Woodfall Primary School consultation

​Closing date: 22 November 2016

Proposal to make a prescribed alteration to Woodfall Primary School, Woodfall Lane, Little Neston, Neston, CH64 4BT.

School and local authority details

The proposal to make a prescribed alteration to Woodfall Primary School, Woodfall Lane, Little Neston, Neston. CH64 4BT from January 2017 is being published by Cheshire West and Chester Borough Council, HQ Building, 58 Nicholas St, Chester, CH1 2NP. Contact Name and Address: Carolyn Davis, Senior Manager, Education Infrastructure. (HQ Floor 1), 4 Civic Way, Ellesmere Port, CH65 0BE.

The proposal

It is proposed to permanently expand the age range of Woodfall Primary School from 4-11years of age to 2-11years of age, to take effect from January 2017.


A pre-consultation was carried out by the school during the 2016 Summer Term. Having considered the response to the consultation the Governing Body determined to make a temporary increase in the age range to 3-11 pending gaining control of the premises required to make a permanent increase in the age range of the school from 4-11 to 2-11. The Governing Body have now requested Cheshire West and Chester Borough Council’s Director of Education to consult on a proposal to make a permanent increase in the age range to 2-11 to take effect from January 2017.

A period of formal consultation on the proposal will run from 19 October 2016 to 22 November 2016 to which any person may make objections or comments.

At the conclusion of consultation a report detailing all feedback and representations will be compiled and submitted to the Cabinet Member for Children and Young People to make a decision as to whether the proposal should be implemented. This report and details of all feedback received will be published on the Council website, as will the Cabinet Member’s decision.

Description of alteration and evidence of demand

It is proposed that the school extend its age range by making maintained provision for an increased age range of children who have not yet reached compulsory school age. The Governing body of the school believe that this increase in the age range of the school is necessary:

  • To ensure that all local children are able to access their entitlement to early years education in a setting of their preference.
  • To ensure continuity in children’s early years education in order to ensure their readiness for school.

The Governing Body received 54 responses to its initial consultation of which 50 were positive.

The Council’s Early Years Commissioners believes that these places will be necessary to enable the Council to discharge its duty to ensure a sufficiency of early years provision in the area local to the school as hours of entitlement are increased in response to national policy.

The school has been found by Ofsted to be an ‘outstanding’ school.

The effect on other pre-school provision within the area

Analysis of sufficiency suggests occupancy levels (inclusive of the school’s temporary provision for three to four year olds) are currently at 92% capacity across Neston and that this small current surplus will not provide sufficient capacity to implement the forthcoming 30 hours/week entitlement. It is consequently considered that implementation of this proposal will not have an undue long-term negative impact upon other local early years providers.

Project costs and indication of how these will be met, including how long term value for money will be achieved

Operational costs will be met from the school’s revenue budget, supported through the Council’s mechanisms for funding early years education.

Financial risk is low on account of there being an existing cohort seeking provision, and the school having carried out a marketing exercise which affirmed support for the proposal.

Implementation and any proposed stages for implementation

If approved by the decision-maker (and subject to there being no appeal by Chester or Shrewsbury Dioceses to the Schools Adjudicator) the Governing Body wish to implement the proposal from January 2017.

The procedure for responses, support, objections and comments

A public notice announcing the start of a period of public representations was published in the Wirral News on 19 October 2016.

Within five weeks from the date of publication, any person may send in a response supporting, objecting or commenting on the proposal:

The final date for receipt of representations is 22 November 2016.


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