Liberal Democrat Motion on Funding for Children & Young People Passed

The Liberal Democrat motion on funding for Children and Young People was passed at last night’s meeting of full Council.

The motion, proposed by Cllr Ashley Mason, asked Council to officially recognise the abysmal funding situation of schools in York, both historically and under the incoming schools National Funding Formula.

As a result of the successful motion, the Council will now make contact with the Secretary of State to insist she reconsider York’s position.  In the meantime, the Council will do everything it can to support schools during the difficult implantation period of the National funding Formula.

Furthermore, the motion also recognised the outstanding work of the City’s Youth Council and a commitment was given to explore further funding for the Youth Council.

The motion was passed, with amendments, by every City of York Councillor in attendance, apart from Conservative Councillors, who abstained from the vote and refused to support the sentiments of the motion.

Cllr Ashley Mason said:

“I am delighted that our motion received such enormous support last night, both from Councillors and members of the public.  The Council can begin in it’s efforts to lobby central Government and stand up for the City’s schools.

Schools are facing considerable financial challenges and under the new National Funding Formula, York will remain the worst funded local authority area in the Country.  This simply is not acceptable and more funding is needed to provide an inclusive education across the City.

It was also excellent to see the efforts staff and Youth Councillors formally recognised by Council. I very much look forward to working with the Executive in identifying financial opportunities to support the Youth Council further

It was extremely disappointing to see that the Conservative Party refused to vote and support this extremely important motion, but nonetheless, the Liberal Democrats will continue to make the case for York and for the City’s schools.


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 –  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)

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 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: 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

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 ) 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

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

The current consultation closes on 11 March. Comments can be submitted via e-mail to 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

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

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

All details and answers to frequently asked questions can be found at 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

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