A SECOND Selby area primary school in as many days is considering becoming an academy.
Drax School is following Camblesforth in starting a month-long consultation on whether or not to opt out of local authority control.
As with Camblesforth, the governing body is looking at the school joining forces with Ebor Academy Trust, a York-based multi-academy trust currently running three primary schools and a secondary school in York and North Yorkshire.
The schools they already run are Haxby Road Primary Academy and Robert Wilkinson Primary Academy in Strensall as well as the Ebor Academy Filey and Brotherton and Byram Community Primary Academy near Knottingley.
Ebor will also run the new Staynor Hall Community Primary Academy in Selby from September 2016.
Drax head teacher, Claire-Marie Habbishaw, said: “Entering a period of consultation is the next step towards the school becoming an academy. We have already discussed the idea with staff, and now we want to find out what parents and other stakeholders think about the proposal.”
A consultation meeting will be held on Thursday, March 10, to which all parents and carers are invited to find out more about the proposal and express their views.
Chairman of governors, Sue Pagliaro, said: “Academisation is not yet a ‘done deal’ and the views of everyone are very important to us as we, the governors, make this groundbreaking decision about the future of the school. Our sole aim is to ensure that this move is in the best interests of the school and its pupils. Through our discussions with Ebor we discovered that they share our values and ethos and will be in a good position to help us to give all our children much wider educational opportunities.”
Richard Ludlow, chief executive of Ebor Academy Trust, welcomed the two schools’ consultation.
He said: “I’m very excited at the prospect.
“Should Drax and Camblesforth join us, with Staynor Hall which opens in September, and Brotherton and Byram, we will have four schools within close proximity. This will form a ‘Selby hub’ to our trust. It will be vibrant and stimulating for participating schools and their staff and of genuine benefit to local communities.
“It will strengthen our belief that all children should be given the opportunity to achieve their best within a safe and caring school community.”
Mr Ludlow said that an additional three or four schools in Selby would be a valuable addition to the Selby hub and invited head teachers and/or chairs of governors to contact him through the Ebor Academy Trust website for an informal conversation.
Drax and Camblesforth primary schools
A spokesman for North Yorkshire County Council said: "All schools are entitled to seek academy status either as a stand-alone academy or as part of a multi-academy trust or chain.
"This is what the governors at Drax and Camblesforth have explored with Ebor Academy Trust and the application process with DfE is now nearing completion. The county council’s aim is that all children in North Yorkshire should attend good and outstanding schools and the authority supports schools strategically to that end. The challenge is whether changed organisational arrangements will further improve the quality of education available."