Plan to house school and nursery in new building set to go before Cabinet

A proposal to amalgamate a school and nursery so that pupils can attend a new multimillion-pound facility to accommodate rising demand for school places is set to go before Cabinet.

Plans to house Ox Close Primary and Oxclose Nursery schools in one primary school at a replacement new building on Durham Road will be discussed at the virtual meeting on Wednesday 21 April.

The new school, which Durham County Council has allocated the necessary funding of £13.1million towards, would be built on the former site of Tudhoe Grange Comprehensive School. If the proposals are given the go-ahead the site could be built and open to staff and pupils by September 2024.

Ox Close Primary and Oxclose Nursery schools formed the Ox Close Federation in November 2018. The Spennymoor area has experienced and continues to experience significant growth through housing developments which is putting pressure on school places across the town. To respond to this, some of the schools in the area have been expanded in recent  years.

Ox Close Primary School was one of those schools, but despite this, without further expansion, it cannot meet the demand for future places. The most effective solution for Spennymoor to address the pressure on places at Ox Close and across Spennymoor generally is a new build replacement school with an increased capacity.

John Pearce, Durham County Council’s corporate director of children and young people’s services, said: “Amalgamating Ox Close Primary and Oxclose Nursery into one site is the best way of improving education outcomes and easing the pressure on school places in the Spennymoor area.

“This proposal will enhance education provision in the area and lead to a more sustainable establishment for the long term that will bring about educational improvement and will continue to provide equal access for all.”

Ox Close Primary School is judged as ‘Good’ by Ofsted and it was highlighted that teachers and teaching assistants have ensured that children in the early years thrive both academically and socially. Oxclose Nursery School meanwhile was judged as ‘Outstanding’ at its last inspection.

The two schools therefore start from a strong position and officers in the council’s education service, in addition to the senior leadership team of the two schools, believe that learning and progress can be improved further if the two schools are amalgamated in one building.

Cabinet is set to meet on Wednesday 21 April at 9.30am.

Members of the public can view the meeting by going to the council’s YouTube channel at