MP’s support for academy bid

NARG1106233 Julian Smith at Ripon Collage. Ripon Collage Principal Barry Found with chair of governors NAME TO COME and Ripon MP Julian Smith. 1106233AM
NARG1106233 Julian Smith at Ripon Collage. Ripon Collage Principal Barry Found with chair of governors NAME TO COME and Ripon MP Julian Smith. 1106233AM

Ripon’s MP has added his support to Ripon College’s academy bid.

Julian Smith put his weight behind the school’s application to become an independently run academy when he visited the school on Friday.

He said: “Voting for the academies bill was one of the first things I did as an MP.

“I think the academy programme allows schools to really flourish, and I am confident that will be the case for Ripon College.

“I will support the school’s progress however I can, and I would like to pay tribute to the staff and their hard work through this transition period.”

The college has already received an academy order from the Education Secretary Michael Gove.

Governors are now waiting for the school’s funding agreement to be finalised in time for the school to take on academy status by September, chair of governors Annette Beckwith confirmed.

Headteacher Barry Found has also spoken to quash fears over the college’s planned partnership with Outwood Grange, the Wakefield school under fire for its spending on rewards for teachers and payments made to its head, Michael Wilkins, for work as a “superhead”.

“Both myself and the governing body are 100 percent sure that this is the right move and our potential partners are right for the school in terms of both educational and business arrangements.

“Educationally, Outwood Grange is second to none and that is what we aim to be in the future.

“We are very confident in the security of the partnership and perfectly happy with the business arrangements.”