TWO North Yorkshire primary schools have joined the move to become academies. 

Tockwith is the latest school to convert to academy status and join the York based Ebor Academy Trust while Tadcaster East governors have voted to also become an academy and join Ebor.

Tockwith's decision means they are Ebor’s 15th academy.

Head teacher Justin Reeve said: “We are delighted to be part of this growing organisation. Ebor has strength and expertise that will benefit both the children and our staff. We have been working alongside Ebor for a while now and we’re very pleased to now be officially part of the group.”

Children and parents at Tockwith CE Primary Academy, as it is now known, will see little difference on a day to day basis other than new signage which was installed this week, but behind the scenes there will be a range of benefits. A central team will run many of the back office business functions and Mr Reeve will remain in control.

“This is a really exciting time in our school’s continuing journey. We are looking forward to a mutually beneficial future with Ebor,” said Sue Corbett, chairman of governors.

In York, Ebor schools include Robert Wilkinson Primary Academy, Haxby Road Primary Academy and Park Grove. Hob Moor Oaks and Hob Moor Community Primary will be the next to join, in the new year, with Lakeside and Osbaldwick to follow.

There are other schools operated by Ebor in Selby, in the East Riding and The Humber and on the Yorkshire Coast.

Ebor’s Chief Executive, Richard Ludlow, said: “We welcome Tockwith and look forward to working alongside them. We are a collaborative trust, sharing best practice to ensure the best outcomes for the children in our care and providing developmental opportunities for staff. “We consist of small village schools, large urban schools, schools in challenging circumstances and those which have capacity to support others. We celebrate the uniqueness of each individual setting and share skills and resources, where appropriate, across our group. The Ebor Academy Trust is a family of schools who have a sense of responsibility for each other, building caring, strong professional relationships.”

In a statement, joint chairmen of governors at Tadcaster, Vicki Marsden and Nicola Sawyer, said: “Our decision followed a thorough public consultation and many months of research into potentially suitable multi-academy trusts and subsequent meetings with staff and governors at Ebor schools.“Governors took time to carefully consider the views and concerns from our school community and concluded, on balance and with the best interests of the school and its children at heart, that we will proceed with our proposal.

“We are satisfied that Ebor's ethos and values closely match our own and following rigorous scrutiny, believe their systems and processes will contribute to improving our school yet further. Importantly, we will continue to enjoy the control we currently exercise and there will be no changes to the leadership of the school or our teachers. Ultimately this move will allow us to work collaboratively with Ebor to raise standards further and achieve the best possible outcomes for staff and pupils.”