Council supports merger of schools’ governing bodies

Council chiefs last night announced plans to merge the running of two schools in North Yorkshire at a time when resources are squeezed.

It was announced last night that, from April, Castleton Community Primary School and Glaisdale Primary School, in Whitby, would 
be run by the same governing body.

Under the merger the schools will retain their own budgets and buildings and remain part of their local community. But they will have a shared leadership and management and a single governing body.

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The news comes as moves to close a York primary school moved a step closer. Councillors in York backed plans to close Derwent School in Tang Hall and expand nearby Osbaldwick Primary School following concerns about the number of spare school places.

A consultation period on the proposed closure will now follow before a final decision is taken. In October 2012 Derwent only had 100 pupils on its roll and the numbers have been falling since 2007.

Up to 25 staff face redundancy but council bosses at York Council have said as many as possible would be redeployed.

Castleton and Glaisdale already work very closely together. They are both small schools and already share a headteacher.

Governors feel that federation will bring about key benefits for children at both schools in terms of educational and social experiences and more targeted teaching. It also means the schools can share and make best use of their resources, which is an advantage in the current tough financial climate.

County Councillor Arthur Barker, North Yorkshire’s executive member for schools, said: “The local authority has given its full backing to this formal federation because it makes sense for the pupils of Castleton and Glaisdale in every way.

“We believe this is the best solution to ensure a robust and sustainable future for these schools which give great service to their rural communities.”