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Denbury Primary School: Proposal to extend the age range

Update 14 July 2023

Following the completion of the statutory process, the proposal to change the age range of Denbury Primary School from 4-11 to 2-11 years of age has been approved. This will take effect from September 2023.


Following informal consultation, Devon County Council is now in a formal 4 week representation period on a proposal to lower the age range of Denbury Primary School from 4-11 to 2-11 years of age with effect from September 2023.  A Brief Notice has been published in the Western Morning News (12 June 2023) and a Full Proposal has been published. The Full Proposal is available under ‘Consultation method’ below.


Denbury Primary School is a Community Primary school maintained by Devon County Council. The proposal is to establish a Nursery Class for 2-, 3- and 4-year-olds. The school plan to operate this as a Foundation Stage Unit with the Nursery Class and Reception Class children being taught together.

The school propose to begin by admitting three- and four-year-olds to the Nursery Class in September 2023 with the intention of taking two-year-olds in the future.

The children in the Nursery Class would be registered on the school roll. However, parents/carers of children in the Nursery Class will still need to make a separate application to Devon County Council for a place in the Reception Class.

The school will publish how many nursery places are available for 2-year-olds (when offered) and 3- and 4-year-olds alongside the nursery admissions arrangements on the school website. If the schools Published Admission Number for the Reception Class (17) changes this will change the number of nursery children that can be admitted. As a nursery class there must be a qualified teacher and a level 3 qualified early years worker leading the learning for three- and four-year-olds.

Changes to the age range of a Community School require a statutory process to take place. This is a four-stage process of consultation, representation, decision by the Local Authority and implementation.

Capital and Planning

It is confirmed that no capital is required to implement this proposal. Changing the age range will not affect the school’s net capacity or published admission number for school aged children and will not put pressure on existing classroom space.

Denbury Primary School is an Ofsted ‘Good’ School: 19 May 2023.

Extending the age range of the school will help meet demand in the local area. The governing board wishes to ensure that the school supports the local area by offering high quality early education.  The proposal will enable a smooth transition into the Reception class and early support for any child who may require additional support will also be much easier.

Consultation (informal)

The informal consultation was held from 3 May 2023 to 7 June 2023.  There were 9 responses: 8 were supportive of the proposal, including a number of supportive responses from parents hoping to use the new provision from September due to a lack of provision in Denbury village.  1 response, from a resident, raised concerns about noise levels.

One respondee said there was an absence of nursery aged childcare in the village and so this proposal would provide early years provision for local residents and reduce the need for parents to travel to other locations thereby reducing the environmental impact. The respondee concluded that it would also attract more children to the school as children are more likely to stay on at the school, providing longer term sustainability to the school.

Another respondee said they thought it was a great idea, as long as it did not affect the standards and accommodation to the older age groups.  DCC can confirm there will be no effect to the capacity of the school for school aged children, and no pressure on classroom space for school aged children.

Another response outlined that it would be an asset to the village and provide a smooth transition for local children into the primary school.

One response was received from a resident who was concerned about the noise from a classroom and which they feel may be further exacerbated by the noise from nursery aged children. Their concerns are the vicinity of the outside play area and that additional younger children may increase noise levels.

For over a decade, the classroom concerned has been a Reception and Year 1 Class of up to 30 children. These numbers have not changed during this time, apart from this academic year when pupil numbers have fallen.

Under this proposal the Reception Class and the proposed Nursery Class will use this classroom as a Foundation Stage Unit. The outside play area will remain in the same location.  The Foundation Stage Unit will be accommodating less than 30 children.  The nursery will accommodate a maximum of 8 children and the Reception Class has a Published Admission Number of 17.

Responding to the formal representation period: 

We welcome responses on this proposal by the closing date of 10 July 2023 either by:

Emailing: or by:

Post, to: Shona Meek, School Organisation Team, Room 120, Devon County Council, County Hall, Topsham Road, Exeter, EX2 4QG.

All responses to the consultation will be considered by Devon County Council and will be shared with the school’s leadership team and governors, unless you request otherwise.

The process

Devon County Council will consider all responses to the consultation and the formal representation period when making their decision.

Formal representation period: 12 June 2023 to 10 July 2023

Proposed implementation: September 2023

The County Council will keep you informed throughout the process at:

Please note that all responses will be properly considered by Devon County Council and the Governing Body, but we will not send individual responses to any specific points raised.

If you need this document in a different format or language, please contact the School Planning Team on 01392 382057 or via email:



Contact information: Address: Shona Meek, Strategic Planning - Children's Services, School Place Planning, Room 120, Devon County Council, Topsham Road, Exeter, EX2 4QD
Phone: 01392382057