It’s fantastic news that, from today (February 1st), three primary schools in my constituency have been made Academies as part of the newly formed Ryedale Learning Trust led by Ryedale School. They are Sinnington, Kirbymoorside and Helmsley Community primary schools and Ryedale School, which until now had been a federation of schools by North Yorkshire County Council.
I have been working with the schools, local authority and Department of Education to make this happen. This move it will not only give the schools independence to make their own decisions but it will also mean that the Trust would be in a position to support other schools in Ryedale if they need a sponsor.
Everyone wins from this. The Trust can decide how best to spend the budget, which will now come direct from national government and it will also be able to use its Academy status to help other local schools if they were ever to find themselves in the bottom rated category by Ofsted as a failed school. These are four excellent schools and their experience and expertise should be shared with neighbouring schools if there is a need.
The Academy status gives the schools the autonomy to decide all aspects of the running of the school in the interests of both pupils and staff including the distribution of funding and setting levels of pay.
Chief Executive Ryedale Learning Trust Mark McCandless said “We are proud to announce today the launch of The Ryedale Learning Trust. We started out on our conversion process back in the autumn of 2019, so it has been a long journey to get to this point! However, we are delighted to finally have established the RLT. Working in partnership with our four schools, we will strive to achieve the very best for our young people and the communities we serve. The RLT vison is to inspire healthy, happy and confident learners that are equipped to succeed in a changing world. We genuinely believe that as a Trust we are Stronger Together. In time, we hope to welcome other schools to the Ryedale Learning Trust. I would like to thank our local MP, Kevin Hollinrake, for his support throughout this process. His guidance and intervention during communications with NYCC and the DfE has been greatly appreciated”.
Academies are held to account through a contract with Government and bound by both company and charitable law. They are also required by law to report their performance data over each academic year, ending 31 July.