Success for playground investment campaign

Liberal Democrat councillors for the Dringhouses and Woodthorpe ward have warmly welcomed plans to invest £17,000 in each of two local playgrounds.

woodthorpe-green-play-area-2

The Nelsons Lane and Woodthorpe Green play areas are two of ten sites across the city that are each set to receive £17,000 in funding from City of York Council. The funds comes from a £170,000 capital programme for 2017/18 for playground improvement. Full details of the citywide plans, which were announced on 30 January, can be found here: https://www.york.gov.uk/press/article/2083/170k_proposed_to_make_big_improvements_to_york_s_playgrounds

Dringhouses & Woodthorpe Lib Dem councillor Stephen Fenton has thanked the local community for their support last summer when the case for funding for the Woodthorpe Green and Nelsons Lane playgrounds was being put together:

“During my visits to Dringhouses Primary and Woodthorpe Primary Schools in July 2016 I gathered lots of ideas from pupils about how they think we can improve local play areas, and we gathered even more suggestions at the Woodthorpe Family Fun Day in August. This engagement helped us to demonstrate the level of community support for improving play provision in the ward, and I am looking forward to working with community groups to develop improvement plans for the two playgrounds.”

Welcoming the citywide plans, Councillor Keith Aspden, Liberal Democrat Executive Member for Economic Development and Community Engagement, said: “Thanks to this proposed funding, ten of York’s play parks will be significantly improved for children and families in the city. Hopefully this will provide more opportunities for children and young people to exercise in a fun and safe environment.”

Under the plans, the £170,000 funding will be equally shared between the following playgrounds:

· Askham Bryan

· Badger Hill

· Cemetery Road, Fishergate

· Littlethorpe Close, Strensall

· Nelsons Lane, Dringhouses

· Rowntree Park

· School Lane, Fulford

· Victoria Field, Holgate

· West Bank Park, Holgate

· Woodthorpe Green

The report to go to the 7th February Decision Session is available at http://democracy.york.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=735&MId=9472&Ver=4

Applications open on Monday for 2017 school places

Applications for City of York Council school places for September 2017 open on Monday 12 September 2016 at Secret Life 5 YearOldGroup10--(None)_A2www.york.gov.uk/schooladmissions

Parents and carers of children born between 1 September 2012 and 31 August 2013, are invited to apply for places in the reception class at their chosen York primary schools. Also, parents and carers of children who have just started in Year 6 may apply for a place in Year 7 at secondary school from today.

All details and answers to frequently asked questions can be found at www.york.gov.uk/guideforparents. The guide, updated for 2017 admissions, contains information on school admissions and appeals processes as well as information on admissions statistics, oversubscription criteria and other information for parents and carers. Also online are details for service families and information on fair access.

School contact details are also available through this website, to help parents and carers to find out when any open evenings or days might be held or to arrange school visits.

For more detailed information, please email: education@york.gov.uk or call
.

Parkrun one of hundreds of activities for young people this summer

click to download list of events

click to download list of events

York’s new Knavesmire junior parkrun is one of the hundreds of workshops, courses, events, clubs and activities featured in the Summer2016 edition of Shine magazine which is celebrating its tenth year

Most of the Shine programme activities are scheduled for the school summer holidays, but for those who can’t wait to get started the Knavesmire junior parkrun starts this Sunday (3 July).

The parkrun is a free, timed two-kilometre run for children of all abilities aged from four to 14 years and is a perfect fit with the expansive programme of fitness activities and sports sessions planned for local young people.

Shine activities are aimed at those aged five to 18, together with their families. The programme offers accessible opportunities to enjoy a summer of activities to keep fit, explore new hobbies, learn exciting new skills such as movie making, and shares information on how to continue sport, play, arts and activities in parks and libraries beyond the end of the school holidays.

Cllr Keith Aspden, Deputy Leader of City of York Council with responsibility for Economic Development and Community Engagement said: “Over the last ten years Shine has grown to an exciting programme of activities for York’s young people, with something to appeal to all interests and abilities.

“The schedule, which includes sessions delivered by a wide range of partner organisations and volunteers, offers young people the chance to develop skills, make new friends and engage in new hobbies throughout the summer.”

Julie Mackenzie, Event Director of Knavesmire junior parkrun said: “We’re really looking forward to helping young people get outside, get active and have fun.”

