New school for Knaresborough gets a revised date

This story was published 8 November 2021

The target opening date for a proposed new Knaresborough primary school to serve housing development has been revised to September 2024.

Knaresborough school image

Delays in progress of the housing development site have, in-turn, impacted on the transfer of the school site to us. This means that it is no longer possible to achieve delivery of the new school prior to September 2024.

Stuart Carlton, Director for Children and Young People’s Services, said: “We continue to work closely with the developers on this project but in recent times it has become clear to us that it would not be possible to undertake contractor procurement and construction to our original timetable. While this is disappointing, it does not change our commitment to delivery of the school as soon as we are able.”

The Harrogate Local Plan has identified that, in the medium to long term, more than 1,000 new properties will be built in Knaresborough and this new school will be needed over the coming years to meet demand.

“However, the current delay to housing delivery means that pupil numbers are not rising at the predicted rate, said Stuart Carlton. “We will continue to monitor closely the availability of school places but our assessment of the current birth rate data is that a delay by one year will be manageable.

“We have liaised closely with Elevate Multi Academy Trust on this, and we are very pleased that they remain committed to working in partnership with us’’

The school will be a state-funded academy, in line with Department for Education guidance and Elevate Multi Academy Trust has been appointed by the DfE to run the new primary free school on opening.

Chief Executive of Elevate Multi Academy Trust, Nigel Ashley said: “We understand the challenges associated with delivery of this project and why the County Council has had to delay the opening of the school.

“Our Trust already successfully operates three of the four existing primary schools in the town so we are well placed to work with the County Council on monitoring the collective demand for school places in this interim period prior to opening.

“We remain committed to the project and look forward to developing future educational excellence for new families who will be moving into the Manse Farm Estate area. Our utmost priority is quality provision where we all can achieve together and we look forward to opening the doors to our new free school as soon as this is possible.’