A decision to close a primary school in North Yorkshire will be made later this month.

Senior councilors at North Yorkshire County Council will be asked to make a formal decision to close a primary school in Harrogate at the end of the year after long-running attempts to keep the school open.

County executive members will meet this month when they are recommended to approve the closure of Woodfield Elementary after all other options to secure its future have been exhausted.

The school grounds, which are owned by the county council, are also home to Bilton and Woodfield Community Library, Harrogate Bilton Child and Family Center and Oak Back House. All of these services are unaffected by the proposed school closure and remain open as normal.

Woodfield Primary School in Harrogate is under threat of closure (Image: UGC)

When Woodfield School closes, its catchment will be shared by Bilton Grange Primary School and Grove Road Primary School.

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The county council carried out a review of admissions preferences over the summer and at the request of parents. Most of the pupils who were enrolled at Woodfield found other places before the start of the September term.

For more than two years, efforts have been made to find a suitable solution to stop the school from working.

The primary school has been placed in special measures after being found inadequate following an Ofsted inspection in January 2020. Subsequent Ofsted monitoring visits have found that effective measures are being taken to lift special measures, but any supported school found to be inadequate by Ofsted must become sponsored academy. However, no academy foundation would agree to sponsor the school due to concerns that it would be unviable.

If a school is not viable as an academy, local authorities are expected to close the primary school and the Secretary of State can order them to do so if necessary.

Opinions on the proposal to close the school were solicited from parents, school staff and other stakeholders over the summer. But no viable alternative could be found and a reluctant decision was made to proceed with the closure.

There were 37 pupils at the primary school at Easter, but almost all parents decided to transfer their children to alternative schools nearby before the start of the September term.

Stuart Carlton, North Yorkshire County Council’s corporate director for children and young people, said: “We have worked closely with governors and others for over two years to explore all possible options to secure the future of Woodfield Primary School, but unfortunately no viable alternative has been found”.

Elected members will make the final decision to close the school at an executive meeting on Tuesday, October 25.

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