York families benefit from Easter holiday activity programme

Families across the city will have access to a holiday activity programme this Easter.

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The programme is being funded through the government’s Holiday Activities and Food programme (HAF), which provides healthy food and activities to targeted children.

The Easter sessions, which will be held at a number of schools in York, will be used as pilots, with plans to roll the scheme out to more children during the summer holidays.

Cllr Keith Orrell, City of York Council’s Executive member for Children, Young People and Education, said: “School holidays can be a difficult time for some families, particularly with increased food and childcare costs.

“The Easter break marks the first time York has received HAF funding and I hope that this will be the start of a much bigger programme of targeted, enriching activities and healthy food for children and young people, building on the fantastic work that is already taking place across the city.”

Children and young people who are eligible to take part in the programme will be contacted directly by their school.

Coronavirus York updates; 8th March 2021


One additional death has occurred at the York Hospital Trust. It took place on Saturday

Test results

Twenty additional positive test results announced today. Brings cumulative total up to 11,979

The number of cases in the City has reduced from the 105 seen yesterday to 96 today.

The infection rate /100k population has fallen to 45.58. This is the lowest rate seen since 21st September 2021.

However, no further fall in the infection rate is expected before the end of the week.


There has been a big reduction in the number of cases in South Bank/Dringhouses.

No neighbourhood now has an infection rate above 200.

Sixteen of York’s 22 neighbourhoods now have fewer than 4 cases in each



4070 PCR tests were carried out during the week ending 3rd March 2021.

Of these, 2.1% were positive. This represents a reduction on the previous days figure of 2.4%

3403 “lateral flow” tests were conducted on 7th March.


York Hospital Trust is treating 50 confirmed and suspected Covid-19 in patients. Case numbers peaked at 242 on January 26. Six Covid patients are in intensive care. A total of 2,036 Covid patients have been discharged since the start of the pandemic.

University Students

There is no general return to in person learning for university students, other than those studying specialist courses such medicine/health, Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy, Education and Social work

Many students have, of course, remained in York during the lockdown.

The only change is that, from today, in-person learning can resume for students who are studying practical or practice-based (including creative arts) subjects and need specialist equipment and facilities.

The Government has said that it will review, by the end of the Easter holidays, the options for timing the return of remaining students.

More here

University of York here

93 per cent of young people get their first choice of secondary school in York

Secondary school admission figures for entry in September 2021 reveal that 93 per cent of York children – 1793 – have been allocated their first preference of school.

This is an increase of 4.4 per cent on last year’s figures.

City of York Council’s figures published today (1 March) show that 98.2 per cent of pupils got one of their five preferences, an increase of 1.9 per cent on last year’s figures.

Parents who applied online can find out where their child has been allocated a place by logging into their parent portal account today via www.york.gov.uk/SecondarySchoolAdmissions. Parents who made written applications will receive a letter confirming their admission arrangements. Anyone who didn’t receive their first choice of school will also receive written information.

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

Applied Online193199.2184496.0

34 pupils didn’t get any of their preferences. These were largely made up of parents or carers who did not apply for their catchment school, despite being advised to do so, preferring to apply for schools a considerable distance from their home.

The total size of the cohort starting school in September 2021 is 1921 pupils, compared to 1947 last year.

Councillor Keith Orrell, Executive Member for Education, Children and Young People, said:

“I’m delighted that so many young people will be able to attend their first choice of secondary school this year.

“I know it’s been an incredibly difficult time over the last few months and I hope that knowing their plans for September will help young people start to look to the future.

“I wish all those starting a new school in September the best of luck with the next phase of their learning journey.”

Any parent whose children may be eligible for free school meals – one of a number of benefits that come with applying for the pupil premium – should apply through their online account at www.york.gov.uk/parentportal.

Coronavirus York updates; 1st February 2021


SIX additional hospital deaths have been announced today.

They bring the cumulative total number of fatalities at the York and Scarborough hospitals up to 283 since the start of the second wave of infections.

Test Results

FORTY SEVEN (47) additional positive test results announced today. Brings the cumulative case total to 11,136.

Rate /100k population has now reduced to 205.12. Trending to fall below the 200 case benchmark tomorrow.

The case rate in York continues to reduce more quickly than is being seen in other parts of the country


There are now three neighbourhoods with a case rate of below 100. They are Dunnington/Elvington/Wheldrake (6 cases), the City Centre (12 cases) and Poppleton/Rufforth/Askhams (5 cases).

Haxby remains the only area with a rate over 400 (400.4 with 23 cases).



Nationwide 9,296,367 people have now received their first vaccinations. 494,209 have also received the second dose.

319,038 people were vaccinated yesterday 31st January (first dose) . This was lower than the rate achieved during the previous three days.

3156 people received the second dose.


According to a post by Nimbuscare on social media

“Over 12,000 patients received their Covid vaccinations at the York’s National and Local Vaccination Centre between the 25th and 31st January.

In the over 80s group Humber, Coast and Vale (which includes the York area) had vaccinated 68% by 17th January and 87% by the 24th January.”


