Whitby community invited to mark Eskdale School celebration this Thursday

The headteacher of Eskdale School, Sue Whelan, has announced her retirement at the end of the school year.
The headteacher of Eskdale School, Sue Whelan, has announced her retirement at the end of the school year.

Eskdale School is hosting a celebratory night this Thursday at Whitby Pavilion, to mark the start of a new chapter in the school’s history.

Two years ago, the school faced the prospect of closure but is now heading into a much healthier future, taking students up to 16 for the first time, from this September.

And they want the wider community of Whitby to join in the party!

In 2016, North Yorkshire County Council debated the future of education in Whitby, in the form of a consultation process regarding the school amalgamating with Caedmon College, which would have seen the closure of Eskdale.

Eskdale parents, pupils, governors and staff pulled together enlisting the help of the local community to help save the school and keep a choice of secondary education in the town.

A campaign group was formed which wrote a response document to the consultation, attended meetings, had protest marches, wrote to the council and gathered more than 5,000 signatures on a petition.

They had the support of many local businesses, councillors, and even local musicians and celebrities such as actress Joanne Froggatt, Yorkshire CCC cricketer Adam Lyth and Five Divide backed the campaign.

Singer songwriter Alistair Griffin, a former Eskdale pupil, produced a music video of Somewhere Only We Know with the school choir to increase the profile of the plight of the school.

The amalgamation was paused by the county council and Eskdale stayed open.

The staff, governors and pupils worked hard to ensure the school received a Good rating in its most recent Ofsted. It is now looking forward to the future as an 11-16 school.

Now is a fitting time to celebrate as it’s a perfect end to the school term and year, especially as current headteacher Sue Whelan is retiring, having led the school through a turbulent few years.

The school is now in a strong position for its future when new head, Andrew Fyfe, takes up his post in September.

Eskdale Celebrates takes place this Thursday night at Whitby Pavilion, 7pm.

The evening will be split into two halves.

In the first, the pupils will perform music, dance and drama. Performances from Blue Monkeys, Desolate Weekend, Esk Valley Concert Band, Eskdale year nine Drama/Music Groups, GCSE Drama Thesps, Eskdale Dance Club, Choir With Alistair Griffin.

After the interval, there will be a party type atmosphere where Five Divide and Alistair Griffin will perform.

There will be entertainment in the foyer pre-show from various musicians and you can browse display of photos and work from Eskdale art students.

The cafe and bar will also be open.

This event is an Eskdale School and community celebration. Tickets £2. Any money left after this will go to Eskdale School PTA funds.

Click here for more info.