Plea for help to win 'hearts and minds' over Whitby's Caedmon College and Eskdale School's federation plan

The governors of Eskdale School and Caedmon College Whitby are working together to form a federation.
The governors of Eskdale School and Caedmon College Whitby are working together to form a federation.

Councillors have been asked to help two Whitby schools which are forming a federation to win “hearts and minds” in the local community.

In February, the governors of Caedmon College and Eskdale School agreed to form a federation between the longtime rivals.

The partnership structure will maintain two separate 11-16 schools on the Eskdale and Normanby Sites, each with its own headteacher, staff, buildings and budgets.

The Caedmon College Scoresby Site will become a dedicated post-16 centre, offering a number of options for pupils of both schools to further their education within the federation, with A-Levels and vocational courses offered.

Read more: Whitby schools pass proposals to form federation
At a meeting of North Yorkshire County Council’s Scarborough and Whitby Area Constituency Committee on Wednesday, Carolyn Watkinson, Eskdale’s chair of governors, made a plea to the councillors.

She said: “The plea from us is that we do need to win hearts and minds within the community as there are some very entrenched views about the competition between the schools and I feel we’ve got over that and are working collaboratively but how we win hearts and minds in the community is by acknowledging and being confident that we have your support.”

Mrs Watkinson was joined at the meeting by Caedmon principal Simon Riley and his Eskdale counterpart Andy Fyfe.

Committee chairman Cllr Joe Plant (Con), who represents the Whitby Streonshalh division, told the delegation that he was happy that a federation plan had come back around.

He said: “I’m sure it will happen because we have gone right round in a circle. I was involved in it, in the beginning, a few years back and we got to the same stage with a federation and for some reasons it just got lost. It’s taken quite a few years to get back to where we wanted to be but it is down to you guys working together.”

Councillor David Jeffels (Con) added that it was “an exciting opportunity for education in Whitby” and one that the students seemed to approve of.