The announcement of our success in securing central government approval and funding for the Creative Arts Academy York has generated a lot of interest in what happens next.
Less than 24 hours after the announcement, we have been inundated with questions from parents regarding admissions and people wanting to know more about job opportunities. We’re sorry, but it will not be possible to reply to every individual enquiry but hopefully the clarification below will help.
We are awaiting further contact from the Department for Education (DfE) and Education Funding Agency (EFA) and when more detail is known, we will publish it on this website. Sign up to register your interest and you will automatically be notified whenever we post updates.
For now, though, this is what we can advise:
- Our proposal is to open a Reception class only in September 2017. This is to not destabilise any school which may be geographically close to us. At this stage we do not anticipate opening with other year groups and so it will take seven years before the school is completely full (adding a year group one year at a time). However, our plan is subject to further negotiation with the DfE and EFA and possible amendment.
- Admission arrangements will be published in due course.
- We do not currently have a site for the school. Our preferred option remains the former Park and Ride site at Askham Bar because of its size, existing infrastructure and good transport links. We have requested a meeting with City of York Council to begin negotiations. In parallel, and by coincidence, the council is currently in consultation over its proposed Local Plan, which will have a bearing on which site is chosen and which can, at this stage, be amended before final proposals are sent for approval later this year.
- We are not currently seeking applications for jobs. These will be advertised here and on the main Ebor Academy Trust website (www.ebor.academy) in due course.
- In our original plan we did not include early years provision but at our interview with the DfE in May, they suggested this was something we might wish to reconsider. Internal discussions on early years provision at the new school as a service to parents and carers have now started but much will depend on the selected site and its proximity and quality of local private provision.
- We will have special educational needs provision as planned and discussions will start soon to firm up our offer in this area.
- Our intention is that the Creative Arts Academy will have a catchment of the whole of the city, to add diversity to the present state system and to help ease the pressure on primary place planning, which we know is acute in some parts of York. Just as parents transport their children to faith schools and independent schools, our school will be open to children across the city. We will also have transport plans in place in due course to ease congestion.
- Ebor Academy Trust has close links with City of York Council and we have a shared ambition of providing quality education for the children and young people of York. We are committed to continuing to have a positive working relationship with the council and other schools in the city, within our academy group, other academy groups and existing council-led provision. We fully intend to play a key role in collegiate working and being part of York’s excellent family of schools.
- To be clear, while the Creative Arts Academy has been successful in the free school bidding process, technically we will be an academy in line with other academies both in our trust and other multi-academy trusts. ‘Free schools’ are organisations set up by groups not normally affiliated to other organisations. We will receive our funding directly from central government, bypassing the local authority. Ebor comprises schools in York and across Yorkshire, with ambitions to set up a series of geographically based hubs of schools (see main Ebor website for details). Under legislation, all new schools now have to be either free schools or academies. Once the school is up and running, however, we believe any name issues, or differences of opinion on ideology, will be set aside and everyone just gets on with the fact that there’s a new, and different, school in town and it’s open to everyone.