Proposed closure of Hovingham CE Primary School: Statutory Notice - Appendix 5

Ryedale learning trust response to closure of Hovingham consultation.

Response to consultation

Why do we (Ryedale learning trust) want to help Hovingham and St Hilda’s CE primaries? 

  • we have wanted to work with Hovingham and St Hilda’s from the outset - Hovingham and St Hilda’s were part of the working group that led to the establishment of the Ryedale federation in 2016 
  • our trust is committed to engaging with all interested schools (including CE schools) in the surrounding geographical area - we understand this will require us changing to mixed articles, with the support of the diocese 
  • we believe wherever possible that small rural schools should be preserved, as they are integral to the communities they serve 
  • Hovingham and St Hilda’s CE primaries are within the catchment area for Ryedale school 
  • Hovingham CE school has the pupil numbers in catchment to secure its future, and we believe we can help make Hovingham (and St Hilda’s) schools of choice in their local, and wider communities 
  • we have a good track record for improving small schools and ensuring their viability 

Ryedale learning trust vision and values


Every learner in our trust is inspired to succeed and enabled to fulfil their potential.

Our trust is committed to:

  • promoting health, happiness and wellbeing
  • providing a safe, disciplined and supportive environment
  • developing a love of learning through a passionate and committed approach
  • having high standards and expectations
  • adopting a proactive and ‘can do’ attitude
  • fostering Integrity, kindness and good manners
  • collaborative working to secure excellence
  • engendering respect for individuality and difference

School improvement capacity 

Central education team 

  • early years lead
  • primary education lead
  • secondary education lead
  • raising achievement lead
  • safeguarding and inclusion lead
  • quality assessment and standards lead
  • staff development lead

Central operations team

  • chief finance officer
  • chief operations officer
  • human resources manager
  • estates and facilities manager
  • IT manager
  • governance manager

Ryedale learning trust support from January 2023 

As associate members of the Ryedale learning trust, Hovingham and St Hilda's will benefit from:

  • leadership of the schools by our primary lead (executive headteacher) 
  • access to and support from the trust central education and operations teams
  • support from an experienced CE headteacher (and continued support from the diocese) 

We will ensure that St Hilda’s receives the necessary support to continue to enhance its educational provision and to secure its numbers moving forward, whilst working with the local community, we and the diocese to secure Hovingham CE School’s future.

Proposed Hovingham CP school offer from September 2023

From September 2023, we can provide high quality EYFS and KS1 provision, with:

  • up to 8 reception places
  • up to 16 nursery places
  • places would also be open to year 1 and year 2 pupils from September 2023
  • wrap around care and enrichment activities (including Forest schools)
  • a school community within a community of schools

We are currently holding open mornings and advertising the potential provision on offer from September 2023. We have interest for nursery places but not as yet reception places for September 2023.

We have the staffing and leadership experience, and capacity within our schools and trust, to deliver this offer.

Hovingham CE school’s future

We recognise that without a positive outcome for the school in terms of the consultation, and without appropriate transitional financial support from the local authority from April 2023, our actions alone cannot guarantee that Hovingham CE School will be open in September 2023. We have relayed this message to all stakeholders.

If we are unable to secure the future of Hovingham CE School, Ryedale learning trust will still be fully committed to supporting St Hilda’s CE School and bringing them into the trust along with other local CE Primary schools, with the support of the diocese.