Stray Views: How did Woodfield school end up in this mess?
Last updated Jun 10, 2022
Stray Views

Stray Views is a weekly column giving you the chance to have your say on issues affecting the Harrogate district. It is an opinion column and does not reflect the views of the Stray Ferret. Send your views to [email protected].

Woodfield’s school’s planned closure a sad reflection of times

Woodfield Community Primary School is going through a consultation process to close at the end of this year. There is to be a public meeting on Wednesday 15th June at 6pm at the school.

Woodfield is, as the name suggests, a community primary school which serves the local population. It has been extensively refurbished over the last few years, has a large playground and extensive playing fields, It has a community library and children’s centre at the same site.

Why then is it closing? This is, like many things, complex. It is to do with poor management by North Yorkshire County Council, inexperienced acting headteachers, social media, Harrogate parents exercising their ‘choice’ to go to the ‘better’ schools, and finally Ofsted rating the school in 2020 as ‘inadequate’.

The Ofsted rating was the death blow for Woodfield. It meant the school had to join an academy but no academy wanted to take it on, due to small pupil numbers, leaving the school in a catch- 22 situation.

There was no attempt to alter this situation by the education authorities, who could have stepped in at this point as far as I am aware. The school is now almost certain to close.

Many people do not know of the existence of Woodfield. Many people will not be bothered. It is not the school that the affluent of Harrogate send their children to, it was a good, caring school around the corner with teachers and teaching assistants that cared for the children, but didn’t get the best SATs results.

I think it is important sometimes to reflect on what do we really want for our children.

Vicky Lack, Bilton

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Trying to order a drive-through coffee without a car

Yesterday whilst walking past Costa Coffee in Pannal I decided to go for a coffee. The restaurant part was closed due to lack of staff.

Upon walking away I noticed that the drive-through was open so I decided to ask for a coffee at the drive-through whilst there were no cars queueing. I was informed that due to not being in the car I could not be able to get a coffee. How does that work ??

Needless to say, I accepted that I was not driving a car. My options would have been to pretend I was driving a car or jump in the next car and ask to be a passenger.

We live in a seriously mad world where common sense has gone totally out of the window.

Amanda Finney, Pannal

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