Federation to ‘secure future’ for area’s coastal secondary schools

A federation for two of Yorkshire’s secondary schools will drive forward prospects for the region’s young people, local leaders have said, securing their future long-term.

Headteachers and governors: Andy Fyfe, Gillian Teanby, Pen Cruz, Simon Riley

There has been much debate in recent years over future provision for Whitby’s Eskdale School and Caedmon College, with formal consultations launched by governors last year.

Now, in the wake of support for proposals, the two are to federate, creating a new sixth form while maintaining two sites, separate headteachers, budgets and staff.

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“This is a fantastic outcome for education in Whitby,” said Robert Goodwill, MP. “This approach will secure the long-term future of both schools and a new jointly governed sixth form centre.

“The federation of the schools demonstrates a significant joint commitment to provide the best education and opportunity across the town.

“This is great news for the future of children and young people in the area.”

Many changes have been considered for the schools since 2010, he has previously warned, amid falling rolls in the area which has resulted in a reduced offer of subject variety.

When the proposals were first put forward in early December, they were hailed as a the start of a “new chapter” for education in the area.

The option, putting an end to a long-running rivalry between the two schools, would be the most sustainable to secure a quality of education in the area, local councillors had agreed.

The partnership will see two separate 11-16 schools on the Eskdale and Normanby sites maintained, but governors say will bring wider opportunities within studies and in extracurricular activities. Sixth form provision would be developed on the Scoresby site, funded under the North Yorkshire Coast Opportunity Area.

Sir Martin Narey, opportunity area chairman, said: “I’m very pleased at the progress we are making to improve social mobility prospects for children and young people on the Yorkshire coast.

“Nothing has been more important than ensuring that Whitby has a top class sixth form.”

The federation would have a single governing body, but each school has stressed that it would retain its own separate staff, buildings and budgets.

Both governing bodies have said they are “unanimous” in their belief that such collaborative working will enable the two schools to create the “best possible secondary education” for the young people of Whitby.

County Coun David Chance, local member for Mayfield, Whitby said this was great news for the area.

“It has been a long journey for the schools and we are now at a point where they can move together to develop further great educational opportunity for the town’s young people,” he said.

County Coun Patrick Mulligan, North Yorkshire’s executive member for education and skills, agreed.

“We are very happy that the two schools have come together in the best interests of young people in the town and surrounding areas,” he said.

“By collaborating in this way the schools are ensuring a sustainable and exciting future for education in Whitby and the highest standards of teaching and learning.”