TWO of the county’s high performing schools are joining forces to offer better learning opportunities for young people.

Richmond School and Sixth Form College is leaving local authority control to join Stokesley School, which established a Multi Academy Trust in 2015.

Areté Learning Trust will also be looking to form future partnerships with similarly successful primary and secondary schools in North Yorkshire.

The move is seen as the best way forward to sustain and improve standards and provide the "best possible" learning environment for thousands of children aged 11-18.

Richmond's retiring headteacher Ian Roberston said: “Morale has never been higher and I feel very proud to leave safe in the knowledge that our excellent staff, governors and supportive parents will take the school to the next level as a member of a MAT.”

Richmond School and Sixth Form College will be headed by Jenna Potter. The headteacher of Stokesley School, Catherine Brooker, is the trust’s chief executive officer.

Mr Robertson said that students and parents were unlikely to notice much change as the uniform would remain the same, as would daily life at the school.

He added: “What makes each school already special and unique, will remain."