Graham School bid for special status

GRAHAM School hopes to become the second school in Scarborough to be given specialist college status boosting its income by £600,000 over four years.

Headteacher Garry Hancock and other members of staff are putting together a bid for science status which they intend to submit to the Department for Education in March.

A condition of the bid is that the school has to raise 50,000 in order to qualify for the extra funding.

Mr Hancock said: "This is a great opportunity for local young people now and in the future.

"Our aim is to work with other local schools, businesses and the local community to continue to improve the education we can provide for local youngsters.

"While the initial funding will support science, maths and ICT in particular, our plans will result in improved staffing, resources and standards in the school as a whole. These resources will also benefit the wider community.

"We are an ambitious and forward-looking school which is always seeking to improve.

"This will help us to do this more quickly by funding the resources we need. We want local youngsters to have the best opportunity for learning now."

At this stage the school needs pledges from people willing to donate money.

Businesses, individuals and community groups will be approached by the school this week, giving them the chance to make a pledge.

Mr Hancock said: "We will show them the potential that's in this for them. The pupils will have the skills that employers will want from them in the future.

"The big change will be that we will be working more closely with other schools in the area. We see that as a great opportunity.

"Not only will Graham pupils benefit from science status, but also other schools in Scarborough and people in the community as a whole, such as businesses and people who are taught evening classes at school. It will bring money into the town."

Head of science Bill Stuart said: "The key idea of the science college status isn't just to develop science and maths but to use it as a vehicle to raise standards in all subjects."

Mr Stuart has toured local

primary and secondary schools to discuss the benefits of the bid and explain how they can benefit from it.

Assistant headteacher Kevin Dengate, who is also responsible for technology in the school, said a school internet site would be created over the next four years.

Pupils would be able to log on and find out about lessons they had missed, parents would be able to check what stage their children were at and teachers from other schools could download teaching information to use in their own lessons.

Part of the money will be used to create a new ITC suite, pay the wages of extra technicians who will support the pupils and buy new software.

Scalby School was the first school in Scarborough to be granted specialist status.

It was made a technology college in July last year.

Anyone who would like to make a pledge of support should call Graham School on (01723) 366451.