The college and Caedmon merger moves step closer

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
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A merger between the community college and Caedmon School moved a step closer this week.

The local education authority gave the go-ahead for plans to progress in what is set to be the biggest change in education in Whitby for decades.

Notices will now be published proposing an extension to the age range at Whitby Community College, meaning it will take pupils from ages 11 to 19 and a separate notice will be issued for the closure of Caedmon School - which currently provides 11 to 14 education.

If North Yorkshire County Council’s senior members agree to the proposals at a meeting set to take place in May, then the changes will come into effect from September in time for the start of the new school year.

Keith Prytherch, the current head at the community college will become the executive principal and Tony Hewitt, Caedmon’s headteacher, will become associate principle.

The school, led as a single entity, will operate over both the Community College and Caedmon sites to facilitate the number of pupils.

The two schools announced the proposals in January and have since been consulting with parents, pupils and staff on the planned changes.

A county council spokesperson said there had been “resounding” support for the merger.

County councillor, Arthur Baker said: “We all share the same aspirations; to ensure that children in the Whitby area have the best educational experience they can, and achieve the best they can.

“Bringing the two schools together as one would enable the combined expertise of the staff to be deployed more efficiently for all pupils and will build on the collaborative work already taking place.

“It would allow the implementation of a single curriculum and timetable and remove transition from Caedmon to Whitby Community College at age 14. “These measures would make improvements in standards more achievable and more practical to sustain.”

For many years parents and pupils have expressed a wish to remove the transition at the age of 14 which sees pupils leave Caedmon and the other feeder school, Eskdale so they can continue secondary education at the community college.

Eskdale is currently applying for Academy status which would see it move away local education authority control and is also planning to increase the school leaving age to 16.