Update 18 June 2015:
Devon County Council’s Cabinet have now approved the following proposals:
South Molton Community Infants School, Devon
change to age range from 4-7 to 5-11 years with early years provision on its existing site with capacity for 210 pupils but able to expand over period of time to support development.
South Molton United CofE Junior School, Devon
change to age range from 7-11 to 2-11 and to relocate to a new site with capacity for 210 pupils with effect from September 2016, but to expand over a period of time to support development.
It was referred to, during the consultation process, that the final decision on the proposals for South Molton Community Infants and South Molton United C of E Junior Schools would be referred to the School’s Adjudicator for decision.
Department for Education School Organisation guidance implies, and advice received from the Department confirmed, that the proposals were classed as ‘Linked Proposals’ and should therefore be decided on by the School’s Adjudicator.
The proposals were referred to the School’s Adjudicator for decision. Unfortunately, the Adjudicator ruled that they did not have the jurisdiction to consider the proposals and that the decision must now be made by the Local Authority.
South Molton is an area identified for sustainable growth and development within the emerging North Devon and Torridge Local Plan, supported by Neighbourhood Plans and Strategy for the town. Up to 1,200 new homes are proposed in the town. The size of development proposed would require the need for a new primary school to accommodate the growing number of children.
New schools are subject to the Government’s requirement for the Local Authority to seek proposals for an Academy or Free School. However, South Molton Junior School has been identified for replacement and expansion within the Government’s Priority Schools Building Programme.
It is not possible to rebuild the Junior School on its present site and it is therefore proposed to relocate the Junior School to a new site to the south of the town in 2016. It will also be necessary to plan the future for South Molton Infant School.