The Knavesmire junior parkrun will take place every Sunday at 9am (with the exception of race days and other events). To take part children and young people must be registered with parkrun and have their unique bar-code with them. For more information visit www.parkrun.org.uk/knavesmire-juniors.

For more information about the Shine programme look out for the brochure from schools, pick up a copy from libraries or search online at www.yor-ok.org.uk/shine   

Primary school allocations issued today

Today (Monday 18 April), primary school admission figures are published for entry in September 2016 and City of York Council is pleased to announce School childrenthat 94.4 per cent of York children have got their first preference and that 98.5 per cent got one of their first three preferences.

The percentage of children achieving their first preference has increased by 2.1 per cent between 2015 and 2016.

The number of online applications for primary school places has continued to increase. Parents who applied online will be notified of their child’s place by email at 10am today, letters are being posted today to parents and those with online accounts can log in to the council’s parent portal at www.york.gov.uk/parentportal.

In 2016 all children within the local authority area have secured a primary school place. The majority of children got one of their first three preferences; with the number of children whose preferences were not able to be met being reduced from 36 in 2015 to 27.

To meet growing demand for places in the west of York, 15 additional places were created by working with Acomb Primary School. Meanwhile, work continues in Southbank to meet a forecast growth in demand for places in the area.

This year’s admissions figures, compared with last year’s are outlined below:

2015

2016

qty

%

qty

%

1st

1828

92.3%

1853

94.4%

2nd

83

4.2%

71

3.6%

3rd

26

1.3%

10

0.5%

4th

4

0.2%

1

0.1%

5th

3

0.2%

0

0.0%

Placed outside preferences

36

1.8%

27

1.4%

Total

1980

100.0%

1962

100.0%

Applied Online

1706

86.2%

1795

91.5%

 

Council consults on South Bank primary school places

City of York Council is seeking residents’ views on options for creating additional primary school places to serve the South Bank area.

Although no part of Dringhouses & Woodthorpe ward falls within the catchment area for Scarcroft primary or Knavesmire primary – the schools which serve the South Bank area – this consultation is of interest to us because one of the options under consideration is to build a new 315-place primary school, with an 80-place nursery, on land behind The Square and The Grove, off Tadcaster Road.

The Square

Land behind The Square

A report to the council’s Executive on 28 January (see http://tinyurl.com/southbank-primary ) recommended that this option not be pursued, for the following reasons:

  • the Wilberforce Trust, who own the land, informed the council that they were not wanting to sell this land at present
  • the location was not suitable as the site is some distance from the South Bank area
  • there would be significant additional cost because the requirement of having to purchase the land

The report to Executive recommended that the need for additional places be addressed through the building of an annex to Scarcroft primary school on land on the Millthorpe school site. Following representations that were made on this issue, on 11 February the Executive agreed to a period of consultation on options. Information on the consultation can be found at https://www.york.gov.uk/micklegateschoolplaces

The option of building a school to serve the South Bank area on land behind the The Square and The Grove is not one that we support, for the reasons stated above. But we would like to hear your views, so please do get in touch if you’d like to let us know your thoughts on this – email Stephen in the first instance via cllr.sfenton@york.gov.uk

The current consultation closes on 11 March. Comments can be submitted via e-mail to micklegateschoolplaces@york.gov.uk or by post to Micklegate School Places, City of York Council School Services, West Offices, Station Rise, York, YO1 6GA.

York school exam results published

Exam results in York click to access more infromation

Exam results in York click to access more information

The Department for Education has published the results of GCSE exams taken last year. 

York schools generally performed better than the rest of he UK with 64% of pupils achieving good GCSE results against an a national average of 57%.

From next year, schools in England will be measured on what is known as Progress 8. Progress 8 will replace the five or more good GCSEs, including maths and English, benchmark as the key measure for all secondary schools.

Progress 8 assesses the progress pupils make between Key Stage 2 tests taken at the end of primary school and their performance in a specified mixture of eight subjects at the end of secondary school. Schools will be given a score based on how their pupils have progressed compared to the national average.

This year, schools were given the option to “opt in” for Progress 8 and 327 schools (around 10%) took this up.

Nationally, head teachers have long complained measuring success on the basis of GCSE results alone is unfair as it does not take into account the intake of the school.

