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Parents quick to pick up on creative arts academy plan

There has been an “overwhelmingly positive” response to plans for a new creative arts academy in York.

Within three days of the announcement, in Monday’s Press, parents of 20 children have visited the website at to register their interest in taking a place at the new school, should the bid be successful.

Richard Ludlow, chief executive of Ebor Academy Trust, said he was pleased with the reaction so far. “Not only have we received an overwhelmingly positive response from parents, but members of the creative arts community itself has come forward to ask if there are ways they can help get the project off the ground.

“We have also been able to recruit a new member to our project team – Emily Pickard runs York Mumbler, a Facebook parenting group with over 8,000 York parents as members and Emily says she sees our proposals as filling a real gap in the educational offering in York.”

There has already been a poll on the York Mumbler Facebook group, with 43 parents saying the new school would “definitely” be a good addition to York’s education provision, compared with 18 “unsure” and three who say York does not need it.

Ebor is using new legislation to apply to the Department for Education to set up the new primary which will see an extended school day to accommodate the usual curriculum plus creative arts activities, such as drama, dance and music. They have identified the former Park & Ride site at Askham Bar as ideal, with its road infrastructure already in place.

The school would be for all children across the city and, if the proposal is accepted, could be open from September 2017.

Alison Goffin, of York Music Service, said: “Music, dance and drama are so vital to the development and sense of personal achievement of every child. The team that are putting together the plans for this new academy have a real vision for improving access and opportunities for every child – and it’s so exciting that it might be happening in York.”

Matthew Harper of the Upstage Centre said: “Here at Upstage Centre Youth Theatre we fully believe that the transferable skills learned through the arts can have a broader impact on a young person’s development and their ability to learn. We have seen many young people who have been struggling at school, struggling to engage and grow in a traditional classroom setting with the learning styles that it provides. However, by being a part of our youth theatre and learning through a practical and creative style has not only made them more confident, but has provided them, their parents and thus their teachers with an insight into the way the young person can engage with learning and methods that can be used from the theatre in the classroom. I therefore think that the Creative Arts Academy York is a fantastic endeavour that could really support young people in an innovative way.”

Registrations of interest and comments are invited via the proposed new school website,

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