Nearly 93 per cent of York children get a place at their first choice of primary school


City of York Council is pleased to announce that almost 93 per cent of York children have got their first preference for a place at a primary school for September 2017.

Figures published today (Tuesday 18 April) detail primary school admission figures for entry to reception for the start of the next school year.

In York, 92.9 per cent got their first preference and 98.3 per cent got one of their first three preferences. For comparison, the percentage of children achieving their first preference was 94.4 per cent in 2016 and 92.3 per cent in 2015.

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 2017 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 fell to 25.

This year’s admissions figures, compared with last year’s are outlined below:












































Applied Online






Call for nominations for the best adult learners


City of York Council is calling for nominations for this year’s York Adult Learner Awards, to celebrate the achievements of lifelong learning in the city.

Anyone can nominate an adult learner aged 18 or over: a relative, colleague or teacher, and this year there are seven categories to choose from so individuals and groups of learners can be recognised.

Learners who are nominated and shortlisted will be invited to a celebration evening on 22 June at Explore York. Besides recognising their achievement, nominees will also find out if they have won the overall title of York Adult Learner of the Year 2017.

Working alongside the council’s York Learning team to help make these awards happen, are York College, York Explore, the Workers’ Educational Association (WEA), Learning City York and York Local Link Ltd.

Outrage as York Tory Councillors fund school in Leeds

Tory Councillors in York have taken the unusual step of issuing a leaflet claiming credit for funding a primary school in Seacroft.

With cash strapped schools in Scarcroft in York hoping for investment to deal with overcrowding, we doubt that local parents will be too impressed with the move!

Tory leaflet March 2017


York High school criticised by Inspectors

Set to become an independent  “Academy”

The governments OFSTED inspecting body has released a damming report into teaching standards at York High school. The inspectorate has leaked the report to the media before posting it on their web site. This is hardly the behaviour of a responsible organisation and an action which will frustrate both teachers and parents as they seek to learn more about the “failings”.

In reality several pupils at the school have done remarkably well in recent years and the denigrating comments in The Press about the Westfield community are both  ill informed and prejudiced. Unfortunately open media comments pages often provide a channel for the bigoted who usually hide behind a cloak of anonymity.

The school is judged by OFSTED to be “coasting” having received a “good” assessment from the same Inspectors as recently as 2012.

Still, recent poor exam results – particularly in science and languages – have cast a shadow on a school which started in 2009 with an impressive record of innovation and achievement.

The head teacher has already announced his resignation paving the way for a fresh start.

The government will give the school no option but to change to “Academy” status. It is looking to form a link with a group which includes Millthorpe This means a new governing body will be appointed. It may not include community representatives while even parents may lose their voice. 

Academies have been criticised in the past for paying high wages to senior administrators and some teachers.  On a split campus, which also includes the Energise leisure centre, good relations with neighbours are even more important.

So a sorry saga. The sooner the school is able to move on the better for all concerned.



Good and outstanding children’s services in York says Ofsted

School children

Eleven inspectors spent four weeks at the city council in November and December, examining all areas of services provided to children in the city.   They also spoke with groups of children, young people and their parents and carers.

Their inspection report is published today (7 February 2016).

It concludes “A wide range of effective services are in place to help children and families [in York] to access help and protection when they need it”.

Strong leadership, effective and committed front line staff and a well-established culture of listening to the voice of children and young people are features of York’s services singled out for specific praise by the regulator.

York’s Safeguarding Children Board was judged by Ofsted to be outstanding.  It is only the second safeguarding board in the country to be given the highest rating.

The children in care council, ‘Show Me That I Matter’ also gets special mention. The inspectors highlight how it works very hard to influence how children in care are understood.

Deadline for York primary school applications nears

School childrenParents and carers of children starting school this September are reminded to apply for a place before 15 January 2017.

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

The closing date for applications for children born between 1 September 2012 and 31 August 2013, is Sunday 15 January 2017. For a place in the reception class at their chosen York state primary school, parents and carers can apply online at

There’s a course for all in the new Learning 4 Everyone brochure

autumn-2016-social-media-profile-1_500x500Do you want to get to grips with Windows 10, improve your creative writing, or even learn Tai Chi in 2017? Then look out for the new Learning 4 Everyone programme this month.

The brochure is being distributed throughout December to nearly 100,000 households and includes over 300 courses, with several new and expanded areas, including a beauty section and an expanded business offer. These new courses are on offer alongside more established courses including creative craft courses and modern foreign languages.

New courses on offer in 2017 include Metafit, a 30 minute high intensity workout session designed to help people who are short of time to get fit and active. Pure stretch, a combination of yoga and pilates is also on offer for people looking to get fit in the new year.

Discover Romeo and Juliet is a new course on offer for people looking to jump into the world of drama. The practical mindfulness is a three course series exploring happiness, health and being organised.

Cllr Nigel Ayre, Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Tourism, said: “The adult learning programme gives residents the opportunity to learn a great range of new skills and gain qualifications with the help of our fantastic tutors.  We’ve taken residents feedback on board and there’s now even more one day and weekend courses available. With over 300 courses including many new and expanded sections and numerous free taster sessions, I’m sure there will be something for everyone.”

For more information about the programme see the brochure being delivered to all homes, pick one up from libraries, or visit

Bookings can be made online, by calling 01904 552806 or by visiting West Offices, Station Rise on Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 10am and 4pm.