New Westfield school kitchen opens

Pupils at Westfield Primary School in York will taste the first meals from their brand new kitchen and dining room this week following an £650,000 refit.

The school kitchen and dining room have undergone an ambitious refurbishment, turning a tired and dysfunctional space into an efficient facility where staff can prepare nutritious lunches for the x pupils.

Cllr Andrew Waller, Deputy Leader and Executive Member for the Environment, City of York Council, said: “This has been a major refurbishment scheme for the school and so pleased that the staff, students and community will now get the opportunity to reap the rewards of all the hard work as a One Planet York project.”

The kitchen and dining refurbishment at Westfield Primary school was to completely change two very large connected spaces that were bowing under the weight of their inefficiency.  The only way to solve the problems was to take a holistic One Planet approach and transform all aspects of these areas from the roofs down.

The result is one where we can say that energy efficiency has been truly optimised:

Westfield school

The leaking roofs over the dining room and kitchen have been entirely recovered;

Insulation has been installed between the roof spaces;

Suspended ceilings now provide warmth along with acoustic cushioning;

Tired single glazing has been replaced by new double glazed windows;

LED lighting has been installed throughout which will make a huge difference to the reduction of electrical output;

The kitchen has been completely re designed, reducing clutter and making the kitchen operation slicker;

New energy efficient kitchen equipment has been installed, reducing cooking times and streamlining food production whilst maintaining the already high standard of nutrition;

A new servery now makes queuing for meals a faster operation whilst allowing the pupils to see the food as it is being served;

School staff now have the space to guide pupils in and out of the queue to new dining tables;

This project has made Westfield Primary’s kitchen and dining areas enviably sustainable for many years to come

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 

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.

Exam results advice and support in York

With A-Level and GCSE results days fast approaching the Council are reminding young people across the city that there are several sources of support throughout this exciting, yet challenging time.

There is support across the city for people who may be seeking an apprenticeship or employment opportunity, wanting to move into full time education in the York/Leeds area rather than moving away from home or are concerned about their personal circumstances acting as a barrier to accessing education, employment or training.

People can find support across the city from:

    • Careers Advisers employed by our local sixth forms and colleges
    • City of York Council Learning and Work Advisers in our Young People’s Service at 30 Clarence Street; extra appointment slots and drop-ins are available and Advisers can support with searching for vacancies, developing your CV, completing applications and preparing for interviews. Tel: 01904 555400; www.yor-zone.org.uk/ someone to help you
    • National Careers Service – for local employment and training opportunities; bob in to the York office at 18-19 Colliergate 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.uk; T: 01904 553732 for local apprenticeship vacancies; there are still around 100 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 that can help

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Westfield school modernisation contract let

Westfield school

The York Council has awarded a contract to F.Parkinson to refurbish the kitchen and dining room, replace roof coverings and replace single glazed windows at Westfield primary school

The contract is valued at  £576,675.
The Council says that the decision was based on cost (60%) and quality (40%).
The tender exercise was carried out in conjunction with Commercial Procurement Consultation category. The opportunity was issued out via YorTender York Councils web portal. This scheme was approved at Cabinet Executive on 15/03/18.

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 www.york.gov.uk/parentportal.

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

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.
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Major improvements announced at Westfield School

Westfield school

A meeting of the Councils Executive will be asked next week to agree to an investment of £650,000 at Westfield Primary school

The money will be spent modernising and expanding school meal provision at the school.

A report  describes the background to the plan. ”

The increasing number of pupils at the school has highlighted the problems the  school currently has around the management of the school meals service as more pupils are having a school meal.

The proposed scheme will include work on both the dining and kitchen areas which will address current safety concerns and enable more pupils to access nutritional school meals”.