Grammar school to be county’s first academy

Headteacher of Harrogate Grammar School Richard Sheriff.
Headteacher of Harrogate Grammar School Richard Sheriff.

THE first academy in North Yorkshire will be established at Harrogate Grammar School from March 1.

Governors have voted in favour of the move after a consultation with pupils, parents and teachers and the school will officially change status at the beginning of the month.

Responding to criticism that the school was trying to separate itself from the community, headteacher Richard Sheriff said: “Harrogate Grammar School is a community school. We want becoming an academy to be part of that.

“We see ourselves continuing to be an important part of that community. It’s an exciting development and we relish the opportunities it will bring - and the challenges.”

The admissions policy is not set to change, with Mr Sheriff stating the majority of pupils will continue to be taken from homes around the school. Its name will become Harrogate Grammar School: An Academy Trust, and a new trust has been established from members of the existing governing body, including Coun Jim Clark, who was executive member for schools in North Yorkshire until last July.

He said: “I think it’s a good move for the school and we are doing it from a position of strength. We’re still very much part of North Yorkshire, but it will allow us to be more of a part of the Harrogate community.”

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