THREE York schools will move away from local authority control to form a Multi Academy Trust, it has been announced.

Knavesmire Primary School, Scarcroft Primary School and Millthorpe School will become academies on March 1 and form the South Bank Multi-Academy Trust.

This will mean the schools are able to receive funding from the Government and set their own holiday dates and curriculum if they wish.

Governors at each school have voted separately on the plans over the last seven days following 11 months of investigation and consultation.

Anna Cornhill, head teacher of Scarcroft Primary School said: "Governors from all three schools have worked together to check that the change of status is in the interests of the children, the staff and the community. 
"Scarcroft governors voted unanimously that it was." 

Staff at each of the schools will transfer over to the new organisation, with no job losses or changes in their conditions. 

The Trust Board will be made up of three head teachers, a governor from each school, a trustee from the local authority, while three trustees will be selected from the community with skills in Human Resources, Finance and the law. 

Adam Cooper, head teacher of Knavesmire Primary School, said: "All three headteachers are pleased to have secured a strong partnership which will help us all maintain high standards and improve what we do." 

Trevor Burton, head teacher of Millthorpe School, added: "Our communities rightly have come to expect excellence from South Bank schools - by working together in a trust we can better guarantee to maintain that in the face of a difficult future funding regime."

Campaigner Jonny Crawshaw was part of a group of parents who campaigned against the plan and argued that taking schools out of council control will fragment the education system in York, and will create times when the ambitions of different schools and different academy groups collide.

He said: "I think we are in no way surprised but very disappointed at the decision. I think it's hard to see past the idea that this was an inevitable outcome from the start. The most important thing is the education of the kids.

"We are a group of parents who care passionately about our children's education and that is the most important thing here.We have to work with the schools going forward to make what we consider to be the the best of a bad job."