92.3 per cent of York pupils get their first choice of secondary school

Secondary school allocations by choice 2018

Today, secondary school admission figures for entry in September 2018 are published. 92.3 per cent of York pupils have got their first preference.

While the percentage of first choice places remains the same as last year, 98 per cent children got one of their first three preferences representing an increase of 0.5 per cent on last year.

The number of online applications for secondary school places has continued to increase and this year, 97 per cent applied online, that’s 0.9 per cent more than in 2017.

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.

With more pupils entering secondary schools this year than last year apply for their catchment school and were informed which school this was in writing. Some chose not to follow this advice.

Besides parents being advised by letter, we will be posting advice and timelines offering advice and support throughout these 10 days on social media @School_Services .

Councillor Carol Runciman, executive member for education, children and young people, said: “I’m delighted that so many pupils will be able to attend the secondary school of their choice.

“Here in York, we continue to provide an educational experience that is among the best in the UK and this is a significant reason for families to settle in the city.

“Maintaining our high standards alongside meeting a growing demand for places is an ongoing challenge. It’s one we continue to meet and to which we are committed.”

“I urge 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 – to apply via their online account at www.york.gov.uk/parentportal

School closures in York following snow

Several schools in York will be closed today following overnight snow. Those affected include:

  • All Saints RC School is closing at 13.15
  • Applefields School
  • Archbishop Holgates CE Academy
  • Badger Hill Primary School is closing at 15.15 (parents can collect their children anytime from 13.00)
  • Bishopthorpe Infant School
  • Carr Infant School
  • Copmanthorpe Primary School
  • Danesgate Community to all except Year 11
  • Fulford School
  • Hob Moor Oaks School
  • Huntington Primary Academy
  • Huntington Secondary School
  • The Joseph Rowntree School
  • Manor CE Academy
  • Millthorpe School
  • Naburn CE Primary School
  • Robert Wilkinson Primary Academy
  • St Aelred’s RC Primary School is closing at 12.30
  • St Paul’s Nursery School is closing at 12.30
  • St Paul’s Primary School is closing at 13.00
  • Vale of York Academy
  • Wheldrake with Thorganby CE Primary School
  • York High School

Also North Yorkshire Schools – Easingwold School and Tadcaster Grammar School

An up to date list can be found by clicking this link

Pupils asked: ‘Should you sack your chauffeur?’

Pupils in York are being asked ‘should you sack your chauffeur?’ as part of a drive to improve pedestrian safety at school gates.

Dringhouses, Hempland and Westfield primary schools are piloting the scheme and are holding short assemblies to launch it this week (w/c 26 February).

The children will be shown examples of poor driving habits, illustrated in a lighthearted way, but with the intention that they will help to encourage their parents to drive and park more considerately.

Currently, the council receives frequent and numerous complaints about unsafe driving and parking outside schools. This partnership approach with schools aims to involve young passengers to encourage their drivers to behave in a more responsible way around the school, making it safer and more pleasant for everyone.

In addition, parking awareness road sign characters will be loaned to the schools and located to best influence driver behaviour. The campaign will be supported by monitoring and enforcement against illegal and inconsiderate parking.

If the pilot proves successful, it will be rolled out to other primary schools areas where inconsiderate driving and parking have been identified as a particular concern.

Gill Williams, headteacher of Dringhouses Primary School, said: “Inconsiderate and dangerous parking and driving during morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up times is a constant problem for our school.   There are road markings outside school to deter cars from parking close to the school gates, however a small minority of parents still choose to park on these lines or use the entrance to the school gates to drop off or do a U-turn.  It is only a matter of time before someone is seriously injured.

“We very much welcome this new safety initiative and hope that, by engaging the children in a fun and creative way, the importance of road safety awareness will be raised.”

Universal Credit and its impact in York – Call for Evidence

Later this year, a Council report regarding the impact of Universal Credit and it’s rollout in York will be presented to the Executive Member for Adult Social Care.  As part of this, the Liberal Democrats would like to hear from residents about their experiences of accessing Universal Credit.

The report, due to be presented on the 14th June 2018, will be given to Cllr Carol Runciman to consider as part of her responsibilities to review financial inclusion in York.

Given the controversial nature of Universal Credit and the difficulties some residents have had using the service; the Liberal Democrats are keen to ensure residents in York have their experiences included as part of the report, so it is truly reflective of the current situation.

If a resident would like to share their experience of Universal Credit in York, then please do contact Cllr Carol Runciman at cllr.crunciman@york.gov.uk to make sure your observations are included.

Cllr Carol Runciman, Liberal Democrat Executive Member for Adult Social Care, said:

“The rollout of Universal Credit has caused a great deal of stress for many residents across the City.”

“It is absolutely vital that the Council considers the impact of Universal Credit in York and listens to the experiences of residents using the system.”

“I would strongly encourage anyone who accesses Universal Credit to share with their experiences me and ensure that their voices are included as part of this report.”

Free school meals

The Tory government is repealing the free school meal legislation introduced by the last coalition government.

