York Challenge launches for city’s schools

York schools are being challenged to strive for excellence as part of a new initiative launched this autumn.

City challenge

York Challenge aims to empower the city’s schools to achieve excellence in four key areas: leadership, curriculum, teaching and ‘narrowing the gap’ to accelerate the progress of under achieving children. Focusing on partnership working, schools will work in geographical groups – school improvement clusters – with the emphasis on ensuring that all schools become good and outstanding through working on improvement priorities as a cluster.


York Council’s £3.5 million payment to local Universities

The York Council has released details of the payments that it has made to local Universities over the last 4 years.

Click to download full list

Click to download full list

In total, payments of around £3.5 million have been made although the vast majority of this (£3 million) was a grant to York University for the provision of a County Standard swimming pool. The scheme – part of the new “sports village” on Hull Road – was agreed after the Barbican pool closed and was paid for from the proceeds of the sale of the land there.

In total £192,519 has been paid to St Johns University. The largest payments were made to an anti bullying campaign although the University receives significant payments from taxpayers for the “Higher York” organisation.

The University of York fee payments range from £170,000 paid for the York Cares organisation (which managess voluntary projects in the City) to £850 for a speaker at a “women’s development session”.

All Council expenditure is now being closely scrutinised following the decision of the Labour Leadership to remove winter salt bins from key foopath locations in the City.

The bins cost only £50 a time to fill.

NB. At the last Council meeting the Labour Leadership revealed that it will pay £31,000 to York Athletics Club as a sweetener to move out of the Huntington Stadium. It had been intended to provide a replacement athletics facility at the sports village but Labour now propose to fund the refurbishment of the existing University athletics field.

Road safety improvements for Joseph Rowntree School

Pedestrians and cyclists will benefit from works to improve access and crossing points in and around Joseph Rowntree School in New Earswick.


Construction of a new zebra crossing and off-road cycle links to the south of the school will start from Monday 28 October for approximately two weeks. To enable this work to be carried out safely and quickly, there will be a road closure on Sunday 3 November

A key aim of the scheme, part of the wider School Safety Programme, is to facilitate and encourage walking and cycling on school journeys, reduce the number of cars on the network at key times, and promote sustainable travel habits at an early age.


Closing date for secondary school places in York looms

City of York Council is reminding parents of all year 6 pupils that the deadline for applications for secondary school places for September 2014 is the end of the month (31 October).

Applications for children born between 01.09.02 and 31.08.03 can be made at www.york.gov.uk/schooladmissions, by contacting the School Services team on 01904 551554 or by emailing education@york.gov.uk

Information about schools, the allocation process and admission policies can all be found in the Guide for Parents available at www.york.gov.uk/guideforparents

Parent/carers will find out which secondary school their child has been allocated on the 1 March 2014.

The closing date for Primary School places is 15 January 2014.

For regular updates follow the school services team on twitter @School_Services

Row over York Education Director’s £115,000 salary

City of York Council members last night (10th October) agreed would advertise for a new Director of Education, Skills & Children’s Services.


The move was challenged by opposition Councillors who argued that a £15,000 a year salary supplement was unnecessary against the Councils difficult financial position.

Liberal Democrats argued against high guaranteed salaries although recognised that there could be a bonus arrangements to recognise outstanding performance. (The Council’s Chief Executive is already on performance related pay).

Labour Cllr Williams told the Council that the cost of the supplement would be taken from the education budget. A view which parents may find somewhat alarming.


Small Changes, Big Savings – Acomb Explore money event on Monday 14th October,

People across York are being invited to boost their financial know-how in a series of events designed to help people make savings, get more out of the internet and make the banks work better for them.

A series of seven Small Changes, Big Savings sessions are being held at different venues across the city during York’s Housing Week, from 14-18 October, which is looking at ways to overcome poverty.

The ‘Small Changes, Big Savings’ events held across the city will be at:

• •Acomb Explore on Monday 14 October, 9:30-11:30am

•Bell Farm Social Hall on Tuesday 15 October, 10am-12 noon when we’ll be launching our anti loan shark charter

• •Clements Hall on 15 October 1:30-3:30pm;

• •Sanderson Court on Wednesday 16 October, 9:30-11:30am

• •Foxwood Community Centre on Thursday 17 October, 9:30-11am

• •Tang Hall on 17 October, 2-4pm

• •Burton Stone Community Centre, on Friday 18 October, 1-3pm.


Places and spaces to Inspire in York this winter

A Mary Poppins view of York from the top of the Mansion House and a residence fit for an Archbishop are two of the many hidden and unusual venues waiting to be discovered by participants on the new Inspire programme of workshops, lectures and events.

The collection which includes a Masterclass in rooftop photography in the city centre and a Contemporary Floral Displays workshop at Bishopthorpe Palace, make use of some of the special places which York and its surroundings have to offer. The venues are all hand picked to inspire creativity, promote learning or better understand the subject matter of the sessions.

The Autumn / Winter Inspire listings include other new and exciting venues, such as the Yorkshire Arboretum at Castle Howard where a watercolour painting workshop will take place outdoors with the Artist in Residence. York Medical Society in Stonegate, whose rooms are set within a beautiful Grade 2 listed building dating back to about 1590, is the venue for a new Discover Mindfulness workshop and other interesting Inspire venues include the Victorian kitchens of the Mansion House, Middlethorpe Hall and the Theatre Royal.

Each workshop, lecture and event is delivered by enthusiastic and qualified coaches or instructors who are specialists in their own field. Many have experience in working with schools, universities, private businesses, charities and other local organisations to share their expertise and experience.

Booking is now open for a range of courses and more will be added throughout the season.

Anyone interested in finding out more should visit http://www.feelinginspired.co.uk/, email hello@feelinginspired.co.uk or call 01904 552806

York High and Westfield amongst schools likely to be hit by strike action on Tuesday

Teachers’ unions the NUT and the NASUWT are planning a one-day strike for their members on Tuesday 1 October 2013.

Information about the school closures is detailed below and will be updated regularly. However, if you have any queries, please contact your school directly.

Contact details for schools can be found here.

Click here for up to date list.

click for updated list

click for updated list