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   

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

Tax credit change could hit 8000 York families

Cllr Sue Hunter8,000 families in York will lose out under Conservative plans to cut tax credits.

Figures produced by the House of Commons Library show over three million low-income working families currently in receipt of tax credits will see their entitlement reduced, as part of the Government’s proposals.

Despite claims from the Conservatives that those affected will benefit from plans to increase the minimum wage, the independent Institute for Fiscal Studies has said Tory figures don’t stack up. IFS analysis shows a £750 average annual loss for families in York will only be offset by £200 as a result of the new minimum wage.

Liberal Democrats have opposed the move and said it undermines the work of the Coalition Government, to make sure it always pays more to be in work than on benefits.

Cllr Sue Hunter (pictured), Liberal Democrat Councillor for Westfield, said:

“The changes to tax credits will hammer families inYork. The move completely undermines any claim the Tories have of being on the side of working families.

“What makes this even worse is that 12,200 children in our area will now be forced to live in poorer households, reducing their life chances and making it harder for their parents to make ends meet.

“Study after study have shown that the Conservative’s claim to be supporting low income families through a minimum wage increase nowhere near make up for these cuts. It’s time for them to come clean and be honest with those doing the right thing and going out to work.

“I am pleased that Lib Dems are opposing this measure. We worked hard in the Coalition to ensure that work would always pay more than choosing to remain on benefits. It is a disgrace the Conservatives are now undermining this.”

The Lib Dems are currently opposing the plans in the House of Lords: http://www.libdems.org.uk/lib-dems-table-fatal-motion-tax-credits

National adoption week starts in York

National Adoption Week 2015 takes place this week from 19 to 25 October with the theme ‘Too old at 4?’

adoption week 2015

Older children waiting to be adopted are often likely to be in sibling groups or to have additional needs and there is currently a shortage of adoptive parents coming forward for these children.

Sadly, sibling groups, those with complex needs and children from black and minority ethnic families are amongst the children who wait longest to be adopted.

During National Adoption Week 2015, City of York Council is joining all its adoption partners to work together to highlight the need to find adoptive families for these children.

While it’s great news that York has no children waiting to be adopted at the moment, across the country there are brothers and sisters, older children and those with special needs or disabilities looking for forever families. Could that be you?

City of York Council is hosting an information event on 2 November from 6:30-8:30pm  in central York where you can find out more about what adoption involves and whether it could be right for you. . To book a place please contact the duty adoption worker on: adoptiondutyworker@york.gov.uk or phone 01904 553525.

Anyone interested in adopting or who would like to know more can find lots of useful information  onthe Yorkshire and Humber Adoption Consortium website: http://beingfamily.co.uk/ or can phone the national adoption information service – First4Adoption on 0300 222 0022 where the friendly advisers will be happy to answer questions. The First4Adoption information line is open Monday-Friday between 10am and 6pm. You can also find information on their website at http://www.first4adoption.org.uk/

Walk to school week in York

walking bus 2Thirty one schools and over 9,000 pupils across the city are taking part in the biggest ever Walk to School Week campaign which aims to encourage even more children to walk, cycle or scoot to school.

The school that gets the highest number of pupils walking, cycling or scooting throughout the week will win the coveted Jack Archer award and £300, funded by Age UK.

‘Scoot to School’ day will also take place on Wednesday 14 October. To encourage students to scoot the school with the most pupils who scoot to school on that day will win a Scooter Pod worth £300 donated by CyclePod.

It is recommended that children aged five to sixteen do at least sixty  minutes of physical activity that gets their heart beating faster than usual and they need to do it everyday to burn off calories and prevent them storing up excess fat in the body.

Regular activity is also important for adults and it is recommended that adults make sure they’re active for just 30 minutes each day, or 150 minutes a week.

The scheme is also targeted at families who normally take the car, and encourages them to consider walking or cycling to school instead.

Residents can find out more about changing the way they travel in York at: www.itravelyork.info/

Parents offered £1,300 in York

School childrenEligible residents could have up to £1,300 spent on helping their school-age child to do even better for this and for the next six academic years if they apply before January 2016.

As the new terms starts, applying for free school meals could not only mean a daily hot lunch if the child wants one, but the Government will give £1,300 every year for each eligible pupil at primary schools and £965 per year per student at secondary schools.

With an estimated 400 children eligible in York but whose parents are not claiming, this could mean that up to £380,000 of Government funding is being missed out on by York pupils and their schools.

The Pupil Premium, as it is known, is paid to the child’s school and is used to help them do even better with their schoolwork. It could mean extra help with homework, uniform vouchers or buying extra books.

The Pupil Premium will be paid whether or not the pupil takes the free meals. If they prefer, they can choose to have them on certain days or even if they prefer to take a packed lunch every day. School meals provide a tasty and nutritious choice of hot or cold lunch every day.

