It’s time to move on and improve standards of secondary education in Boston Spa and Wetherby says MP Alec Shelbrooke.
The MP for Elmet and Rothwell has welcomed the news that Boston Spa School has been given permission to become an academy, ending the speculation about the viability of two secondary schools in the area.
“Boston Spa Academy can now move forward with its plans to improve standards and move from a ‘good’ school to an ‘outstanding’ academy,” said the MP.
“Likewise, I believe Wetherby High School has a great future ahead and is, in my opinion, already a ‘good’ school having made significant improvements under its current leadership, who should be commended for their continued success.
“I will continue to work closely with all parties as we seek to deliver new school facilities, as outlined in the Wetherby Neighbourhood Plan.”
Schools Minister Lord Agnew announced yesterday afternoon that Boston Spa School can now join the Gorse Academies Trust.
The decision ended months of fierce debate and campaigns to save the school after it was revealed that Leeds City Council had plans to demolish the building and sell off land for development and merge it with Wetherby High, as it said pupil numbers were too low to sustain two.
“Throughout this process I have been actively engaged with the community in order to make representations to my colleague the Minister of State, and officials in the Department for Education,” added Mr Shelbrooke.
“I’m very proud of the movement our communities mounted to stop the Labour Council’s proposal to close a secondary school in our area and to sell off the land for development.
“I have always been clear that it is my job as your Member of Parliament to bring communities together, not to drive them apart.
“That is why I teamed up with your local Wetherby Ward Councillors – Alan Lamb, Norma Harrington and Gerald Wilkinson – to argue in favour of a two-school solution.”
The decision was also welcomed by ward councillors, campaigners and Boston Spa School’s principal Christopher Walsh.
He said: ““The Minister has made an incredibly important decision for our community.
“During the last 12 months we have seen the integrity of the work of TGAT repeatedly recognised and celebrated by Ofsted.
“We are thrilled that our strategic plan to become part of this story has been endorsed by the minister.”
It is expected that Boston Spa will become part of The Gorse Academy Trust by the early autumn, following legal processes.