Following on from the story about the possibility that children in some Pocklington villages might not be able to get a place at Woldgate school in the future I thought it might be useful you provide some facts about the Wolds Learning Partnership (WLP)

The WLP is a Multi Academy Trust (MAT) established on 9 December 2016. It has oversight of Woldgate School, Pocklington Junior School and Melbourne and Stamford Bridge Primary Schools.

It’s hard to find information about how the decision to form the WLP was taken or to find records of meetings. I have written to ask for information, but I have received nothing thus far.

I can find no information to suggest that the pressure to form a MAT came from parents.

All Multi Academy Trusts are run by an unelected, self-appointed Board of Directors.

The four schools are not funded by or accountable to the East Riding Council. The WLP/MAT is directly funded by and accountable to the Department for Education and the Schools Admissions Adjudicator. Any polices set by ERYC will have no impact on the Wolds Learning Partnership

Pupils from Pocklington Junior School and Melbourne and Stamford Bridge Primary Schools are as good a guaranteed a place at Woldgate School.

Multi Academy Trusts are not required to follow the National Curriculum but most do.

What is striking is that there seems to be absolutely no transparency about the way directors are selected or records of how they make decisions about school policy. I also hear that some parents of children who attend Woldgate are concerned about a general lack of transparency about key decisions being made at the school. There is also quite a high turnover of staff.

In 2020 there were two vacant positions for two Trustee Diocesan Representatives. These positions look as if they have now disappeared.

All of this is probably boring and irrelevant to those who have children who attend any of the 4 schools in the Wolds Learning Partnership. However, some parents with Children who attend the seven Church of England schools in the area feel that they are being discriminated against because faith schools are excluded from joining the partnership because it does not have a constitution that protects Christian practice.

It feels as if the admissions issue is causing quite a stir in Pocklington villages and Pocklington itself. At least one Parish Council is planning to discuss the matter at their meeting next week and a local grandparent wrote to me yesterday to say:

“I have a grandson at Pocklington infants that should be ok to go there,I also have two grandsons at catholic school that live a stones throw from Woldgate and I expect them to also go there”

The current draft policy documents suggest the revised admissions policy is necessary in order to prioritise admissions if the school hits capacity.

On their website the Trust states:
“we believe it is crucial that we remain accountable to our parents, villages and communities”

It will therefore be interesting to see how the Trustees react to the e amils they have received from parents in the villages.

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