Controversial plans announced to expand Oatlands Junior School to admit children from reception onwards

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The Oatlands area of Harrogate is served by two schools, the Oatlands Infant School and Oatlands Junior School.

Oatlands Junior School has now announced plans to increase its intake from 300 to 420 by taking children from reception age.

Oatlands Infant School is located located on Hookstone Road in Harrogate, while Oatlands Junior School is at the end of Beechwood Grove – a few minutes walk from each other.

The proposals would see the school take reception age children from September 2019, taking 60 children through to Junior School age. The Junior School has said that they believe that there are 90 places needed in the area for infant school age and this would give parents more choice.

Oatlands Community Primary is part of the Red Kite Learning Trust while Oatlands Infant school is part of the Yorkshire Causeway Schools trust. Both schools trusts have declined to comment on the changes and have deferred comment to the schools governors.

Rachel Hartley is the Chair of Governors for Oatlands Infant School and has said that it is important that both schools work in the best way for the Community that they serve.

 

 

Chris Tulley is the Chair of Governors for Oatlands Junior School and believes that both schools should expand, meaning that Oatlands Infant School should expand to include Junior School provision.

To read the schools supporting information:

Public Consultation Letter to Parents

Public Consultation FAQ’s

Public Consultation Letter to Neighbours

An opposition group has been formed to protect Oatlands Infant School. An online petition has seen over 700 signatures opposing the proposals in a few days.

The opposition group say that this change will cause admissions to dwindle for Oatlands Infant School and would be damaging. Children would no longer be able to transition from Oatlands Infant School to Oatlands Junior School as the Junior School would fill the Junior School places from its own Infant School. That would mean that children would need to go to a Junior School further away.

A countering argument however is that the town has an expanding population, with a recently developed local plan targeting 700 new homes a year being required.

There will be public consultation meeting on Monday 16th April at 6.30pm at the  school hall at
Oatlands Juniors.

The Local Authority will also be consulted as will other local schools.

The consultation period will run until 7 May and at that point the Red Kite Learning Trust and Local Governing Body at Oatlands Juniors will decide whether to submit a business case to the Regional Schools Commissioner (RSC) and seek their approval for the plan.

 

 

3 Comments

  1. Oatlands Junior School is part of the Red Kite Alliance and Oatlands Infant School is part of the Causeway Trust (not the other way round)

  2. It’s not stated that when the Infant school were asked to expand to accommodate an extra class (a 90 intake) that the Juniour school were also asked to do the same. Therefore with these plans to turn the Juniour school into a through primary will leave two years of infants (with approximately 25 children for each year) with no junior school to transition to, meaning them having to uproot and change schools completely. Can the local authorities guarantee these children will be placed elsewhere? And how is this beneficial to the children? The Juniour school suggests that Infants also change status to a full primary, realistically this would be difficult as it’s a smaller school. This will be damaging for the Infant school and the wider community of these plans go ahead.

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