Number of tests

5,431 PCR (laboratory) tests were conducted in York during the week ending 27th January (the latest figure available).

Of these, 9% provided to be positive .

That is the lowest positivity rate found since 24th December 2020.

In addition, 1526 lateral flow tests were completed on 31st January. That brings the total number of such tests to 35,270.


A TEMPORARY Covid testing site will be set up next week in Haxby which has seen high infection rates in recent times.

The testing will be held by appointment only at the Ethel Ward Playing Fields in Calf Close, Haxby, from Monday until Sunday February 6, from 9am to 3pm.

Tests can be booked by going to www.nhs.uk/Coronavirus or by phoning 119 and selecting the option that you were asked to attend by your local council.

The facility is similar to the one operating on the Thanet Road rugby club car park tomorrow.

It also was set up when virus infection rates in Woodthorpe and Westfield were very high.

York Council staff absence

A York Council committee will be considering the levels of sick absence at the authority. next week.

A report says,

“At the start of the pandemic staff absence increased significantly with a
number of staff not available to work. This was directly linked to coronavirus where staff were displaying symptoms and self isolating and
unable to work from home. The sickness absence rates across the council follows the national and local infection rate patterns, as can be seen, with a slight peak in wave 2 October time and then wave three being end of December into January 2021.

There is some confidence though that whilst rates have increased since
end of December, they are not near the level we experienced in March /
April. There are staff that are self isolating but are able to work fully from home and therefore those will not appear in the figures, also those staff who have tested positive for covid but are well enough to continue to work from home”.

Around 900 staff working in the social care sector are being vaccinated.


The same meeting will hear that there are pressures on some schools. All York schools are still open catering for the children of some critical workers.

The meeting will be told that the number of teaching staff absent since January 5th has fluctuated but has been between 95- 85, with the numbers absent due to being Covid positive being under 10 individual cases on any given date.

“The staffing levels in individual schools have not so far reached a
level where schools have been unable to deliver on site provision or
their remote learning offer”.

The impact on schools varies according to their size, staffing structure
and the physical space within their buildings.

In particular, small primary schools are finding it more difficult to manage high numbers of children on site and to manage the remote learning offer.

During the first week in January, a small number of parents contacted the Council’s education team to highlight problems with accessing school places, each case was worked through and solutions found.

The meeting takes place next Monday

York Councils children’s services facing £5 million overspend

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It looks like the budget for children’s specialist services at the York Council will be overspent by 25% during the current financial year.

Much of the deficit arises from increased fostering and adoptions although an extra £1.1 million has been spent on placing vulnerable children in accommodation outside the City.

The Looked After Children population had been stable, in the range 190-210 at any one time, for several years.

However, a report being considered next week reveals a big increase in numbers over the last 2 years.  

“In October 2018 there were only 4 individual children in care proceedings. As at the end of September 2020 there were 55 sets of proceedings on 93 individual children in place”.   

The report goes on to say, “Safeguarding Interventions are predicted to overspend by approximately £1,139k, mainly due to increases in the Court and Child Protection Teams who are dealing with the increase in cases. Legal fees are predicted to overspend by approximately £220k. Children protection numbers, following a recalibration spike, have now returned to national average levels”.

The projected costs of the local Community Hubs, which were set up at the beginning of lockdown (and have transitioned into a new method of working), is £131,000. This will be funded from the Covid 19 emergency budget provided by the government.

It also looks like the home to school transport budget will also overspend by around £2 million.

“The main increase in numbers have been at post 16/19 where because of the city now being able to provide more specialist education provision for this group of students more locally, subsequently we have had to provide more transport to the likes of York College, Askham Bryan, Choose 2 and Blueberry Academy. The changes in legislation to allow Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) to ages 19-25, resulting in significantly more students accessing this option, has significantly increased our transport spend accordingly”.

The overall net overspend is expected to be £2.5 million after cost savings and a £1.1 million investment from COVID support funding are factored in.

Coronavirus York updates; 10th November 2020

Deaths and test results

One additional care home death has been registered (3/11)

The total York death toll (occurrences) is now 178.

No additional York Hospital Trust deaths have been announced today

35 (THIRTY FIVE) new cases were announced today bringing the total to 4228. Todays figure is the lowest since September. The 7 day rate figure at 179.48 is the lowest since the beginning of October and is further evidence that the epidemic is slowly declining in the City.

Some neighbourhoods are still showing a small increase in case numbers

Overall the City remains below the county, regional and national infection rate averages.

Council Q & A on COVID response including health and Education

Join the next live #AskTheLeaders Live Coronavirus Q&A on the council’s Facebook page this Wednesday 11 November at 5.30-6.30pm.

The panel will be discussing your questions and comments about emotional health, wellbeing, what we can do to support each other, education and the city’s response to Coronavirus.

