College reveals plans to convert to an Academy

Caedmon School head teacher Tony Hewitt with Whitby Community College head teacher Keith Prytherch''w140309c
Caedmon School head teacher Tony Hewitt with Whitby Community College head teacher Keith Prytherch''w140309c

Caedmon College is embarking on a second huge shake-up of the town’s education system as it launches a bid to become an Academy.

The governing body announced this week it is starting a consultation with parents about plans to break free from local authority control.

It comes less than a year after the merger between the old Caedmon and Community College schools - considered to be the biggest educational change for at least 40 years.

In a statement released to parents, Richard Simpson, chair of governors said they had thought “long and hard” about creating an inclusive trust involving all schools in the Whitby area that would like to join.

However, the Academy status application applies just to Caedmon at this stage.

If it was given the go-ahead Mr Simpson says there are several advantages

*greater freedom

*more funding as cash comes direct from central government and not retained by local authority

*do not need to teach parts of national curriculum it doesn’t think appropriate for Whitby students

*can set and alter pay and conditions for staff.

He added that a multi-academy trust (involving other Whitby schools) would allow the college to draw on experience and excellence of other schools, joint training arrangements, share staff, pool funding resources and have the same strategic vision.

The day to day running of the school is not expected to change with name, uniform, logo, school holiday patterns and staff arrangements set to stay the same according to the document sent to parents.

Should the Department for Education approve the application then it is expected to be effective from October this year.

Mr Simpson said: “Governors have thought long and hard about the advantages of creating an inclusive trust to involve all the local schools in our area that would like to join.

“They want to do this because they believe passionately in local people/governors being in control of their own destiny and to realise the benefits of collaborative learning for everyone concerned.

“I am aware there are uncertainties with any change. This is natural, but we are keeping a relentless focus on improving outcomes for every student - whether through school or academy status.”

A six week period of consultation with parents, students, and staff will end on May 1.

On Tuesday and Wednesday April 14 and 15 appointments can be made with the College Principal to discuss the plans. On Thursday April 16 from 8pm there is a public session for staff, parents and other college stakeholders.