Yorkshire school unveils academy plans

A Yorkshire secondary school has announced plans to convert to an academy and join a high-performing chain of schools.

Pupils from Boston Spa School with their headteacher Christopher Walsh and Sir John Townsley the Gorse Academies Trust chief executive (right).

Boston Spa School will launch a consultation process with a view to joining the Gorse Academies Trust, which runs eight schools in the Leeds city region.

The trust currently oversees the Morley and Farnley Academies, which have both been rated as outstanding by Ofsted and granted World Class Schools status.

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And the academy chain recently came to national attention when its first primary school, Hillcrest Academy, went from ‘inadequate’ to ‘outstanding’ status in just three years.

Christopher Walsh, headteacher of Boston Spa School, said “This is a really exciting and important development for Boston Spa. We have been a good school for many years and we are now determined to become outstanding.

“We have looked very carefully at all of the options available to us and we believe that this is the best way to deliver our ambitious plans for the future.”

As an already good Ofsted rated school, Boston Spa would be converting to academy status rather than being sponsored.

The executive principal of the Gorse Academies Trust, Sir John Townsley, also views the potential partnership as being of great significance.

He said: “After many weeks of discussion between us we have become more and more convinced about our shared values and our common determination to ensure that all young people have the opportunity to attend brilliant schools. Boston Spa School has so many strengths and is now poised to become a true giant within Leeds.”

Last month The Yorkshire Post revealed one third of schools in the region are no longer controlled by local authorities – showing the rapid growth of the academy programme in the county.