From Wednesday, 1 May, Malton School will join Pathfinder Multi Academy Trust, an inclusive partnership of church and community schools. It will be an historic moment as, after 364 years as a Church of England school and 113 years as a Local Authority maintained school, Malton will become an academy within a Trust. And, a Trust that reunites Malton with its sister school, Archbishop Holgate’s School in York, both founded by the same charter of King Henry VIII.

Formed in August 2016, Pathfinder is a well-established multi-academy trust serving more than 5,000 children, students and their families across York and now Ryedale. With 14 schools in the Trust, including two secondary schools, Pathfinder has a proven track record of working together for the benefit of all its schools, helping them to achieve strong educational outcomes, successful Ofsted judgements and supporting the wider development of children and young people aged 2 to 19.

Malton School elected to join Pathfinder MAT after a detailed and thorough process of review and research. The final decision was based on a number of criteria, but key to that has been a close alignment of the values of Malton School and Pathfinder. That includes Pathfinder’s appreciation of the uniqueness and diversity of each of the schools that form the MAT and their understanding that all schools have valuable contributions to make to the Trust as a whole. By joining Pathfinder, Malton School will maintain and develop its own identity, an identity which has been carefully built over many years and which includes fostering strong relationships with the local community. The aim is therefore to further strengthen the school’s reputation locally and to secure longer term investment in its staff and infrastructure to ensure it continues to provide an excellent education for all its students.

The transition to an academy school has been welcomed by Governors, parents and staff, with a process of careful consultation which has been ongoing for almost a year. Prior to that, senior leaders and governors at the school considered a number of Trusts, before unanimously agreeing that Pathfinder offered real opportunity and genuine alignment of visions and values.

Rob Williams, Headteacher at Malton School said, “I am delighted that Malton School is joining Pathfinder MAT. Since last summer we have been following a rigorous process of consultation with all our stakeholders. This process has been highly constructive and positive. As a result, we are absolutely confident that joining Pathfinder is the next best step for us to secure the continued success of Malton School. Everyone within the school is very much looking forward to a new future as part of the Pathfinder family.”

Pathfinder has an excellent track-record of adding value to member school’s both in terms of academic performance and providing crucial capital investment. Over the past four years, Pathfinder has managed major building improvement projects at several of its schools worth more than £10.4 million. This has included a £2.7 million building for Badger Hill Primary School and a new £4.4 million Maths Block and Resource Centre at Archbishop Holgate’s School. Two Pathfinder primary schools have also successfully achieved a place on the government’s School Rebuilding Programme which carries out major rebuilding and refurbishment projects in schools across England. Both schools will be completely rebuilt under the Department for Education led programme. Pathfinder also has a successful track record of supporting its schools to achieve positive Ofsted outcomes, with all inspections since July 2021 being judged Good or Outstanding. This has included schools previously rated as inadequate or requires improvement.

Andrew Daly, CEO of Pathfinder Multi Academy Trust and former Headteacher at Archbishop Holgate’s School said: “Everyone at Pathfinder is delighted to be welcoming Malton to our family of schools. Archbishop Holgate’s and Malton School have a shared history having both been founded by the Archbishop of York, Robert Holgate in 1546 and 1547 respectively. Being part of Pathfinder offers a fantastic and unique opportunity to work together for the benefit of students and staff in both schools and the wider academy trust. I would like to thank Mr Williams, the leadership team and governing body for their diligence, consideration and care throughout the academisation process. We are now looking forward to working with colleagues from Malton School to provide the best possible opportunities and outcomes for the children and young people across all our school communities.”