York Council to levy £500 fines for children’s term time holiday absence.

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The York Council are telling parents about a new protocol for leave of absence in term time, which will be made in September 2013.

The changes mean that head teachers must not grant any request for leave of absence unless in exceptional circumstances. Most often such requests for leave during term-time occur when parents seek time out of school for a family holiday.

The Council says it is “working with schools to ensure there is a consistent approach to requests for leave of absence and to what may constitute exceptional circumstances. The DfE has said that holidays should not be authorised on the grounds of cost or the availability of a particular holiday”.

This new guidance is as a step to further reduce the amount of time children lose to holidays in term time. Nationally 15% of all absence in primary schools is due to children being removed for holidays in term time, with the vast majority of this absence being authorised. In secondary schools the figure is significantly lower with 5.5% of all absence being due to holidays in term time.

Currently, in certain circumstances, parents can be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice where they take a holiday in term time which is not authorised by the head teacher.

The changes from September will mean that when parents are issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice they will have to pay £60 within 21 days (previously 28 days), or £120 if they pay outside of the 21 days but within 28 days (previously 42 days).

Each parent can be issued with a notice for each child so two parents with two children can potentially be issued with four notices.

A Council spokesman said: “Our overall attendance records for schools in York is excellent, therefore most parents in the city will not be affected by this. However, where parents do have concerns about their child’s attendance they must talk to their child’s school directly to ensure they are adhering to its policy and are not in danger of being issued a Fixed Penalty Notice.”

York schools big spend on supply teachers

The Council has revealed how much each school in the City has spent on supply teachers .

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Supply teachers are brought in to cover staff vacancies and sickness. In some cases the school sources the supply teacher themselves whilst others use agencies.

In total several million pounds is spent on employing supply teachers in York each year

Highest spending secondary school was Huntington at over £160,000.

In the primary sector Poppleton Road paid out £73,000

Locally York High spent £26,000

Dringhouses Primary spent just over £36,000w while Woodthorpe spent over £66,000.

A full list can be found by clicking here

Meanwhile York’s Liberal Democrats have welcomed an £880,200 increase in funding to York Primary Schools from the Pupil Premium in 2014/15.

This increase represents a £400 rise for every qualifying child and is the largest ever increase in the Pupil Premium for primary schools.

The Pupil Premium is a major Lib Dem priority being delivered by the Coalition Government.

It ensures that extra money is targeted at schools depending on the number of pupils who have been registered for Free School Meals at any point in the last six years.

Schools also receive funding for children who have been looked after continuously for more than 6 months, and children of Armed Forces personnel.

Nick Emmerson, Lib Dem Parliamentary Spokesperson for York Outer, commented:

“The Pupil Premium is a clear example of the policies pursued by the Liberal Democrats in Coalition Government having a positive effect on the lives of local children in York. Nationally it means funding for the policy will reach the £2.5 billion promised on page one of the Liberal Democrat Manifesto.”

“The Pupil Premium shows that, in tough times, we are implementing Liberal Democrat values and prioritising help for those pupils who need it most. It is making a real difference in the schools here in York and raising standards for all children.

“We’re literally spending billions of pounds to stop poor children falling behind. This is the right thing to do.”

Summer Lifestyle challenge for teenagers in York

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The Police have launched a new community challenge aimed at filling in some of the spare hours that young people have during the school summer holidays

“Lifestyle is a fantastic project that started 25 years ago in Humberside and now for the first time ever has come to North Yorkshire!

Are you and your friends already wondering what you can do over the long summer holidays? Are you aged between 10 and 16 and live in North Yorkshire? Are you wanting to be the kind of person who can make a difference to their local community? Do you want to have fun? Do you want to win some fab prizes?”

Click here for more details

New courses for everyone in York

York Learning’s programme of adult education courses courses is on sale now and, with over 230 courses on offer, everyone should find something to enjoy, challenge themselves or take them into a new career!

The Learning 4 Everyone programme from City of York Council has courses and workshops for leisure and pleasure, from fine arts, bike safety, computing and dance through to languages, health and wellbeing. The programme includes a wonderful array of the traditional crafts such as Bookbinding, alernative therapies such as Hopi Ear Candles and modern takes on hobbies using up-to-date technologies such as Art on your ipad.

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