ILKLEY'S outstanding grammar school has joined forces with a neighbouring academy in a bid to open up fantastic opportunities for both schools and their students and staff.

From the start of December, the Skipton Academy (TSA), which currently has around 300 pupils, joined the Ofsted rated 'outstanding' Ilkley Grammar School, which has more than 1,700 pupils, as part of the Moorlands Learning Trust (MLT).

The opportunity to join forces with an outstanding comprehensive school gives TSA the chance to increase the pace of its improvement with staff having support from colleagues at IGS who share their ethos and belief that the students at The Skipton Academy deserve an outstanding education.

As part of Moorlands Learning Trust, The Skipton Academy will continue to be a proud part of the Skipton educational community and will continue to develop even closer links with its primary school colleagues to ensure that it plays a full role in ensuring that all children in Skipton can receive the best possible educational experience.

Helen Williams, head teacher of IGS and CEO of Moorlands Learning Trust said it was hoped the development would create the perfect conditions for The Skipton Academy to continue to grow and provide a first class education for their students.

She said plans were being developed to support improvement in every area of the Academy from further developing the curriculum on offer right the way through to catering and the fabric of the buildings, with all of these areas directly benefitting the students and their future outcomes and destinations.

“ Everyone at MLT is delighted that The Skipton Academy has become the first formal partner for Ilkley Grammar School in our trust and we are already well underway with our plans to expand our support for TSA so that their improvement journey continues at pace," she said.

"Ensuring that all students and parents have a full choice of first class education providers directly in the Skipton Community is now our key priority and I look forward to working even more closely with Mr McManus and his team over the coming weeks and months to build on their recent successes to rapidly bring about the further improvements needed. Using the full capacity of the trust and expertise that exists at Ilkley Grammar School, we will work tirelessly to ensure that The Skipton Academy can soon become the comprehensive school of choice for Skipton parents!”

Richard McManus, Principal of The Skipton Academy said: “The next stage of our journey with Moorlands Learning Trust will prove to be a watershed moment for the Academy, creating opportunities for learners to be inspired and reach their full potential.

"We as an Academy will remain committed to continuous improvement and I would invite anybody from the local community to come and see us in action and witness first-hand the improvements already underway by emailing us to make an appointment to visit.

"We will go from strength to strength with the support of Moorlands Learning Trust and both myself and my team of committed staff welcome the support from Helen Williams and the Moorlands Learning Trust team.”