School closure consultation requested

This story was published 12 May 2022

A primary school in Harrogate has requested a consultation begins into a proposed closure.

Paint pots in a primary school

The governors of Woodfield Community Primary School have asked us to undertake a consultation on a proposal that the school should close, following careful consideration of the school’s position.

The school received an inadequate Ofsted judgement following an inspection in January 2020, which required it to become a sponsored academy.

The Regional Schools Commissioner was unable to secure a multi academy trust to sponsor the school due to viability concerns.

The governing body then worked with the governors of Grove Road Community Primary in Harrogate, to  explore combining the two schools in order to share the benefit of both school sites. The move would have meant Woodfield School would technically close and become part of Grove Road from September 2022.

An extensive consultation process was undertaken involving public meetings and gathering the views of parents and the local community.

After careful consideration Grove Road Community Primary School decided in March, with regret, to withdraw its support for the amalgamation. In light of this, the Executive decided to reject the amalgamation proposal at its April meeting.

The governing body of Woodfield Community Primary School stated: “This has been a very difficult time for the school, parents, pupils, staff and governors and we were all hopeful a solution had finally been found with the proposed amalgamation with Grove Road Primary School. Unfortunately, that could not proceed.

“This has left Woodfield Community Primary School in a very vulnerable position and we have had to look again at what options are available for the school.

“The governors have worked incredibly hard to find a positive solution, exploring every available avenue. Unfortunately, it is our conclusion that we have exhausted all options that are available. 

“It is with a very heavy heart that the governors of Woodfield school have had to ask the county council to begin the consultation process for closure.’’  

Director of Children and Young People Services, Stuart Carlton, said: “The Directive Academy Order and the absence of a sponsor from the academy sector had left Woodfield Community Primary School in a difficult position.

“The county council hoped that the proposed amalgamation would provide a solution to retain education on the school site, but that was not to be.

“I would like to thank the leadership and governors of Woodfield Community Primary School for their diligence in exploring the issues and I share their sadness that closure must now be considered.

“We will now move at pace to seek approval to consult on a proposal that the school should close during the next academic year.

“We will communicate directly with the school’s parents in the coming days on the many questions they will have at this time.’’