Primary school in Harrogate applies for closure after poor Ofsted report and failed merger

A primary school looks set to close after a failed attempt to merge with another.

Woodfield Community Primary School in Harrogate received an Ofsted rating of Inadequate in 2020, requiring it to obtain sponsorship as an academy.

It was unable to secure a sponsor and a merger with Grove Road Community Primary nearby has now also fallen through.

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North Yorkshire County Council said in a statement: "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.

Woodfield Community Primary School

"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.

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"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.’’

If approved, the school will shut in the next academic year and parents will receive information shortly.