Pupils to speak up at city’s first Primary Voice session

York’s first open forum for primary school pupils is welcoming children to have their say on the city and their views on it.

On Monday 26 June City of York Council is hosting the first ever Primary Voice event with Clifton Green Primary School. 20 schools across the city are sending some 70 participants – pupils and staff – and councillors from all the main political parties will be attending.

Schools have been invited to bring pupils from Years 5 and 6 or from their school council, to come and share the views of their school community.

They can talk to councillors and officers, take part in workshops, hear about how City of York Council operates and experience democracy in action.

What’s on in York: Pottery – Just Throwing

West York Adult Education Centre

Mon 19 Jun – Mon 17 Jul :

7.00pm – 9.00pm :

Full fee £190 /State pension £180 /JSA or means tested benefits £180

This is a skill learning course, giving the opportunity to use both electric and kick wheels. We will cover clay preparation, how to centre and throw a pot and how to finish/turn a pot, plus a guide to glazing.  There will only be a max of 2 people per course to give you full time on the wheels and detailed tutor instruction.

Suitable for anyone aged 19 and over looking to gain skills in basic pottery throwing techniques.

Clay and glazes are provided by the centre at an additional cost of £10 per student for each 5 week course.

Please wear old clothes, short sleeved top preferable, jewellery best not worn.

Booking online by clicking here or call the York Learning bookings line: 01904 552806.

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 www.york.gov.uk/parentportal.

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.