New regulations published this week indicate that a child will only receive a free mid day meal if his or her parents are in receipt of Universal Credit and earn less that £617 a month.

The new rules come into effect on 1st April 2018

Several families in York are expected to be hit hard by the new cut.



Plans for Centre of Excellence for Disabled Children revealed.

Ascot Way proposals generally welcomed

The plans to establish a new centre for disabled children on the former Windsor House site on Ascot Way were generally welcomed at a public meeting held on Monday. The plans will now be discussed at a Council Executive meeting next week

The Council says that the new building will be the setting for a range of support services which will enable disabled children to remain in their families and in their community, delivered from a safe, accessible space

  • Flexible short break provision to meet the needs of children and young people with Autism, Learning Disabilities and/or additional health needs.
  • Family Intervention Rapid Support Team (FIRST) and Therapeutic Short Breaks a specialist Clinical Psychology led intensive assessment and intervention service for families with children and young people who have Autism and Learning Disability and challenging behaviour which affects their ability to live in the local community

The facility will be linked to Hob Moor Oaks special school. Disabled children will be able to walk to the new provision after school, instead of being transported across the city on minibuses. Part of the playing field of the school will be used for the project.

The buildig will replace the facilities currently provided at The Glen.

The scheme is imaginative and worthy of support. However, the proposal to retain the front entrance (and therefore vehicular access) via Ascot Way is controversial. There are already congestion and parking problems in the area. An access, with car parking,  via Hob Moor school would address this issue, while offering the opportunity to provide better accessibility for Lincoln Court.

The detailed plans also suggest that an outdoor play area be provided adjacent to Lincoln Court. While many older people like to feel involved in the local community, inevitably playgrounds can be noisy places. We think that the location of this part of the facility should be reconsidered.

Residents will hope that any building work on the project will not take place at the same time as the threatened development of the Newbury Avenue garage site.

Illustrations of what is proposed are reproduced below

School funding in Westfield missing out on £73,000 boost

It has been revealed that under the Government’s new Schools National Funding Formula, schools in Westfield ward are set to receive the one lowest increases in funding across York.

The issue, raised by Liberal Democrat ward Councillor for Westfield ward, Cllr Andrew Waller, was highlighted during the Liberal Democrat motion on funding for children and young people in York during Thursday’s Council meeting.

If the York average increase was applied to Westfield’s Schools, then this would have meant an additional £73,000 for additional classroom support.

Cllr Andrew Waller said:

“For the past 28 years, I have been a school governor and I have seen the hard work that schools have put in to supporting vulnerable pupils, especially through Pupil Premium which is audited by Ofsted on inspections.

When you look at the indicative figures for York, you can clearly see that there are specific issues regarding support for schools within disadvantaged communities. The three schools in Westfield deliver an inclusive education to the local community.

There is concern that clarity on additional funds for schools serving communities with areas of need will become unpredictably complex with the new Government Formula and impacts from Universal Credit.

This will severely impact on the support they can offer to pupils, in helping them reach their full potential.  Every school in the country is judged by Ofsted; comparing York schools against better funded schools.  The Liberal Democrats are simply asking for fairness.

The three Westfield Ward Councillors will be writing to the Secretary of State to draw her attention to this appalling situation and request that schools in Westfield be appropriately funded, so that they can go on to provide an inclusive education in one of the most disadvantaged areas in York.”

Liberal Democrats seek funding commitments for Children & Young People in York

In a motion put to full Council on the 14th December, Liberal Democrats are calling on the Council to stand up to the Government and insist the Secretary of State reconsider York’s abysmal school funding position.

Under the new Schools National Funding Formula, the Government is imposing real term cuts on schools by freezing per-pupil funding, while inflation and school costs, such as staff salary costs, employer pension and national insurance contributions, increase; affecting all schools and academies in the process.

York has historically been the lowest funded local authority area, in terms of school funding, in the Country and with the Government’s new proposals, is set to remain the lowest funded.

Furthermore, York Liberal Democrats are also seeking assurances that the Council will maintain funding levels to the City’s Youth Council, which has worked tirelessly to campaign for young people in York.

Cllr Ashley Mason said: (more…)

Deadline for York secondary school applications approaches


Parents of children currently in Year 6 are being reminded that applications for secondary schools places for September 2018 should be made before midnight on Tuesday 31 October 2017.

For pupils in Year 6 – the last year of primary school – parents should apply for a maximum of five schools and we recommend that one preference should be the catchment school

Applications can be made online at www.york.gov.uk/schooladmissions.

All details and answers to frequently asked questions can be found at www.york.gov.uk/guideforparents. This guide contains information on school admissions and appeals processes as well as information on admissions statistics, oversubscription criteria and other information for parents and carers.

Any parents eligible and who may not already have applied for free school meals are urged to do so at the same time. This means that whether or not the meal is taken, the pupil premium of £900 per year per eligible secondary school pupil will follow the young person throughout their time at school to benefit their education.

For more detailed information, please email: education@york.gov.uk or call 01904 551 554.