To give an idea of the current schools situation in the Whitby and District area, we have extracted the following (September 2022) from the UK Government website.

SchoolAgePupilsPlaces% SubscribedType
Caedmon College11-19786153951.07Federation
Eskdale School11-1645851089.80Federation
Fyling Hall School04-1816620083.00Independent school
Airy Hill Primary School02-1120621098.10Multi-academy trust
Castleton Primary School05-11465682.14Multi-academy trust
Danby CofE School05-11317044.29Voluntary aided school
East Whitby Primary Academy02-1122831572.38Multi-academy trust
Egton CofE Primary School04-11485685.71Voluntary aided school
Fylingdales CofE Primary School04-117511266.96Federation
Glaisdale Primary School04-11335658.93Multi-academy trust
Goathland Primary School04-11124924.49Community school
Hawsker Cum Stainsacre CofE Primary School05-11398446.43Federation
Lealholm Primary School05-11245642.86Multi-academy trust
Lythe CofE Primary School03-116610562.86Voluntary controlled school
Oakridge Primary School (Hinderwell)03-11354283.33Community school
Ruswarp CofE Primary School04-118710582.86Voluntary controlled school
Sleights CofE Primary School02-1110110596.19Voluntary controlled school
St Hedda’s Catholic Primary School (Egton)04-11375172.55Multi-academy trust
Seton Primary School (Staithes)03-118910584.76Community school
Stakesby Primary Academy02-1116723072.61Multi-academy trust
West Cliff Primary School02-11226210107.62Multi-academy trust
Moorland Waldorf School02-11177622.37Independent school   

In accordance with our transparency policy, this table is downloadable in (XLSX) spreadsheet format.

Adult Education

NYCC used to offer a large range of adult education classes in the Whitby and District area (under the “evening institute” branding, maybe 20-30 yrs ago). You can find their current offerings in Whitby on this link.

In October that search was giving precisely 0 results. Early November we have a couple of computer skills courses in Whitby Library. It’s good that there are now a couple of courses possible, but it does say a lot that this is the sum total. This is clearly not going to motivate adults to have a fulfilling life. Your only other option is an online course, but then if you do that then surely you could get them from any education provider, and not rely on the local council.

Education Matters in Whitby

An opinion piece by Joyce Stangoe (Rev 05/06/2022) – the views expressed are those of the author.

Whitby’s popularity as the quaint North Yorkshire seaside town has never waned since the Endeavour sailed into the Town in 1997 and the number of visitors has kept going up. So much so that visiting Whitby at bank holidays or during the peak season can be a stressful experience. The small narrow streets are unsuitable for the numbers of vehicles and pedestrians, finding a parking space is a difficult for visitors and neigh impossible for some residents, and battling through crowds of tourists to do your weekly shopping has driven residents to the out of town supermarkets.

We are all aware of the housing crisis for residents in Whitby and the surrounding villages, with a lack of suitable quality, size, and affordability (rented or purchased) for local people and key workers. Local Authorities and the Government fail to recognise the long-term impact this is having on communities and small towns such as Whitby, namely we no longer have enough people living in the area to fill the jobs or children to keep all the local schools going, and public transport and general services are being cut even further.

The following document “Celebrating our distinctive heritage – North Yorkshire LEP/Historic England states under a section entitled “Places need People” “Historic places should not be theme parks. The activity, energy and decisions of people have shaped them over centuries; if they lack functioning economies and communities, they lose some of their meaning and much of their vitality. While the visitor economy is undoubtedly important, and a market with real potential for enhancement, it cannot be prioritised over ensuring the region’s places are as resilient, economically sustainable, and attractive to people who want to live and work locally. Similarly, places need to work for everyone. North Yorkshire has an ageing population, so in addition to ensuring the right facilities and housing types are available to cater to the needs of this community, creating the right conditions to enable younger people to stay in and move to the region’s towns is critical” – this sums up the situation regarding Whitby.

Having education in an area helps people think, feel, and behave in a way that contributes to their success, and improves not only their personal satisfaction but also their community. Education in Whitby seems to be in difficulties, we have extremely limited adult educational facilities, employing senior management for the three senior school vacancies I understand has not been without its challenges, and surely funding must be an issue when there are 774 spare places as shown on the Government website. The Whitby & District junior schools also show a large number of schools underutilised at present. The sixth form college figures are not recorded separately but are reportedly low, with many young people having to travel 40 plus miles per day to access schools and colleges with courses they need to access to progress on to further education.

