Leeds school to join city's Gorse Academy Trust chain

The school is due to convert into an academy.
The school is due to convert into an academy.

A primary school is set to be the ninth in Leeds to join the Gorse Academy Trust next week.

Richmond Hill Primary School, in the east of the city, is due to operate as an academy from November 1.

Academies are independent schools funded by central government instead of by local authorities. They do not have to follow the national curriculum and can set their own rules for term times, admissions, special educational needs and exclusions.

Mark Randall, director of primary education at the trust said he was "delighted" that the school was joining the chain.

"We are committed to providing the best possible education for the children of Richmond Hill and removing the significant legacy of underachievement evident.

"We look forward to working with children, staff, parents and the local community to make Richmond Hill Academy the exceptional school that it should be."

Education watchdog Ofsted branded the school “inadequate” in February this year after an inspection the month before.

Three years before inspectors had deemed it “good” overall.

As part of the academy conversion, a commercial transfer agreement between the council and the trust needs to be signed off. It deals with the transfer of the assets, staff and contracts.

A council report about the agreement reads: “The only identified risk to LCC [Leeds City Council] is the transfer of the Autism resource unit.”

The authority invested in dedicated autism provision at the school in September 2012.

But the trust has agreed to continue this for the remainder of the 2017/18 academic year, and to review it with the council beyond that time.

Should the trust choose to shut the specialist unit, it has agreed to consult with the council and work with it to re-provide it elsewhere, the document says.