Successful applications made before the school census in January 2016 will mean that the school will get this funding every year for the next six academic years, but applications can be made at any time throughout the school year. Parents or carers can apply through the school or online at www.york.gov.uk/freeschoolmeals.

While all children in school Reception and Years 1 and 2 currently receive free school meals, eligible parents and carers still need to apply for the Pupil Premium to be allocated to their child.

To qualify for free school meals, parents or carers must get one of the following income-related benefits:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Job Seekers Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Child Tax Credit combined with both a household income below £16,190, and not in receipt of any Working Tax Credit
  • Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Guarantee Element of State Pension Credit.

Contributions-based benefits, including contribution-related Job Seekers Allowanceare not qualifying benefits. Parents or carers who have just started to work less than 16 hours a week, or immediately after employment has ceased for a temporary four week ‘run-on’ period only may be eligible.

For more information, to check eligibility or to apply, please go to www.york.gov.uk/freeschoolmeals or contact School Services at West Offices, Station Rise, York, YO1 6GA or call 01904 551554 or email education@york.gov.uk

“Shine” activities make summer fun for young people in York

Shine logo

Shine is an exciting programme of events aimed at five to 18 year olds which runs thanks to a large number of organisers including the council, sports organisations, independent activity providers and local attractions. Many of the activities are free and booking in advance is not always necessary, offering a boredom-free summer throughout the city!

This year Shine includes over 190 different activities throughout the summer, offering all the favourite arts, sports, play sessions, parks and libraries activities.

  • Some of the more unusual events include designing a remote controlled robot or a joystick game and those with a sense of adventure can enjoy activities such as kayaking, outdoor climbing, wild camping and bushcraft skills.
  • Theatre, art, mosaics, dance, sewing and junk drumming with Trashbang are some of the arts activities helping to develop young creative skills, whilst sports activities from Total Sports,
  • York Knights Foundation and City of York Athletics are keeping fitness levels up throughout the summer.
    (more…)

Yorks children’s plan to be updated

safeguarding2

A new Children and Young People’s Plan is currently being developed by City of York Council for 2016-2019 to set the direction for everyone working to improve the lives of children and young people.

As with previous Plans – the most recent was launched in 2013 – the views of children, young people, families and people working with and for children are a crucial element in deciding the new Plan’s priorities.

The council is asking all those affected by the new Plan to share their thoughts. This can be done via a 10-minute, anonymous online survey atwww.yor-ok.org.uk/haveyoursay.  At the end of the survey, participants can choose to enter into a prize draw for one of two £50 high street vouchers as thanks for taking part.

Young people are also invited to get involved by applying to join a group of young researchers. These young people aged16 years old and over are being recruited for six to eight weeks from the beginning of July. The young researchers will be trained, rewarded for their attendance and learn valuable skills. Please contact Tess Ellis on 01904 551249 or email: tess.ellis@york.gov.uk for more details.

Cllr Jenny Brooks, Executive Member for Education, Children and Young People, said: ““The success of previous Plans has lain in part in having been shaped by the people it will affect. I’d urge all children and young people and those who care for or work with them to have their say now about what matters to them and how we can make York the best place in which to live and grow up.”

The consultation will be open until 31 August and the new Children and Young People’s Plan it will help draw up will be launched in the new year.

York parents to get child sexual abuse and exploitation information

Parents and carers of children in York will get information and advice about how to spot signs of child sexual exploitation and abuse this month as part of a citywide awareness raising campaign.

Parents of pupils in year 6 (10-11 years old) will receive a letter and wallet-sized information card about the It’s not ok campaign, which was launched in May.

The campaign, which is run by City of York Safeguarding Children Board (a group of organisations in York which help support children and young people, including City of York Council, North Yorkshire Police and health partners) and the NSPCC, aims to raise awareness of child sexual abuse and exploitation amongst young people, parents and carers, childcare and safeguarding professionals, and the general public.

The year-long campaign, the first of its type for the NSPCC in England, has four distinct phases, with each targeting a different audience. Information, resources and campaign materials will all be available in one place – the new sexual abuse and sexual exploitation website for York: www.itsnotokay-york.org.uk

Simon Westwood, Chair of the CYSCB/Dot Evansfrom the City of York Safeguarding Children Board, said: “Unfortunately sexual abuse and exploitation can happen anywhere and to anyone. By writing directly to parents and carers we hope that we can raise awareness about the issue, helping to protect their child or children. The website has a wide range of resources to help parents spot the signs of potential abuse, as well as providing support to anyone who has been abused.”

Helen Westerman, NSPCC campaigns manager, said: “It’s great to be working with City of York Safeguarding Children Board on this campaign. We know how difficult it can be to speak out about sexual abuse and exploitation and we hope that this campaign provides a voice to children and young people living in abusive situations.”