Woodford Garden Village School Site Pre-Proposal Consultation

Closed 29 Jul 2021

Opened 1 Jul 2021

Overview

Stockport Council is seeking views about how the new primary school at Woodford should be operated.

When the council granted planning permission for the redevelopment of the former BAE systems site at Woodford, the planning permission included a single form entry primary school. The school is to be built by the developer and to be available for occupation of the 450th dwelling. Once built, the school site and building will be passed to the council.

The purpose of this consultation is to outline the 2 options available to the council for management and governance of the new school building. The options are:

  • an existing community school transfers to the new site and is expanded, or
  • the site is offered, though a competitive process, as a free school/academy.

The Council wants to be transparent about its decision-making process and is engaging before any decision has been made to ensure we have considered alternative perspectives.

We want to hear the views of all interested parties to come to a clear position on preferences and to understand possible unintended consequences and practical problems of the decision that needs to be made by the Council. 

This this the pre-proposal consultation phase.

Why your views matter

Stockport Council must, by law, make sure there are enough school places to meet anticipated and current demand based on births and population figures.

The Department for Education sets out the following key principles:

  •  to ensure sufficient school places in local schools
  • to deliver places in a proactive timely manner
  • to deliver value for money and maximise grant income
  • to consider the implications of decisions made ensuring sustainability of existing local schools
  • to ensure decisions deliver flexibility for the future needs of the  school population

It is the role of the Council to decide the operator of the school site located in the Woodford housing development, guided by the above principles. The Council has two options available.

  1. Relocate Queesngate Primary School to take over operation of the site, expanding the school to 2 forms of entry.
  2. Open the school as a new 1 form entry free school. Queensgate Primary School remains on its existing site as a 1 form entry school.

A summary of each option including, insights the Council currently hold, and assessments underway is available on the next few pages.

Consultation responses will be used to inform which option to take forward and follow the relevant change process, discussed in the next pages of this website.

This is not a popular vote. Careful consideration will be given to the views and opinions of all stakeholders who engage in this process. It is important that you provide detail  alongside your responses so that decision makers can understand your perspective fully.

This pre-proposal consultation will inform the publication of a statutory proposal and a subsequent consultation will launch seeking views specifically on that proposal.

 

What happens next

Consultation responses will be used to inform which option to take forward and follow the relevant change process, discussed in the next pages of this website.

The responses to the pre-proposal consultation will inform the publication of a statutory proposal and a subsequent consultation will launch seeking views specifically on that proposal.

Option 3

The relocation of Queensgate Primary is considered a prescribed alteration and as such does not need to follow a statutory change process however the Council will retain the elements of decision making as if it were following a statutory change process.

The expansion of Queensgate Primary School to a 2-form entry primary school is a prescribed alteration and is subject to a statutory change process.

The process that must be followed for the expansion and will be voluntarily followed for the relocation is as follows:

Stage 1 - Representation

This is the Statutory proposal/ notice

Stage 2 - Formal Consultation

The consultation must be at least 4 weeks. Stockport Council would consult for a minimum of 6 weeks. 

Stage 3 - Decision

Decision made by Stockport Council Cabinet. Must be made within 2 months. If no decision the expansion decision would fall to the Office of the School’s Adjudicator (OSA). The OSA can only decide on matters relating to the expansion, not the relocation. 

Stage 4 - Implementation 

No prescribed timescales

Option 2

The Council would be considered the ‘proposer’ and as such cannot also be the decision maker. The statutory change process that must be followed is below:

Stage 1- Consultation

4 weeks. (Requirement filled by this by pre-propsal consultation in July 2021).

Stage 2 - Publication 

1 week, must be within 12 months of Stage 1 consultation. Formal publication for the proposal under S10

Stage 3 - Representation

6 weeks . To allow an interested party to comment on the published proposal

Stage 4 - Decision 

Up to 8 weeks. The Office of the School’s Adjudicator is the decision maker.