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Skipton boys' grammar school proposes move to mixed Sixth Form

Ermysted’s Grammar School in Skipton has begun a consultation on proposed changes to its admissions policy, which would include offering its A-level courses to both boys and girls. 

If the plans go ahead, girls would be admitted to Year 12 from September 2025. Ermysted’s would remain a single sex school for boys aged 11 to 16 and the school says that having a coeducational Sixth Form would bring benefits for all pupils. 
The school’s governors are seeking the views of local parents and the wider community as part of a six-week consultation. A final decision will be made on the proposals in early February. 
Under the plans, boys completing their GCSEs at Ermysted’s would continue to be guaranteed a place in the Sixth Form if they achieve the required exam grades to continue their studies. The number of places offered to external pupils from other schools would be increased - from the current limit of 20 to 35 - and applications would be considered equally from both male and female pupils, who would also need to achieve the required exam grades to be offered a place. 
Ermysted’s was founded as a chantry school in Skipton before the year 1492, making it the country’s seventh oldest state school. It has been at its current site on Gargrave Road in the town for almost 150 years. 
Michael Evans, Headteacher, said: “By offering a limited number of places to male and female pupils from other schools we hope to increase choice and broaden access to our excellent post-16 provision here at Ermysted’s. 
“Our Sixth Form offers a unique curriculum and provides subjects and opportunities not found elsewhere locally. This proposal will help us to protect the breadth of our existing curriculum offer and we believe it will strengthen the Sixth Form experience for all our pupils.” 
George Barrett, Head of Sixth Form at Ermysted’s added: “We have looked at the experiences of other single sex schools around the country that have moved to offer a coeducational environment for A-levels, and the change has been overwhelmingly positive. 
“This proposal would enable our Sixth Formers to benefit from the different approaches that male and female students bring to the classroom and wider school life, providing them with the best preparation for life beyond school. Our younger boys will also benefit from the leadership and role models that a mixed Sixth Form brings.” 
Ermysted's Chair of Governors Stuart Clarkson and Headteacher Michael EvansChair of Governors at Ermysted’s, Stuart Clarkson, said: “While this is a minor adjustment to our admissions policy, I believe that it will be a significant positive change for the culture of this ancient school. I was a pupil here in the 1990s and girls played an important role in school life as members of our music groups and school drama productions - as they continue to do today. 
“This proposed move will enable girls and boys who are looking for a mixed Sixth Form environment to access one of the best in the country, which was judged last year by Ofsted to be outstanding. 
“Ahead of our final decision we’re keen to hear from as many parents, pupils and local stakeholders as possible as part of our consultation - so please do get in touch and let us know your views." 
You can see the proposed Admissions Policy for 2025-26 on the Ermysted’s website at ermysteds.uk, along with full details about the consultation. 
Comments can be emailed to consult@ermysteds.uk or sent in writing to Mr S J Clarkson, Chair of Governors, Ermysted’s Grammar School, Gargrave Road, Skipton BD23 1PL. 
The closing date for comments is Monday 22nd January 2024 at 4pm. 

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