Plan for disabled centre in Ascot Way faces £350,000 financial hurdle

A report being presented to a Council meeting next week says that the cost to taxpayers of developing a Centre of Excellence for Disabled Children and their families in Ascot Way will be more than expected.

An additional £350,000 will have to be borrowed to finance the £4.3 million project.

This is mainly the result of a lower than expected valuation of The Glen Short Breaks centre which is to be sold to help pay for the new development.

When originally suggested, the expectation was that the Glen site would be sold for £1,250,000. It is this figure that has reduced and produced the funding shortfall.

Annual repayments (principal plus interest) on the borrowing are expected to be around £195,000 a year.

The news comes a day before an open meeting to discuss the project is being held at Windsor House (see below)

94.2 per cent of York children get a place at their first choice of primary school

Primary school admission figures for entry in September 2018 reveal that 94.2 per cent of York children having been given their first preference.

City of York Council’s figures show that 99.4 per cent of pupils got one of their first three preferences. The percentage of children achieving their first preference has increased by 1.3 per cent between 2017 and 2018.

The percentage 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 (16 April), letters are being posted today to parents and those with online accounts can log in to the council’s parent portal at

In 2018 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 25 in 2017 to11 in 2018.

A detailed school by school analysis can be found by clicking here

York Knights rugby and skateboarding sessions popular in Foxwood

Activities for younger people held at the Foxwood Park over the Easter break have proved to be popular The event was organised by teh York Knights Rugby Foundation and was sponsored by the local Ward Committees.

Counciillors Sheena Jackson and Andrew Waller welcome the skateboard park to Foxwood

Westfield Councillor Sheena Jackson and Dringhouses counterpart Stephen Fenton join in the rugby session on the Foxwood Park

School attendance in York above regional and national averages

New figures published last week (22 March 2018) for the past academic year show that attendance at York schools is higher than regional and national averages.

The data shows that attendance at City of York Schools is 95.6% which compares to the overall attendance at schools nationally of 95.3% and regionally of 95.1%.

The Department for Education also released data regarding the number of pupils they regard as persistent absentees (any pupil missing 10% or more of their possible sessions). This data shows that the number of pupils who are regarded as persistent absentees is significantly lower in City of York at 9.8% as opposed to the national figure of 10.8% and the regional figure of 11.9%.

Department for Education research shows that for all pupils, as their overall absence increases their attainment decreases. The end of Key Stage 2 tests show that pupils with no absence are more than three times more likely to achieve a level 5 or above than pupils absent for 10-15% of their sessions. Similarly at the end of Key Stage 4, when pupils sit their GCSE exams, pupils with no absence are more than twice as likely to achieve 5 or more GCSEs at grades A*-C.

What’s on in York: York Easter Family Festival from tomorrow (Thursday)

Mar _29EasterCitywide : Thu 29 Mar – Mon 2 Apr :

10.00am – 5.00pm  :


Don’t miss the brand new Easter Panto ‘The Hunt for the Magical Chocolatey Chick’ organised by Little Vikings. York’s Chocolate Festival returns as part of the celebrations with a chocolate market, demonstration marquee plus the Food Factory where you can become a food producer yourself. There’s also a carousel, petting farm and further sweet treats available at the Shambles Food Court. Fun and entertainment guaranteed!

Explore York’s historic streets to discover the hidden Easter Bunnies. Find the letters at each bunny location on the map, complete the form for a chance to win a family trip for four to Disneyland Paris!  If you find all 26 bunny posters you can collect a chocolate prize from the Visit York information centre – a map of the bunny search can be collected there too.

For more information click here.

York’s out of school clubs only ones in UK to be part of 30 Hours programme

 A new study confirms that York was the only local authority in the 30 Hours childcare programme to allow eligible parents to use out of school clubs (OOSCs) to get their full entitlement.

A new study confirms that City of York Council was the only local authority in the 30 Hours childcare programme to allow eligible parents to use out of school clubs (OOSCs) to get their full entitlement.

Involving six OOCS in the programme was enabled by York’s unique partnership of childcare providers – Shared Foundation Partnerships – and has been a key factor of the authority exceeding expected parental take-up of its 30 Hours scheme by 900 places.

The council allowed parents and carers to use a combination of before, after-school and holiday childcare by the OOSCs in conjunction with other providers. This enabled them to achieve their full 30 hours entitlement from September 2016. Some parents chose to place their 3 or 4 year olds at the same OOSC as older siblings while others used them to get their full 30 hours entitlement during school holidays to make up their hours

Complementing a range of other childcare providers, Clifton Moor out of school club, FunFishers out of school club and pre school, St Paul’s out of school club, Haxby Road Primary Academy as well as KOOSH at both Park Grove and Acomb contributed to the scheme.

Early feasibility work indicated that there was enough demand for the scheme and capacity within the childcare sector for the impact of OOSCs offering funded places to have minimal or no impact.

Over a year after the trial started, this latest study shows that 30 Hours funded places at out of school club has actually increased their occupancy levels and is being monitored to ensure primary school-aged children don’t miss out on places.

The study shows too that some parents using out of school clubs have changed their working patterns indicated by them moving their 30 hours across three full days rather than across five.

As a result of this take-up, holiday clubs may choose to introduce an hourly rate charge rather than just daily or half-day session fees. To promote their place in the 30 Hours scheme, they have also increased marketing activity which has helped boost their business.

To find out more about the 30 hours childcare programme, please visit or to check eligibility go to .

Parents who already have an eligibility code are reminded to please reconfirm their eligibility for 30 hours every three months – please submit before 31 March ahead of the summer term 2018. (more…)

Armistice 100: Launching York’s commemorations

The Very Rev. Vivienne Faull, Dean of York & Cllr Ashley Mason

As we approach the centenary of the end of the First World War, a launch event will be held later this year at York Minster, to mark the beginning of York’s 6 week period of remembrance to Armistice Day.

The event will take place on the 3rd October 2018 and will be specifically aimed at key stage 2 pupils, so that they can learn how the events of WW1 affected York.

The event will include a variety of military displays around the Minster and live music, with veteran personnel and civic representatives in attendance. Invitations are being sent to schools across York this week and a special educational pack is being developed to help students prepare for the event, including a special composition by Dr Richard Shepherd MBE DL. There will also be a summer long poetry competition, open to all key stage 2 pupils across York, with sessions running in the summer holidays to support children to make an entry.

First York are supporting the event by allowing schools not within walking distance to the Minster to use their service busses free of charge.

What’s on in York: Hoglets Theatre presents The Sleep Pirates

Sleep Pirates

Acomb Explore Library

: Mon 26 Mar :

10.00am – 10.30am :


 What happens when you can’t sleep? On his first night in a new house, a young boy called Bear faces his fears, heads through his creepy cupboard door and discovers an incredible adventure on the other side.

Brought to life through larger-than-life characters, action, song and immersive storytelling, The Sleep Pirates is an imagination-firing treat for babies, toddlers and infants.

The Sleep Pirates is touring Explore Libraries across York from 26th March to 3rd April.

Tickets can be purchased from any Explore York Library.for contact details please visit our website.

Also at

Haxby at Wiggington Recreation Hall : Wed 28 Mar  : 2.30pm – 3.00pm : £2

Clifton Explore Library : Thu 29 Mar : 10.30 – 11.00am : £2

York Explore Library : Thu 29 Mar 2.00pm – 2.30pm : £2

Tang Hall Explore Library : Tue 3 Apr 10.30am – 11.00am : £2