Councillors are to take another look at a decision about where new school places in Huddersfield should go.
A special call-in meeting will review a ruling by Kirklees Council’s Cabinet to backtrack on a plan to expand Reinwood Infant and Junior schools after families had already sent their child to the infant school.
The scrutiny meeting will take place on Friday, January 16, at Huddersfield Town Hall, from 1pm and will see council officers, councillors, parents and teachers give evidence or make a statement to councillors.
Kirklees Cabinet had paved the way for bulge classes of 60 to join Reinwood Infant School last September, with the intention of work to extend the junior school to accommodate them.
But Cabinet members later changed their minds, and decided to further expand Royds Hall Community School instead.
It means the children who have joined Reinwood Infant School will not transfer to the junior school, as parents had been advised.
The call-in for review was made by the Liberal Democrat members on Kirklees Council, with councillors saying they find ‘Cabinet’s decision to re-allocate funding between previously approved schools’ capital projects.... to have lacked adequate consultation with the relevant users and that the process was not open and fair.”
Before the Cabinet ruling on December 16, Clr Cahal Burke had written to the council leader and Cabinet member for schools to ask them to defer making a decision due to insufficient time for parents, teachers and governing bodies to be respond.
The proposal was made public seven days before Cabinet’s December 16 meeting - during a busy time of year for schools - and the decision was made four days before the Christmas holidays.
Clr Burke also raised concerns about implications of the plans on the children in reception and year one at Reinwood, who will have to leave as the school will not be extended to accommodate them as originally planned.
The Examiner understands the Cabinet was also asked to defer making a decision in December to give the Salendine Nook pyramid of schools the chance to consider the latest move and respond.
As a result of the call in, no action can be taken to implement the decision until it has been fully considered by the Children and Young People Scrutiny Panel.
The Scrutiny Panel does not have the power to overturn the decision, however, it can recommend that the Cabinet consider amending the decision.
Time has been allocated for members of the public to speak, and anyone wishing to address the Panel can register by contacting Jenny Bryce-Chan, of Governance and Democratic Services, on 01484 221000 by 5pm on January 15 or email firstname.lastname@example.org by 11.59 pm on the same date.
Alternatively written information can be submitted, addressed to Governance and Democratic Services, Crown Court Buildings, Princess Street, Huddersfield HD1 2TT by 5pm on January 15 or emailed to email@example.com by 11.59pm on the same date.