Eskdale School to increase age limit from 2016

Eskdale School is changing the leaving age to 16 years old as of next year.

Governors at the school have decided to go against the recommendations and wishes of the local education authority and implement the changes regardless.

The decision was made unanimously at a meeting last week following aperiod of consultation which was done by way of sending letters home to parents.

Dave Bradley, vice-chairman of governors, told the Gazette: “The consultation was letters, the newsletter and people sending in forms. We got overwhelming support from our parents and friends of the school.

“Obviously there were some negative comments but they were in no means equal.

“We considered all the responses, including from Caedmon College and the governing body made the decision last Thursday and formally agreed because of the overwhelming support. And, we believe that Eskdale has aspecial place within the community.”

Over the past few years Eskdale has tried to raise the leaving afe from 14 to 16 to end the transition period which sees pupils change schools at the end of year nine and undertake GCSEs elsewhere.

It has taken this courseof action after being refused Academy status and also following the merger of Whitby’s other middle school, Caedmon, with Whitby Community College.

It was envisaged by education bosses at North Yorkshire County Council Eskdale should join that federation creating a single 11-19 school in Whitby.

But the governors said: “We do not accept that federating with Caedmon College will automatically drive up standards and from our recent meeting with the Caedmon College governors and Headteacher it seems that if we joined them in a federation they would require the closure of the Eskdale site as the way to achieve cost savings.”