Schools consult on federation plan

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TWO of the Esk Valley’s primary schools are planning a management merger with changes set to take effect in April.

Earlier this year, the Whitby Gazette revealed the two governing bodies of Castleton and Glaisdale schools were looking into joining together in a formal federation.

Plans have since moved forward with a formal consultation period being launched. Meeting for parents from both schools took place this week.

Under the proposals both schools would remain separate, retaining individual names, budget, buildings and uniforms and be inspected as separate entities by Ofsted.

Day to day running would be largely unaffected and the admissions process for both schools will remain as it is now.

But Jane Douglass, current headteacher at Castleton will take on Glaisdale School - which at present is without a permanent headteacher.

Each school’s governors will be scrapped and a single Federation Governing Body created, consisting of a parent governor from each school, a staff member, the head and seven co-opted members.

Deadline for feedback on the federation is Monday 17 December and the two current governing bodies will meet in the New Year to consider the responses.

Documents published by North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) say the Federation will benefit both schools as they would share resources and expertise. For example, Glaisdale pupils can use Castleton’s outdoor learning area and in turn, Castleton pupils can use the field at Glaisdale.

A bigger management structure would potentially make it easier to recruit and help the viability of both schools in the current economic climate.

NYCC said: “The governing bodies feel that to federate now is in the best interests of pupils currently at the schools and those that will attend in the future. Federation would enhance the existing collaborative working, secure better and wider opportunities and will contribute to the long-term viability of both schools.

“There are particular benefits in federation for small schools, in terms of educational and social experiences for pupils and professional development for staff.”