school against federation plan

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AN EDUCATION federation, seen as a way to raise standards of education in Whitby, will not take place after one of the three schools involved decided to vote against the proposals.

After concerns were raised about how Eskdale School would be affected by the alliance, the board of governors at the school voted against the proposal.

A federation was promoted as a means of uniting communities, expanding curriculum and allowing for better relations between the schools, which would have remained largely independent except for a shared board of governors and leadership team.

However following a consultation period that saw 3,500 questionnaires sent to family, staff and other relevant parties, it was discovered there were concerns about the negative effects teaming-up could have on Eskdale and Caedmon.

Without the support of all three schools a federation cannot be formed at the moment, although the matter may again arise in future.

County councillor Arthur Barker, North Yorkshire’s executive member for schools, said: “Children and young people in Whitby are entitled to the highest standards of schooling and a broad and rigorous curriculum.

“Although a formal federation is not an option currently, the town’s schools will continue to develop good practice together.”

A federation would mean that each school would have continued to operate separately under its current name, separate admissions to each school would have continued and each school would have retained its uniforms, head teacher and budget.

The federation would have shared a governing body and Strategic Leadership Team, both consisting of representatives from each school.

Twenty written responses to the consultation were received, but the report discussing the findings highlighted a vast majority of consultees decided not to respond at all, suggesting they were not unhappy with the proposal.

Keith Prytherch, head at Whitby Community College, said: “Myself and the chair of governors stand by the information you have received and we have got no further comment to add.”

Representatives from Caedmon and Eskdale were unable to comment at the time of going to press. The findings of the report are to be presented to the Yorkshire Coast and Moors County Area Committee at a meeting on Wednesday.