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Lib Dems demand rethink on Harrogate school funding cuts

November 15, 2018 8:19 AM

The plight of the Grove Academy, a pupil referral unit in Harrogate, hit the national headlines this week as it became apparent that it faces drastic funding cuts giving rise to concerns about its potential closure. There are plans by NYCC to reduce funding to PRUs across the county despite a rising demand for these services. The Grove Academy has recently been graded as 'Outstanding' by OFSTED and has achieved great results for pupils who have otherwise been excluded from education.

Lib Dem Cllr Geoff Webber raised concerns about these proposals at the NYCC meeting on Wednesday. Teachers from the Academy have explained that these cuts will mean that the variety of subjects that can be taught would be reduced to a minimum. At Cllr Webber's request it was agreed that the Council will fully discuss these issues at the next Members' Seminar.

These cuts are not scheduled to become effective until the Spring, so there is time for the policy to be reviewed and changed. Cllr Webber said, "My request for a fuller debate on this issue was accepted and it was also agreed that the police be formally approached for comment."

Judith Rogerson, the Lib Dem Parliamentary Candidate for Harrogate & Knaresborough said, "This situation confirms that the Government's education cuts have gone too far - and it is the most vulnerable pupils who stand to suffer the worst. This looks like a poorly thought through proposal by NYCC. It seems to ignore the fact that providing educational facilities with expert support for vulnerable children can pay back dividends when they are older."