Two Scarborough secondary schools will formally join the Hope Learning Trust, York on 1 March 2019. Following a number of delays over the last year, Graham School and George Pindar School will both convert to academy status over the spring half-term break.
The Trust and North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) came to a mutual agreement regarding financial issues, which have previously held up the conversions. This settlement meant that last week, Hope’s Trust Board voted unanimously to formally accept the schools in to the multi-academy trust from 1 March 2019.
The Hope Learning Trust has been working with the schools since early 2018 with the full support of colleagues from NYCC, providing support for teaching and learning and making improvements to processes, procedures, behaviour management and ensuring that safeguarding and security were priorities. An Executive Lead, Helen Dowds, has been put in place to lead the transformation of the schools and subject specialist staff from the Trust have been working with school staff to raise standards. Principals have also now been appointed for both schools. Emma Robins, the current acting head at Graham School has been appointed as Graham’s new Principal and Lesley Welsh, who is currently Deputy Headteacher at Graham School, will take the helm at George Pindar School. The Principals will take up their new positions after Easter.
The Hope Learning Trust secured funding to support the conversions through an MDIF (MAT Development and Improvement Fund) grant alongside substantial capital finance from the Department for Education to the tune of £3.4 million, which will enable them to address priority building and site issues at both schools.
The first priorities for Hope and the two schools will be to continue the excellent work already being done in the schools around improving teaching and learning and behaviour management. They will also work to stabilise staffing and ensure that the teaching and learning strategies in both schools are of the highest quality.
Brian Crosby, Chief Executive Officer of Hope Learning Trust, said “We are delighted to welcome Graham and George Pindar Schools in to the Hope family. We would like to thank all parties for their patience and support over the last year, the staff at the schools for their ongoing commitment and colleagues at NYCC for their advice and counsel.
“The education of the 1,700 young people at Graham and George Pindar is of paramount importance to us and now the schools are formally part of Trust, we can move forward with improving both schools. We are fortunate that within each school there is already a core team of dedicated staff and we will be working with them to ensure they get the professional support they need to do their jobs effectively.
“We can’t promise that improvements will happen overnight, but what we can assure the community of, is that we will follow good educational practice and tested strategies which will see the schools move towards being highly-regarded educational institutions. We already have members of our school improvement team working with many departments improving and developing standards in the classrooms; this will continue and grow further now that academisation is formally in place.
“As a Trust, we are looking forward to working with the other secondary schools in Scarborough and with Graham and George Pindar’s feeder primary schools. We will also be working closely with the North Yorkshire Coast Opportunity Area Board, as part of which, we hope to gain funding for an Alternative Provision for students for whom mainstream provision is not appropriate.”
Hope Learning Trust, York, is a growing multi-academy trust for both primary and secondary schools. A Church of England trust established to bring together church and community schools, from 1 March, Hope will have nine partner schools: Manor Church of England Academy, Vale of York Academy, Barlby High School, Graham School, George Pindar School, Poppleton Ousebank Primary, Burton Green Primary, Forest of Galtres Anglican Methodist Primary and Baldersby St James Primary.
27 February 2019