But ministers have maintained parents want and need simple and easy-to-digest information about schools.

The difference in achievement by gender is startling, with roughly a fifth fewer boys than girls reaching the end of Key Stage 4 with a good set of GCSEs.

Some 61.8% of girls got five good GCSEs, including English and maths, compared with 52.5% of their male peers.

And fewer boys than girls made at least the expected level of progress – 65.9% of boys opposed to 76.5% of girls.

More girls (29.3%) than boys achieved the English Baccalaureate (EBacc), which requires GCSEs in two sciences, a language, history or geography, as well as English and maths. Only 19.5% of boys obtained it.

Overall, 24.3% of pupils achieved the EBacc.

There was also a marked difference between the performance of disadvantaged pupils (those eligible for the pupil premium) and their more advantaged peers, with just 36.7% getting five good GCSEs, including maths and English, compared to 64.7%.

The poorest performing local authority was Knowsley on Merseyside, where 37.4% of pupils met the required standard, compared to the national average of 57.1%.

York schools admission consultation

School childrenAll admissions authorities in the City of York Council area are consulting parents and carers on new policies and the number of places available for the school year starting in September 2017.

The consultation includes all admissions policies and the planned number of places available at each school in the year of entry to primary, junior, secondary school and sixth forms. The views of parents, carers, schools as well as governors, teachers and other interested parties are being sought before the closing date of 15 December 2015.

The fairness and accessibility of information available, application processes, planned admission numbers, admission policies and oversubscription criteria are all currently being consulted on. All comments will be forwarded to the relevant admissions authority for their consideration before agreeing these arrangements
Following consultation, each admissions authority will formally set its admission arrangements by 28 February 2016. These will be published on each admissions authority’s websites by 15 March 2016 after which date objections can be raised to the Schools Adjudicator.

Three Coordinated Admissions Schemes are being consulted on for entry into all Primary (Reception), Junior (Year 3) and Secondary (Year 7) schools. The consultation also includes policies for York’s Community and Voluntary Controlled schools, as well as the 12 Admissions Policies for Academy and Voluntary Aided schools in the city. All documents offered for consultation are in their draft (pre-determined) form.

To respond, please email admissionsconsultation@york.gov.uk or please complete the short online survey at www.york.gov.uk/consultations .

York launches Breathe 2025 campaign to inspire a smokefree generation

City of York Council is urging people and organisations across York to sign up and support Breathe 2025, a new campaign to inspire children to grow up smoke-free and protected from health harms caused by tobacco.
click to view video

click to view video

While the region has the highest adult smoking prevalence in England (20.1% compared to an England average of 18%), only one in eight 15-year-olds smoke and the proportion of young smokers is dropping.

Within the next decade there could be a generation of children that don’t smoke.    .

City of York Council’s Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Health Councillor Carol Runciman said: “We want children who have started school this year to be the pioneers of a smokefree generation: today’s five year olds can be smokefree at 15 when they are preparing for their GCSEs and so can all the year groups following them.

“They can be smokefree when they leave school or college and as adults. Breathe 2025 is about how all of us can inspire and help them to make that happen.”
The campaign is being run by a collaboration of partners across Yorkshire and the Humber, including City of York Council and Public Health England.

People and organisations are being asked to show their support by going to the campaign website or Facebook page and signing up to one or more simple, practical actions. This could be pledging to watch and share the Breathe 2025 video, or promising to display a Breathe 2025 poster.  There are a range of simple actions to choose from, as individuals or on behalf of an organisation such as a school, GP or local business.

Councillor Runciman continues: “Giving children and young people the best start in life is a priority for City of York Council, parents, family members and many other organisations and communities in York – and not smoking is a great start so please go to the Breathe 2025 website and show your support.”

City of York Council’s Interim Director of Public Health, Sharon Stoltz said: “Evidence suggests that if young people don’t start using tobacco by the age of 26 they will almost certainly never start, so we have a great opportunity here to transform the health of our region and we can do it within the next 10 years.

“It is estimated that smoking in York costs society around £50.1m annually and smoking breaks cost businesses in York £24.2m each year.  Around one in two smokers die from a smoking-related illness.  If we can prevent young people from smoking that’s not just an investment in their health as individuals, it’s an investment in a healthier future for everyone.”

The Breathe 2025 website is at www.Breathe2025.org.uk