual circumstances. 

Where a child attends a school, which is not their normal school or nearest school, parents are normally responsible for making transport arrangements.  

North Yorkshire County Council’s Admissions Team is always happy to give advice to parents – please contact Karen Crossland on 01609 534825 or Lisa Herdman on 01609 534953.


School

Distance by road from Kell Bank  School (miles)

Reception

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

Year 5

Year 6

Total on roll

Kell Bank CE

N/A

Places

Places

Places

Places

Places

Places

Places

6

Masham CE

2.8

Places

Places

PAN

PAN

Places

PAN

Places

121

Grewelthorpe CE

5.8

PAN

Places

PAN

Places

PAN

PAN

PAN

75

St Nicholas West Tanfield CE VC

6.1

Places

Places

Places

Places

Places

Places

Places

36

Thornton Watlass CE

6.7

Places

Places

Places

Places

PAN

Places

Places

27

Kirkby Malzeard CE

7.2

Places

PAN

Places

Places

PAN

PAN

Places

85

Snape Community

7.5

Places

Places

Places

Places

Places

Places

Places

24

Fountains Earth Lofthouse

7.9

Places

Places

Places

Places

Places

Places

Places

16

Middleham CE VA

11.2 via

Main Road

Places

Places

Places

Places

Places

Places

Places

45

Spennithorne CE VC

11.3 via Main Road

Places

Places

Places

Places

Places

Places

Places

28

PAN = School year group is at published admission number, all applications will be dealt with on an individual basis and Admissions Team will have discussions with appropriate Headteacher to see if the school are in a position to admit additional pupils in that year group.

Swipe or scroll to view full table.

 

Masham CE

  VA

Grewelthorpe  CE VC

St Nicholas West Tanfield CE VC

Thornton Watlass CE VC

 

Kirkby Malzeard CE VC

Snape Community Primary School

Fountains Earth Lofthouse CE Endowed

Middleham

CE VA

Spennithorne CE VC

 

 

Federated with Fountains CE School, Grantley, Ripon 

Federated with Kirby Malzeard

Federated with Snape

Federated with St Nicholas, West Tanfield

Federated with Thornton Watlass

Federated with St Cuthberts, Pateley Bridge

Federated with Spennithorne CE

Federated with Middleham CE VA

Distance from Kell Bank School by road (miles)

2.8

5.8

6.1

6.7

7.2 via Thorpe Road

7.5

7.9

9 miles via Ellingstring & 11.2 via main road 

11.3 via main road

Last Ofsted inspection

Good

July 2019

Good

March 2017

Good

 March 2019

Good

November 2017

Good

March 2018

Good

May 2018

Good

April 2017

Requires Improvement

November 2018

Requires Improvement

May 2019

Net Capacity

(total places at the school)

116

70

70

51

105

52

42

78

83

Current pupil roll 20/21

121

75

36

27

85

24

16

45

28

Current capacity

-/+

-5

-5

34

24

20

28

26

33

55

Pupil roll 2021/22

126

73

37

25

84

27

14

46

29

Pupil roll 2022/23

124

66

32

25

81

26

14

50

30

Pupil roll 2023/24

125

60

31

21

78

25

13

51

30

Pupil roll 2024/25

122

59

28

21

82

27

12

55

29

Pupil roll 2025/26

119

56

28

20

79

27

13

51

29

Potential additional pupils from housing *

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pupils from outstanding permissions by 2025/26

17

1

12

1

13

1

2

4

2

Potential pupils from future housing – Local Plan (over 15 yrs)

12

0

3

0

12

0

0

0

0

*Based on 1 primary-aged pupil from every 4 houses

Staff

A separate staff consultation process will run in parallel with the consultation on the closure proposal.

The Building

The Diocese have confirmed that the school site, other than the playing field, is vested in the Diocesan Board of Finance. The playing field is owned by the County Council. Decisions about the future use of the school site and buildings will be taken by the owners after the closure proposal has been determined.

What Happens Next?

Your views about this proposal are welcomed.

Complete our survey

The closing date for responses is 21 December 2020

All responses to the consultation received by this date will be considered by the County Council’s Executive on 26 January 2021.

If the County Council’s Executive decides to proceed with the closure proposal, then statutory notices would be published in the local press on 5 February 2021. These notices provide a further four weeks for representations to be made. A final decision would then be made by North Yorkshire County Council’s Executive Committee on 23 March 2021.  If agreed the school would close on 31 August 2021.

Key Dates

All dates subject to approval at each stage.

Consultation opens

2 November  2020

Virtual Public meeting

17 November 2020 at 7pm

Virtual Public meeting

2 December 2020 at 7pm

Consultation closes

21 December 2020

County Council’s Executive considers consultation responses

26 January 2021

Statutory Notices published (4 weeks for representations to be made)

5 February 2021 to 5 March 2021

Final decision by County Council’s Executive

23 March 2021

Proposed school closure date

31 August 2021