Woodthorpe playground improvements – winning design announced

Following a vote by residents of all ages organised by the Woodthorpe Community Group, the winning design for the revamp of Woodthorpe Green playground has been announced.

‘Design D’ was the winner







The £30,000 scheme is being funded by a combination of Ward Committee funds and money from City of York Council central. budgets.

The company that has secured the contract is Wicksteed Playgrounds – www.wicksteed.co.uk  The council will now discuss with Wicksteed a timetable for the work.

Another successful year for A level students in York

Children’s Services leaders in York today (17 August) are congratulating A level students across the city on achieving an excellent set of results.

Provisional results for York school sixth forms and York College show that the very high standards of previous years have been maintained and initial results for the city indicate that A level results remain consistently amongst the best in the country.

York school sixth forms – All Saints RC, Archbishop Holgate’s CE, Fulford, Huntington and Joseph Rowntree – and York College are reporting strong results including ‘best ever’ performances.

Early results for the schools show that across the board young people will be able to get to the universities of their choice, including those applying to Oxbridge universities and medical courses. This strong position is being maintained despite the significant changes to the content and structure of A and AS level courses this year.

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

‘Creative Arts Academy’ plan gets Government approval

The Ebor Academy Trust’s bid to establish a ‘Creative Arts Academy’ free school in York has been approved by Government, it was announced today.

When the Ebor Academy Trust announced its plans, it identified the council-owned former Askham Bar Park & Ride site as a possible location for the proposed new primary school, which would serve the whole city. In the recently-published Local Plan proposals, the council has earmarked that land for housing.

The Ebor Academy Trust say that they will now work closely with City of York Council to secure a site, and are aiming for a September 2017 opening.

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:
































Placed outside preferences










Applied Online






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%.

Surprise at proposed ‘new school’ at Askham Bar

Local residents – and Dringhouses & Woodthorpe ward councillors – have reacted with surprise to a story in The Press on 11 January which suggests that a ‘Creative Arts Academy’ primary school could be built on the old Askham Bar Park & Ride site – see http://tinyurl.com/askham-bar-school

Cllr Stephen Fenton and Cllr An Reid at what is now the 'Moor Lane pay & display car park'

Cllr Stephen Fenton and Cllr Ann Reid at what is now the ‘Moor Lane pay & display car park’







The idea has been put forward by the Ebor Academy Trust, which currently runs two schools in York – Robert Wilkinson in Strensall, and Haxby Road. We understand that the proposal envisages a primary school for about 420 pupils plus a unit for children with special educational needs and disabilities.

Due to legislative changes, any new schools that are built have to be either a Free School or an Academy, funded directly by the Department for Education. The proposed new school is therefore not something that has been suggested by City of York Council.

The old Park & Ride site is owned by the council, and we understand that there have been no discussions with council officers about its possible sale to Ebor Academy Trust. Nor has any planning application for a new school on the site been submitted.

We have contacted Ebor Academy Trust, and they advise that any residents who wish to comment on their proposals should contact them via their website at http://creativeartsacademyyork.org/

It appears to us to be a ‘kite flying’ exercise on the part of the Ebor Academy Trust, designed to gauge reaction to their proposals.

Deadline nears for primary school place admissions

Parents and carers of children starting school this September are reminded to apply for a place before next Friday.

Parents may also apply online at the same time for free school meals for their children, and if eligible, their child’s school will also benefit from additional funding known as the Pupil Premium.

The closing date for applications for children born between 1 September 2011 and 31 August 2012, is Friday 15 January 2016. For a place in the reception class at their chosen York state primary school, parents and carers can apply online at www.york.gov.uk/schooladmissions

All details and answers to frequently asked questions can be found at www.york.gov.uk/guideforparents. The guide, updated for 2016 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.

In addition, all eligible parents and carers are encouraged to apply for free school meals if they receive one or more 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.

The Government will give £1,300 every year for each primary school pupil and £965 for each secondary school student eligible for the Pupil Premium as well as a free school meal, should they choose to have one.

This sum, known as the Pupil Premium, is paid to the school whether or not the pupil takes up the school meal and is used to help the pupil do even better with their schoolwork. All applications are treated confidentially and can be made through the school or online at www.york.gov.uk/freeschoolmeals

Councillor Jenny Brooks, Executive Member for Education, Children and Young People, said: “The national deadline of 15 January is almost here so I would urge any parent or carer who has not yet applied for a place to do so now. We have enough places for all known primary school children in York and confirmation of the school allocated to children will be given on 18 April. Applying for the school premium at the same time will ensure that those eligible will have that valuable extra funding following their child until they leave secondary school. It is important that everyone who might meet the criteria applies as the extra funding will be so valuable to their child’s education.”

For further help and information about school places, free school meals and the Pupil Premium contact School Services at West Offices, Station Rise, York, YO1 6GA, call 01904 551554 or emaileducation@york.gov.uk

What’s on: New Learning 4 Everyone programme launched

A record 400 courses, workshops, taster sessions, talks and flexible learning opportunities have been launched by York Learning as part of its adult Learning 4 Everyone programme.

Alongside 3D printing, artisan bread-making, holiday Spanish and seated pilates courses, a range of Saturday night takeaway workshops will be served on how to rustle up tasty Chinese, Indian and Turkish meals.dimsum-basket

Participants will be able to take these home and will have the confidence to cook for family meals or for entertaining friends.

For the first time a series of specialist interest talks has been introduced, delivered by gurus from the world of gardening and archaeology. Topics explored will include big planting for small spaces, giving nature a helping hand and discovering what bones, glass, soil and bricks can tell us about the past.

Also new this year is a collection of 12 different fun and creative workshops or courses to make wedding days more personal. Crafts include preparing wedding flowers, designing contemporary wedding stationary and hairdressing for bride and bridesmaids which can be recreated for a bespoke wedding day by brides-to-be and their friends.

Cllr Nigel Ayre, Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Tourism said: “Learning as an adult can help increase your confidence, health and happiness as well as furthering your career and professional development.

“The success of this growing programme is built on feedback from both our new and loyal learners. Learning 4 Everyone caters for all levels of ability at over 40 different locations, offering a truly city wide approach to adult education.”

As well as popular leisure subjects such as languages, crafts, arts, music, photography, fitness and cookery the programme offers family and workplace learning, apprenticeships and qualifications.

The Learning 4 Everyone programme covers winter, spring and summer 2016. A detailed brochure will be landing on doorsteps of York residents throughout December and early January, which also includes details of adult learning opportunities with other city providers such as York College, Explore York, University of York and the Workers’ Educational Association.

For more information or to book online visit http://www.yortime.org.uk/. Residents can also book by calling York Learning on 01904 552806 or in person at West Offices between 10am and 4pm on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Please note that only online bookings are available over the Christmas period, from 25 December to 3 January 2016.