ACADEMY ‘YES’ FOR WOLDGATE

Jeff Bower
Jeff Bower

WOLDGATE College will be converted into an academy after its governors voted unanimously for the change.

At a recent parental consultation meeting, the Pocklington school’s governing body decided that, in order to best serve the local area, Woldgate should become an academy.

The secondary school first looked at the idea of converting to academy status over 18 months ago and has consulted staff and pupils as well as parents.

Graham Cook, chair of the school’s governing body, said: “The overriding priority of the governing body is to help the college do what is best for the students. We believe that academy conversion will put Woldgate in the best position to serve the local area by maximising what it can do with the available funding, giving it more control over how it teaches and increasing its accountability to parents and the local area.”

Woldgate’s application to convert to stand-alone academy status was approved by the Department for Education last September. When it switches to an academy, the school will be removed from under the umbrella of East Riding of Yorkshire Council and run as an independent school with direct funding from central government.

The governors’ decision has been welcomed by the school’s headteacher Jeff Bower.

He said: “I am delighted with the decision. Academy status offers the college some crucial additional freedoms, especially over funding and the curriculum, which will enable us to tailor what we offer even more accurately to the particular needs and aspirations of our students.

“Academies are clearly the direction of travel for governments of all persuasions and I am excited to be able to seize the opportunity offered and try to improve student outcomes still further.

“I am fortunate to be supported by high-quality teaching and support staff willing to embrace the new challenge, and a strong governing body willing to take on the extra responsibilities which Academy status will bring”.

Mr Bower said it will be some months before Woldgate does become an academy, as there are still a number of conversion processes to complete.