Driffield News

‘Every child at Weaverthorpe School has been failed’ by closure decision

Parents fighting against the proposed closure of a small village school are refusing to take the decision lying down.

The Wolds Weekly reported last week that North Yorkshire County Council had approved plans to start the formal process to close Weaverthorpe Primary School this summer, which was classed as ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted in January 2020.

However, a parent has written to the area’s MP hoping for a last-ditch intervention, claiming ‘every child at Weaverthorpe School, and every future pupil, has been failed’.

Every child in Weaverthorpe School, and every future pupil, has been failed. They are facing being displaced from their current educational environment, where, as you are aware they are thriving.

A final decision is due to be made by the council’s executive at the end of May, but notices formally announcing plans to proceed with the closure are due to be published this week.

A group of parents have spent months campaigning against the decision, and are refusing to give up, even with the clock running out.

The latest step is to write to North Yorkshire County Council’s executive member for education and skills, Cllr Patrick Mulligan, who is based in Skipton, a two-hour drive away from Weaverthorpe, and Kevin Hollinrake, MP for Thirsk and Malton.

The parent, who asked not to be identified, told the Wolds Weekly: “From the very beginning, it has been obvious that the public consultation is merely a paper exercise, and the decision to close Weaverthorpe School had already been made.

“The Ofsted inspection appears to have been convenient in making the decision, and although the local authority continues on the narrative of that they have explored every option, however, there is no viable option to keep the school open, there clearly have been options.

“To place obstructions in the path of every option offered, would ensure the closure of the school.

“It is unfortunate that those who support the school and would wish to see it remain open, have to surrender to its closure.”

A statement by the council said: “Attempts by the Regional Schools Commissioner to find a Multi-Academy Trust to sponsor the school were not successful due to viability concerns.

“The council also worked with the Diocese of York to try to find an alternative partnership with other schools in the maintained sector, again without success.

“The council have supported the school through an Interim Executive Board and temporary leadership over the past two years but those arrangements are unable to continue beyond July 22.

“The Executive accepted the recommendation noting that all potential avenues that might have secured the future of Weaverthorpe School appear to have been exhausted. There will now be a four-week period during April for any further stakeholder representations to be made.”

Parents are now hoping to find some way of saving their school in that four-week period, otherwise their children will be taught at Luttons or Hertford Vale Schools from September.

The letter to Cllr Mulligan and Mr Hollinrake, was sent on 8th March but no replies have yet been received, although Mr Hollinrake has previously said it would be ‘very disappointing’ if Weaverthorpe School could not remain open.

It claims Sledmere and Wetwang schools had agreed to form a federation with Weaverthorpe, which has just 21 pupils.

“This was accepted by Sledmere, however, due to costing, it was rejected by NYCC. As a result, we now face closure,” the letter says.

“Had the initial offer of help been accepted, it has been expressed to me that when OFSTED made their visit, although they may have identified some issues, they would have accepted that the then management and governance were taking steps to address these issues and Weaverthorpe would not have been facing closure today.

“My disappointment in a system where the management of a school can allow a school to continue to fail, despite being aware could not be greater.

“Every child in Weaverthorpe School, and every future pupil, has been failed. They are facing being displaced from their current educational environment, where, as you are aware they are thriving.

“The issues identified by OFSTED, have all been addressed by an excellent team of management, governance and current members of teaching staff, however due to cost, and funding, their determination and investment in turning this school around will not be recognised and​ will have all been in vain, as the school will likely still face closure.”

Related Articles

Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please allow ads on our site Ads help pay for our website and content. Switch off your ad-blocker and enjoy.