The headteachers of Caedmon College and Eskdale School believe that the federation of the two schools’ governing bodies will provide a bright future for education in Whitby.
Andy Fyfe, of Eskdale, and Simon Riley, of Caedmon, both gave their reactions following last week’s announcement that the governing bodies of the two schools have started a consultation over potentially forming a federation to govern both schools as one body.
The federation, which would be called ‘The Whitby Secondary Partnership’, would establish a stable and collaborative structure for the schools to provide high standards of secondary education for all students in the Whitby area.
And both heads are looking to bring a city approach to education to the town.
“A collaboration was something that appealed to us,” Mr Riley told the Whitby Gazette.
“It was a natural avenue for us to go down to advance the two schools. We can draw on our strengths and make both schools develop opportunities.
Adding to those comments, the Eskdale head said: “Collaboration creates a number of opportunities for students, both in education but also in their extra-curricular activities.
“Simon and I spoke about building a positive working relationship from the outset, and with this we can really develop that.
“We’ve come from schools on Tyneside and Leeds, and in those areas, collaborations are second nature, and really help schools develop the best support for the students and staff. That’s what we want to do, provide the best support for students in Whitby, along with both excellent sets of staff at our schools.”
One key area of the federation is the provision of sixth form education in the town.
There have been worries over the future of 16-18 learning in Whitby, however it is something that is a key aim to strengthen for both schools.
“The sixth form is a really important part of this,” the Caedmon head said.
“From my point of view, as soon as I started here, there was a clear commitment from the governers that the sixth form would remain here and develop. In a short space of time, we’ve come a long way on that front, this is a key part of making that happen.
“The Scoresby site will be an ideal sixth form centre because of how accessible it is to everybody.
“We want to expand what we can offer at 16-18. That’s not just in terms of academic subjects, but with vocational courses too, we’d like to offer a wider range and make it a more viable option to as many post-16 students in Whitby as possible.”
Andy Fyfe is looking forward to possibly joining up and pooling resources and staff with Caedmon, and believes it will have great benefits. “The staff at Eskdale, and myself, are excited by this,” he said.
“We have some really good teachers at Eskdale, who have a real passion for what they teach and I think both sets of staff can really work well together.”