A SKIPTON school looks set to be the first to transfer to a multi academy trust founded by Ilkley Grammar School (IGS).

The Skipton Academy, which came out of special measures in April, has been working in close partnership with IGS for many months and has recently been awarded funding from the Department for Education for this to continue.

Now the trust boards of both schools have passed a resolution to progress with the transfer of The Skipton Academy from Craven Education Trust to Moorlands Learning Trust (MLT) - the multi academy trust Ilkley Grammar School founded to enable it to formally partner with other schools.

Helen Williams, headteacher of Ilkley Grammar school and CEO of Moorlands Learning Trust said: “This decision taken by both trust boards is a really exciting development for The Skipton Academy and Ilkley Grammar School. The positive partnership working that has already developed between both schools over recent months can now be built upon further to bring exciting new opportunities for students, staff and the communities of both schools over the coming years. In times of great educational change and uncertainty, being part of a strong, collaborative trust helps secure the future success of all schools and we are all delighted that Craven Education Trust has chosen MLT and Ilkley Grammar School as the preferred partner for The Skipton Academy. We will now take this decision to our Regional Schools Commissioners to seek their agreement for the transfer to progress.”

Richard McManus, Principal of The Skipton Academy said: “I’m excited at the opportunity to build on our recent successes and through this new partnership, accelerate still further the improvements we can achieve. As our recent Ofsted inspection report said, we have a clear vision and a sense of momentum and purpose which puts the academy in a stronger position than it has been for many years. I believe the local community are beginning to see the changes we have achieved over the last 18 months and this is reflected by the increase in families choosing to send their children to The Skipton Academy in September. This is the next step on our journey and we are undertaking it with a partner school in Ilkley Grammar School whose beliefs and ethos closely match our own. Furthermore, the opportunity for some of our current board members to join Moorlands Learning Trust and bring their expertise and experience is another sign of the collaborative approach of MLT and will help ensure that we continue to have a positive impact on our students, staff and the wider community of Skipton. I look forward to The Skipton Academy going from strength to strength as part of Moorlands Learning Trust and continuing its improvement journey.”