Issue - meetings

Proposal to amalgamate Caedmon College Whitby and Eskdale School.

Meeting: 20/06/2023 - Executive (Item 257)

257 Proposal to amalgamate Caedmon College Whitby and Eskdale School. pdf icon PDF 346 KB


That the Executive resolve that

i.    the issues listed above in section 9 of the report have been satisfied and there can be a determination of the proposals.

ii.   The proposal to amalgamate Eskdale School and Caedmon College Whitby be determined through:

·       Ceasing to maintain Eskdale School from 31 August 2024.

·       Increasing the published admission number of Caedmon College Whitby, from 1 September 2024. The current admission number for Caedmon College Whitby is 184 and the proposed admission number for Caedmon College Whitby (as the amalgamated school) will be 240


Additional documents:


Considered – A report of the Corporate Director for Children & Young People’s Service providing information upon which to determine the proposal to amalgamate Caedmon College Whitby and Eskdale School, resulting in the technical closure of Eskdale School and the Eskdale site and an increase in the planned admission number for the amalgamated school, from 1 September 2024.


Councillor Annabel Wilkinson introduced the report and drew attention to the scale of the consultation responses.  She also acknowledged the difficult nature of the decision to be taken, given its impact on the residents of Whitby, and noted that everyone present wanted the best for the young people of Whitby.  She suggested that the proposal offered the opportunity to address the low pupil numbers, significant financial challenges at both schools and the imperative to secure the best education and curriculum for the young people of Whitby.


It was noted that six public submissions had been received, as follows:


1. Mr David Bradley

I am writing to you again because I honestly do not believe that the above proposal is in the best interest of young learners and the wider community. I have lived near Whitby for thirty-two years and been privileged to serve as a secondary headteacher for nearly twenty years - fourteen at Eskdale School. I have a strong network of ex-colleagues and friends who believe that this plan is ill-conceived and fundamentally flawed – a view which is strongly endorsed by the very recent “Vision for Whitby” survey.


Everyone that I have spoken with accepts the fact that the current situation of surplus places cannot continue. However, putting all the 11-16 cohort onto the oldest site with the smallest playing fields and adjacent to one of the busiest roads in Whitby is not the best or safest option. In my opinion, other options have not been properly considered. A very small number of ‘federated’ governors, assisted by officers of the local authority, have devised a plan which solves the current financial problems but, will undoubtedly store up significant issues in the medium and longer term. I call upon our elected members to be brave enough to halt this process immediately before we sleepwalk into another short-term solution.


The current situation in Whitby is intolerable for children, parents, and staff. North Yorkshire Council need to transform it, not follow the example of their predecessors. As a new unitary authority, they should grasp the opportunity to make ambitious, inventive, and innovative decisions which are a force for good. A variety of options should be explored and presented to our young people, many of whom will be the parents of tomorrow in this community. These options must be costed and future-proofed, unlike the current proposal. We have not been given the financial value of the three sites. We have not been given costings to upgrade the former Whitby School.  We have not been given the cost of escorting students across Mayfield Road and we do not know the cost to the environment of buses  ...  view the full minutes text for item 257