Schools plans move forward

PLANS to merge Graham and Raincliffe schools in Scarborough have moved a step closer.

North Yorkshire County Council was approached by the governing body of the two schools, which are currently federated, which wanted to pursue the extended opportunities it believes can be achieved by becoming one school through the expansion of Graham School.

A decision to support the proposal by the county council’s Executive yesterday means that statutory notices will now be published to expand Graham School and to cease to maintain Raincliffe.

Arthur Barker, North Yorkshire’s Executive Member for Schools, said: “We are delighted to be able to help the schools move forward to the next stage of their development into one school. They have worked very hard over the last few years to come together for the good of children and young people in the area. We are pleased that these proposals are acceptable to parents and we will be working with staff and governors of Graham and Raincliffe to bring about a smooth transition to one school.”

A final decision will be taken by the Executive in September for the schools to become a single enlarged Graham School in September 2012 following a 12 month transition period.

A county council spokesman said parents of the two schools were overwhelmingly positive about the proposal during a recent consultation.

It is hoped the creation of one school would provide a wider range of curriculum options and enable the best use of resources.

From September 2011 the schools have decided to operate with a shared staff, one lunch, a one week timetable and a common curriculum for all students. In order to achieve this, years 7 and 8 will be organised as a lower school on the Raincliffe site. Years 9, 10 and 11 will be organised as an upper school based on the existing Graham School site.

The schools believe that by bringing together leadership, staff and students in this way they can help to raise student achievement further by taking full advantage of all the facilities and resources a shared campus offers.

Garry Hancock, executive headteacher for both Graham and Raincliffe School, which have 1,303 and 325 pupils on their registers respectively, has said the changes would herald a new and exciting chapter in education provision for Scarborough students.