I would query why the Authorities with funding from companies such as Sirius Mining decided to build a new University Technical College in Scarborough with the capacity to take 600 pupils aged 14 – 18. The latest government information shows this has only 135 pupils with an Ofsted rating “Requires improvement” recorded from the last inspection in 2019. Could this not have been incorporated into Whitby Sixth Form college, saving building costs and reducing our carbon footprint? Surely if we are moving young people to other schools for specific subjects, we could have used the same transport to bring pupils in the opposite direction!

Up to 85 per cent of North Yorkshire is classed as ‘super sparse’, this presents a set of key challenges with regards to education provision” the North York’s Rural Commission established in 2019 by North Yorkshire County Council stated. “North Yorkshire has the highest number of small schools in England, however rural schools perform well, achieve better educational outcomes than urban children, yet the children are less likely to go on to further and higher education when they leave school. The sustainability of rural schools is largely attributable to falling pupil rolls, financial difficulties and schools’ standards and are at risk of closure.

The Commission believes that “the Department for Education must revise its National Funding Formula to ensure increased support for rural super sparse secondary schools. The County Council must lead on pioneering a two-stream educational system post GCSE in rural and remote areas, with one stream focusing on vocational education while the other remains academic. The County Council and the York and North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership must strengthen the offer for post-16 education and provide a better sense of future for young people” – surely, we should be looking at fully using our Whitby Sixth Form college as a centre of excellence bearing in mind the jobs and associated training required in Whitby.

Scarborough Borough Council have put forward a Whitby Maritime Skills Academy under the Town Deal fund costed at £10 million pounds, which will “deliver a new maritime skills facility in Whitby to provide training and certification for the maritime, offshore and renewable energy sectors, building upon the recent successful diversification of the fishery industry training school.”  It is proposed this facility be built on Endeavour Wharf and will include a training facility incorporating the existing Fishing school, presently located in the Seaman’s Mission, requiring more bespoke facilities to be built at a second location to provide specialist training environments such as for working at height, working in confined spaces, fire-fighting, and water survival pools. It states, “Investment in skills and training provision is crucial to delivering the vision for the town and is a key focus of the proposed interventions within the skills and enterprise work-stream,” but is this the best way to invest £10M for the future of our young people in the area, or is there a better alternative?

As far as I am aware since this Maritime Hub project was proposed there has been virtually no consultation with local people or businesses, apart from the Project Group personnel, and there is no information available at present on SBC’s website on the business case, so I would ask:

Incorporation into an existing college?

Why can this facility not be incorporated into the Sixth Form College, using the £10M to include more education related activities relevant to the area’s requirements including the Maritime facility? The site is large enough to incorporate the survival pools and height training apparatus and is within walking distance of the harbour, thus saving on building and environmental costs.

If this facility cannot be incorporated into the Sixth Form college, could the now closed Roman Catholic junior school not be utilised?

Caedmon College Sixth Form

Suitability of location?

It is not known if Endeavour Wharf is suitable for the type of structural development proposed, the Dalby Offshore building proposed is not in keeping with the Conservation area. The previously mention HE report recommends “The region’s coastal towns need to evolve to increase their success and ensure their renaissance, and that will inevitably require some change. To ensure that value is captured locally, it will be critical to plan for how and where this could take place, retaining the fabric and character of historic harbour infrastructure and avoiding adverse change to the setting of the iconic seafronts.”

The harbour is at present subject to a court case, but surely the long-term future of this setting should be for an urban park, due to Whitby’s shortage of green open spaces with fishing and tourist related activities encourage, not an extra-large building consisting of offices and school rooms.

Dalby Offshore Planning Application
The Seaman’s Mission, the present location of the Fishing school will no longer be viable once this facility has been relocated, surely a heritage building close to the harbour, could be used for office facilities for partners of the Maritime Hub if required. Shell UK, one of the possible partners for the Maritime Academy, have already announced they are pulling out of plans to extract gas from two fields in the sea off North Yorkshire so we understand will no longer require any office facilities.
Seamans Mission

Justification for Maritime Academy?

What is the justification for a Maritime Academy at Whitby when there are already the following training groups on the East coast? South Shields Marine School, Anglo-Scottish Sea fish & Seafood Training Association Amble, RelyOn Nutec UK (Formerly Falck Safety Services) – Maritime & Offshore Training Teesside, Humber Maritime College, Immingham & East Coast Maritime Training Withernsea