TWO Wharfedale schools are aiming to join forces to form a Multi-Academy Trust.

Prince Henry's Grammar School and Bramhope Primary have just begun a consultation on proposals which they say would deliver 'mutual support, challenge and benefits'.

The move would see Bramhope convert to academy status - something the Otley school gained in 2012 - which means it would no longer by controlled by the local authority.

Instead, the primary would become a state-funded school run by a charitable trust.

Parents and carers of pupils at both schools have been sent a letter outlining the planned changes and asking for their views.

Bramhope Primary Headteacher Rachel Colbourn said: "The governing bodies of our two schools have been discussing how the schools might work in even closer partnership to provide mutual support, challenge and benefits.

"The governing bodies share the ambition for their schools to continue to provide an excellent education for their children while protecting each school’s role at the heart of its community, and retaining its unique qualities and strengths.

"Consideration has been given to future plans in light of the fast-changing national policy and structures, the increasingly challenging educational landscape, and how to best prepare our schools for continued success in the future.

"The governing bodies of both schools believe that the best way forward is to establish a Multi-Academy Trust (MAT)."

If it proceeds the MAT is expected to be called the Collaborative Learning Trust and will have Bramhope Primary and Prince Henry's as its founding members.

The aim will be to then expand the organisation over the next few years, while the MAT's members continue to work closely with all local schools.

Prince Henry's and Bramhope claim that parents and children are unlikely to notice any day-to-day differences in school life - apart from the anticipated educational benefits.

They say the staff, school uniforms, term dates, and daily timings will not change at either school while both would keep their existing names.

Headteacher of Prince Henry's Grammar School, Janet Sheriff, said: "We are very excited about the prospect of creating a Multi-Academy Trust that is locally based and run by dedicated leaders who have the best interest of local children and their families in mind.

"We are now beginning the consultation process with staff, parents, carers, students and the community.

"Both schools will continue to work in close partnership with all local schools, just as we do now."

The consultation will run until Monday, May 21.

Parents, carers and members of the community can express their views by sending an e-mail to: .

Additional details about the proposals can also be found on each school's website.

*Prince Henry's announced in May, 2017 that it was applying to become the Sponsor Academy of a MAT.