Future of Harrogate's Woodfield Community Primary School unknown as Grove Road withdraws from amalgamation plans

A proposed amalgamation of two Harrogate primary schools is not being put forward for approval, following withdrawal of support.

By Lucy Chappell
Thursday, 7th April 2022, 5:12 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th April 2022, 5:22 pm

The Governing bodies of Grove Road Community Primary and Woodfield Community Primary explored combining the two schools in order to share the benefit of both school sites.

The move would mean Woodfield School would technically close and become part of Grove Road from September 2022.

An extensive consultation process ensued involving public meetings and the gathering of views from parents and the local community and after careful consideration, Grove Road Community Primary School says it has regretfully decided to withdraw its support for the amalgamation.

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A proposed amalgamation of two Harrogate primary schools is not being put forward for approval, following withdrawal of support

The school’s governing body stated: “When first approached about the amalgamation the leadership and governors could see the potential benefits of the proposal for the communities of both schools and were supportive of the consultation.

"However, a change of such significance also carries risk.

“During the consultation period we have monitored factors such as the level of support for the proposal and the likely demand for school places.

“Ultimately, the Governing Board have concluded that we must prioritise the future of Grove Road School and so, sadly, we can no longer support the proposed amalgamation.”

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The governing body of Woodfield School stated: ‘’We are saddened to hear about Grove Road’s decision to withdraw support for the amalgamation.

“It has been a difficult time for Woodfield School, and we were very hopeful​​​ that a satisfactory conclusion could found for the future of the school.

"The school, staff, parents, and governors need a time of reflection before we make any decisions regarding the school’s future.

“We will continue to consult with North Yorkshire County Council regarding any future decisions.’’

Stuart Carlton, Director of Children and Young People Services, said: “Any proposal to expand a school onto an additional site is a significant change with challenges that should not be underestimated.

"So, while we are disappointed the proposal is no longer supported, we fully understand why Grove Road governors now have that view.

“I would like to thank the leadership and governors of both schools for their efforts in working with us on this amalgamation proposal.

“We will now need to work alongside the Department for Education and governors at Woodfield primary to re-consider the position for the school over the coming weeks before we are able to comment further.”

The consultation period has now closed and the County Council’s Executive will consider a report on April 19 that will recommend that this amalgamation proposal should not proceed further.