York Council threat on school attendance

With the new school year in full swing, City of York Council is reminding parents of the importance of making sure their children attend all their school sessions.

York’s school attendance rate is high with only 4.4 per cent absence, compared to a national average of 4.7 per cent and a Yorkshire and Humber region average of 4.9per cent.

City of York Council rarely prosecutes parents who don’t ensure their children are at school because it believes that working with schools and parents is the best strategy to maintain high levels of attendance at school.

However, last week a prosecution was heard by York Magistrates against a parent whose child had been marked as absent from over 70 per cent of sessions during a four month period earlier this year.

The child, then in year eight at secondary school, was absent for 87 out of a possible 122 sessions between 29/01/18 and 18/05/18, only two of which were authorised absences.

The parent had previously been issued with a fine due to raised concerns regarding the child’s attendance over a number of school years. The parent also failed to provide the school with acceptable reasons for much of the child’s absence and failed to engage with the schools and local authority to support the child’s education.

At York Magistrates Court, the parent pleaded guilty to failing to ensure the regular attendance at the school of their child; an offence under Section 444 of the Education Act 1996. She was ordered to pay a £20 court surcharge with a conditional six month discharge.

For more information on school attendance click here 

For details of term dates visit your school website or click here 

Planning application for new electricity sub station on Ascot Way causes sparks.

Proposed sub station site

A planning application has just been received by the York Council which would see a sub station built on land next to garages on Ascot Way.

It is causing concern as it would mean that the adjacent rear entrance to Hob Moor school could become very narrow and dark.

There are safety issues that will have to be addressed if this does go ahead (it is required to service the nearby disabled children’s centre project)

The application can be viewed by clicking here 


Local children invited to enter York Remembers poetry competition

In honour of the 100th anniversary of the First World War, local children and young people are being encouraged to submit commemorative poems as part of a York Army Museum competition.

The competition is part of ‘York Remembers: Lifting the shadow of the First World War’, a remembrance project co-ordinated by City of York Council, and which schools and individuals aged 7 – 18 can enter.

The poem should be an original piece on First World War remembrance.

Submissions are divided into five age categories; children in school years 3 – 4 and years 5 – 6; and young people in school years 7, 8 and 9, years 10 – 11 and years 12 – 13.

Children’s poems should be no longer than 28 lines, while poems submitted by young people should not exceed 40 lines. Entries can be hand delivered, sent to the York Army Museum by post or emailed to yorkrememberspoetry@gmail.com by 12 noon on Friday 28 September.

Winners will be announced on National Poetry Day, Thursday 4 October at Explore Acomb Library by York poet, Doreen Gurrey, and will receive a book token and certificate in each category.

Allison Freeman, activities officer at York Army Museum, said: ‘We are excited to be hosting the York Remembers poetry competition for children and young people, and looking forward to reading the submitted poems.  We are especially pleased that York poet, Doreen Gurrey, has agreed to judge this competition commemorating the ending of the First World War.’

Good work evident in Westfield as schools return

Road resurfaced, white lines refreshed and a “gateway” painted on the highway near the entrance to Westfield School. School crossing patrol also working efficiently. Good work by the school and ward Councillors

Hardcore has been put down under the access gate to the Westfield Place sports field. Previously the area had been subject to flooding. More good work by the Council

Reported full paper and can banks at Acomb car park at 3:15pm today. Also some fly tipping. Message back from the Council at 3:30pm saying “issue solved” Gasp!

York students congratulated on their GCSE (Key Stage 4) results

Pupils, parents, teachers and children’s services leaders are today (Thursday 23 August) congratulating learners across the city on achieving excellent GCSE results.

The results follow significant changes in the grading system in the last two years, which saw a grading system of 9-1 introduced in English language, English literature and mathematics last year, being rolled out to 20 more subjects this year.

Provisional results show that 70.6% of pupils gained grade 4+ in English and maths which is expected to be above the national average.

Grade 5+ in English and maths are in line with last year’s results, and also expected to be above the national average.

Additionally, the average points score for six core subjects (known as the English Baccalaureate or EBacc) is 4.56 in York this year. Pupils who gain grade 9-4 in English, maths, two science subjects, a modern foreign language and a humanities subject achieve EBacc.

York chosen to lead on national safeguarding children arrangements

York has been chosen as one of only 17 areas of the country to trial new safeguarding arrangements for children and young people.

The Government has introduced a new guidance around safeguarding children this month, which sets new legal requirements for Children at risk of abuse or neglect to be protected through improved partnerships between local police, councils and health services.

York has been chosen as an ‘early adopter’ under the new guidance: an area which will work with the National Children’s Bureau to implement new local safeguarding arrangements before they are established across the rest of the country.

The 17 areas will develop new and innovative approaches to set up partnership safeguarding processes and share best practice with other areas, before they adopt new arrangements in the next 12 months.

The work of City of York Safeguarding Children Board was assessed as ‘Outstanding’ in an independent review by Ofsted in December 2016.

The focus of York’s work as an early adopter will be to fully engage schools with the new safeguarding arrangements. This will build on and extend the existing strong partnership between the city’s schools and the Safeguarding Children Board. Schools play an important role in keeping children safe and the work being undertaken will ensure that they remain central to the city’s safeguarding arrangements.

Simon Westwood, chair of City of York’s Safeguarding Children Board, said: “I’m really pleased that York has been chosen to help shape the future safeguarding children arrangements in this country. It’s testament to the hard work and dedication of all the organisations who have worked together tirelessly over a number of years to help protect children and young people across the city.”