Call for debate on academies

A PARLIAMENTARY debate should be held to ensure schools converting to academy status are getting the right support.

That is the view of Harrogate and Knaresborough MP Andrew Jones, who called for the move in the House of Commons.

All five of Harrogate’s state high schools have converted to academy status, or are in the process of doing so - while down the road in Otley, teachers have taken strike action over plans to make the change at Prince Henry’s Grammar School from Thursday.

Mr Jones told the Advertiser: “The feedback I have received from schools locally is that those which have made the change welcome the freedoms that academy status gives them. Those that have already converted report that the process was handled well and I encourage all schools who have converted or are converting to keep me updated on progress.”

Meanwhile, Harrogate High School is continuing with its plans to convert to academy status as part of the Outwood Grange group of schools, based in Wakefield.

Principal Andrew Bayston said: “Although our transition into academy status is still delayed, due to a hold-up in the legal process, we would like to reiterate our commitment to providing the best for our students.

“Our governors are continuing to monitor the process and will update parents and students once this changes.”