Sunday 19th May 2024,
North Yorks Enquirer

Eskdale: Time for Common Sense

Eskdale: Time for Common Sense

A Letter to the Editor from Former Eskdale School Chair of Governors MIKE WARD, appealing for ‘common sense’ at a time when many have lost their heads. This letter has also been sent to all the ‘movers and shakers’ at County Hall and to Sir Robert Goodwill, MP for Scarborough & Whitby.

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What has happened to common sense and where are the costings?

Why hasn’t there been proper costings of the alternative Whitby Secondary Education options?

The only option that seems to be being discussed is closing Eskdale and moving all 11-16 pupils onto the Mayfield Road site.

This option is not viable or even practical.

Establishing a fit for purpose 11-16 educational system within an old Victorian building with little outside space and poor drop-off and collection availability makes no sense whatsoever.

Maybe this won’t even be the outcome for 2024. Are we being mis-sold the option? By September ’24, will we see a move to a split-site scenario, even though Governors, Officers, and Councillors have already ruled this out?

Will we see 11-16 students educated on the two remaining sites if Eskdale is closed?

A disaster in the making, as virtually all split-site schools have been shown to fail.

Even if they do manage to cram 900 students onto one site, it will have dire consequences for our students.

If they want one 11-18 school, it will have to be a new build.

The current proposal does not even properly address the highlighted key issue of extra places.

A DETAILED COST/BENEFIT ANALYSIS IS REQUIRED FOR AT LEAST TWO OPTIONS ( i.e. the Governors’/Council’s preferred option and the Town’s option of two small secondary schools with one having a limited choice 6th Form).

So much money could be saved by unpicking the current top heavy management structure.

Maybe a consultation should be undertaken to see if Whitby can support a 6th form at all, considering what other options for post-16 education could be provided.

There are several small secondary schools (some even with a small 6th Form) in North Yorkshire which offer good education.

Why couldn’t this work in Whitby?

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