Feedback from public consultation on school’s future reviewed

This story was published 20 July 2022

The feedback from a public consultation into proposals to close a primary has been reviewed after all other options to secure the future of the site were exhausted.

The hand of a child writing

A consultation on whether to close Woodfield Community Primary School in Harrogate began earlier in the year after a bid to find an academy sponsor or school merger proved unsuccessful.

As a result, views on a proposal to close the school on 31 December 2022, were sought from a wide range of individuals and organisations, including parents and school staff.

The proposal involves extending the catchment area of an existing school, or schools, to include the area currently served by Woodfield Community Primary School.

We collated feedback during the consultation period on these options and any alternatives to them. As part of the formal process, the executive received the feedback at its meeting on Tuesday 19 July and agreed to go ahead with the next stage in the process to close the school.

This will involve publishing a statutory proposal for closure, which will go back to the executive in autumn for a final decision.

A bid to find a suitable solution to keep the school open has been ongoing for more than two years.

The school received an inadequate Ofsted judgement following an inspection in January 2020. Under national policy, schools with an inadequate Ofsted outcome are required to become a sponsored academy, but the Regional Schools Commissioner was unable to secure a multi-academy trust to sponsor the school due to viability concerns.

As a result, the school’s governing body then looked at working with Grove Road Community Primary in Harrogate, to explore combining the two schools and sharing both sites, but this also proved unsuccessful.

Director of children and young people’s services, Stuart Carlton, said: “Working with closely the governors, we have explored every possible avenue in an attempt to try and secure a future for Woodfield Primary School.

“We understand the sadness families must be feeling that events have led us to the situation where we are consulting for closure and it is not a situation we wanted to be in. We will continue to work with parents and carers over the coming months.”