Harrogate High School plans to reduce admissions

Harrogate High School executive headteacher Andrew Bayston.  090114M2b.
Harrogate High School executive headteacher Andrew Bayston. 090114M2b.

Harrogate High School is planning to reduce the number of published admissions to the school.

This process is going hand-in-hand with the new school build, which will be ready for students in September 2016.

Agents acting on the High School’s behalf have now submitted the plans for the new building, which will have a lower capacity of 780.

Though there will be an option of extending this to 950 if the need arises, there are currently only 564 students at the school, and with a current capacity of 1,570, the reduction and the new build will work in tandem to better match the expected intake.

Harrogate High School executive headteacher Andrew Bayston said: “When we applied to the priority schools building fund we applied for a size of school that we felt was appropriate, and I think 780 is a good size to deliver personalised learning.

“A year in advance we therefore need to go through this consultation process.

“However, it won’t have any effect on our students. What we do now and what we are able to provide will continue. Our students enjoy the benefit of smaller class sizes and that will continue in the new building.”

This planned reduction comes at a time when other schools in Harrogate are struggling to fit all applicants into existing buildings.

Harrogate Grammar School in particular consistently turns away children wanting to go to the school because of continued oversubscription.

The possibility of expanding the school in line with the pupil admission number (currently 125) will be explored in the future, according to Mr Bayston.

He said: “The local authority has said there is going to be a shortage initially of places for primary students, and that rolls through to secondary places, so we will consider that if we get to that situation.

“Our first consideration is to get up and running.”

The public consultation on the High School’s proposal ends on January 30, 2015.