Residents are invited to watch live on Facebook to hear from panellists including:

  • Cllr Keith Aspden, Leader of City of York Council
  • Cllr Carol Runciman, Executive Member for Health and Adult Social Care
  • Sharon Stoltz, Director for Public Health
  • Maxine Squire, Assistant Director for Education and Skills
  • Naomi Lonergan, Director of Operations for North Yorkshire and York, Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust (TEWV)
  • Katherine Davies, Consultant Clinical Psychologist at Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust (TEWV).

Residents can interact with the session by either submitting questions in advance by emailing them to YourQuestions@york.gov.uk or commenting on the live video on Facebook where leaders will read out questions and respond. Questions may be answered by theme rather than individually, so that the conversation covers as many topics as possible.

Cllr Keith Aspden, Leader of City of York Council, said:

2020 has been an exceptionally tough year for us all, which is why it is important that we all come together to help each other through these difficult times. We have a panel for this live Q&A session that will help give us information on how to look after our own and others health and wellbeing.

“We will also be answering your questions on the latest information on our response, with schools and the public health measures that have been put into place across the city.”

Cllr Carol Runciman, Executive Member for Health and Adult Social Care, said:

As we once again find ourselves in a national lockdown it is vital that we look out for one another during this extremely difficult time. There are some simple steps that we can all take to help each other, a phone call or a text can make a huge difference to someone’s day.

“It’s important to remember that it’s okay to not be okay during this time and that there is help and support ready and waiting whether your problem is big or small. Residents can comment live on Facebook or submit their questions beforehand to YourQuestions@york.gov.uk.”

For the latest York updates on service changes, online support and how you can get involved in supporting your community visit www.york.gov.uk/Coronavirus

Council works to ensure children don’t go hungry this half-term

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City of York Council has today approved funding to provide more than 2850 children with food vouchers to support them this half-term.

The council is providing almost £43,000 of emergency funding to continue supporting children with free school meals, for children who normally receive free school meals during term-time. This is on top of the £9000 previously spent on free school meals from the emergency fund set up to support individuals and  families during the pandemic.

The council has put in place emergency funding for October half-term and will be seeking support from the Government and bringing forward proposals for further support during Christmas, February half-term and Easter.

Schools will be in touch with the families of those children that are eligible to ensure they can get their £15 voucher.

Councillor Keith Aspden, Leader of City of York Council said: “This has been a difficult year for everyone and as a council, we have been doing everything we can to support local residents.

“We want to ensure that children who receive Free School Meals don’t go hungry this half-term. Nearly 3,000 children can access this support, with vouchers of £15 per child provided to all who are eligible for free school meals.

“Staff at the city’s schools have been incredible in supporting children and families and once again they are stepping up to help administer this programme. I am incredibly grateful for all they are doing.”

9,700 local children to take part in Walk to School Week 2020

Almost two thirds of York’s primary schools will take part in Walk to School Week 2020, which runs from 5 to 9 October during International Walk to School Month.

The annual awareness-raising event aims to encourage children and their families to walk, cycle or scoot to and from school, rather than travelling by car.

Locally, around 9,700 students from 31 different schools will get involved. City of York Council’s iTravel team will present the Jack Archer Award to the school with the highest proportion of its students walking, cycling or scooting throughout the week, as well as cash to spend on sports equipment. The Jack Archer Award is now in its seventeenth year and Age UK has supported the competition since it was first launched as part of its intergenerational work to encourage children to be more active.

School improvements on hold in York

It seems the York Council has decided to shelve some schemes in its school maintenance and improvements programme.

In total around £4 million of works are being slipped into next year.

Schemes which are expected to be carried out in this financial year are located at Dringhouses and Ralph Butterfield Primaries.

A start on a major extension of Fulford school is also expect to start before the end of the financial year.

The delays are blamed on COVID-19 restrictions.

Work on a replacement library at Haxby will also not now start until 2021 at the earliest.

Council support for key stage 4 (GCSE) students

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With Key Stage 4 results day fast approaching, City of York Council is reminding young people across the city of the support available at this challenging time.

This year’s Key stage 4 results (GCSE level) will be based on grades predicted by teachers, as students were unable to take formal examinations because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Support is available for school leavers who are seeking an apprenticeship or employment opportunity, wanting to move into full time education in York or who are concerned about their personal circumstances acting as a barrier to accessing education, employment or training.

People can find support in York from:

  • Their school. Teaching staff will be able to support pupils with their next steps.
  • Careers Advisers employed by our schools
  • Admissions teams at York College and Askham Bryan College
  • City of York Council Learning and Work Advisers in our Young People’s Service at 30 Clarence Street; pre booked appointment slots are available and advisers can support with searching for vacancies, developing your CV, completing applications and preparing for interviews. Tel: 01904 555400
  • National Careers Service – for local employment and training opportunities; or call the national help-line 0800 100 900
  • Council-led ‘York Apprenticeship Hub’ – find us on Facebook @ York Apprenticeships; email us at York.apprenticeships@york.gov.ukwww.york.gov.uk/yorkapprenticeships for local apprenticeship vacancies. There are still around 50 opportunities in the city and many more in Leeds across a range of sectors and job roles and we can sign post you to agencies and training providers.