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

York Police advice on Halloween

York Police are asking children and residents to observe a code of conduct in the run up to Halloween. The following poster can be downloaded from their website

Trick or Treat

Parents should take responsibility for their children’s behaviour – know where they are at all times, and follow a few key dos and don’ts.

Do:

  • Only trick or treat in your own neighbourhood unless you’re with an adult
  • Stay in well lit areas where there are plenty of houses
  • Make sure an adult knows the area you plan to visit and what time you’ll be back
  • Look out for ‘no callers please’ posters and respect your neighbours
  • Keep to pavements and trick or treat on one side of the street before crossing safely to the other side – don’t criss-cross
  • Wait to eat any treats until you get home so that an adult can check them

Don’t:

  • Don’t cut through back alleys, ginnels or fields, and don’t trick or treat too far from home
  • Don’t go alone – take an adult with you or stay in a group
  • If you do decide to go trick or treating, please respect the wishes of householders who do not wish to take part, and please do not use the season as an excuse for anti-social or intimidating behaviour.

Even if you are not involved in trick or treating, bear in mind the following:

  • Not everyone appreciates trick or treaters. To prevent unwanted ghosts and ghouls, put a ‘no callers’ note on your front door.
  • If you are prepared to receive the local monsters, switch on your outside light and remove any trip hazards. If you set lanterns outside your front door with candles in them, make sure that they are far enough out of the way so that costumes won’t accidentally be set on fire.
  • If you are driving on the evening of the 31st, remember that excited children don’t always do as they are expected, so slow down in residential areas and take extra care.
    If things get out of hand, you feel intimidated, or someone’s safety is at risk, contact North Yorkshire Police.

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

Steps to success event attracts big attendance at Knavesmire

City of York Council’s annual Steps to Success event proved to be a huge success with the event at York Racecourse welcoming over 2000 young people and parents looking for information and advice.

steps to successSteps to Success, held in partnership with York St John University and The University of York, was held on Tuesday 20 October with the aim of providing attendees with information on education and training options, as well as career routes.

The event housed 58 stands at the racecourse providing a wealth of information on Sixth Forms, Colleges, Universities, Apprenticeship Training Providers, Employers and other Support Services.

Running throughout the evening was a rolling programme of presentations including; Options for Key Stage 4 and Beyond, Options for Post 16 Education and Training, Apprenticeships, Progression to Higher Education and Future Job Opportunities.

Anyone parents or young people unable to attend the event who would like a copy of the parents’ guides or more information from the event please contact Beverley Wills on beverley.wills@york.gov.uk or call 01904 553008

 

Anti social behaviour tackled by new policing plan for half term

A youth protection scheme is to be re-run over half term following its success in the summer.

Operation liberate Sept 2015Operation Liberate, led by City of York Council and North Yorkshire Police, and other partners, aims to keep young people feeling and being safe. Police, local authority officers and healthcare professionals offer young people support and help, and where necessary take action to prevent anti-social behaviour or offending.

Between 24 July and 5 September on Friday and Saturday nights during the summer holiday, Operation Liberate targeted areas where anti-social behaviour has been an issue in the past. Police response teams identified 18 young people at risk and vulnerable aged between 10 and 18, of whom 75 per cent were female. Of them, 25 per cent were in danger of getting involved in anti-social behaviour and 75 per cent were considered vulnerable.
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