More than 8,000 local children to take part in Walk to School Week 2019

More than half of York’s primary schools will take part in Walk to School Week 2019, which runs from 14 to 18 October.

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

Locally, in excess of 8,000 students from 28 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, which has been donated by Age UK. The Jack Archer Award is now in its sixteenth 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.

Councillor Andy D’Agorne, the council’s Executive Member for Transport, said: “It’s fantastic to see so many local schools getting involved in Walk to School Week and competing for the Jack Archer Award.

“The council is committed to promoting sustainable forms of transport and it’s important that children are encouraged to adopt these habits from a young age. In addition to the health and wellbeing benefits for the children themselves, walking, cycling or scooting benefits everyone by reducing traffic congestion and emissions, and improving air quality.

“Good luck to all the schools taking part!”

Residents of all ages can find out more about sustainable travel options by visiting www.itravelyork.info.

York residents urged to ‘help change a child’s life’ in 2019

City of York Council is urging local residents to help change a child’s life in 2019 by fostering.

With around 150 children and young people being supported by foster carers in York at any time, the authority is always looking for new foster carers to join the team.

Fostering involves looking after children in a safe and secure environment when they can’t live with their own families.

And as James Lee, from the council’s Fostering Team, explains, they’re not looking for just one type of carer:

“The children and young people who need our care are from a wide range of backgrounds and have very differing needs, so we need foster carers with different experiences and skills to help them. Many people consider fostering when their own children have left home and they have a bit more time and space, while others foster young people alongside their own children. If you have experience of living or working with children and young people, either in a work setting or at home, and think you might be able to help then please do get in touch.”

To find out more about how you can help local children by fostering call 01904 555678 or visit www.york.gov.uk/fostering

Landmark report reveals active lives of York’s children.

New research published by Sport England yesterday, carried out independently by Ipsos MORI, reveals the nation-wide challenge to help children lead more active lives.

Sport England report

In the face of this, the City of York is reported to have higher than average levels of children engaging in sports and physical activity on a daily basis.

The largest ever survey of its kind, Active Lives Children and Young People, has provided comprehensive insight into how children in England are taking part in physical activity both in and out of school. It shows that around 3 million children (43.3%) lead active lives, doing an average of 60 or more minutes of physical activity a day. However, just over 2.3 million children and young people (32.9%) are less active which means they do less than 30 minutes of physical activity a day.

The report is based on responses from over 130,000 children aged 5-16 in England during the academic year 2017 to 2018. It also reveals that there are significant inequalities based on family income, showing that children from the most affluent families are more active than those in the least affluent families.

The report was released on the same day as the York Council decided to demolish the only, free access, all weather games area in west York. A Sport England request for the facility to be replaced was ignored by planning Councillors

For York, the report shows encouraging results, with the city having a higher percentage of children meeting the Chief Medical Officer’s physical activity guidelines of at least 60 minutes of moderate intensity per day, and lower than average percentages of children falling into the ‘less active’ category (see below).

Cllr Carol Runciman, Executive member for adult social care and health said, “It’s encouraging to see the high percentages of children in York taking up the opportunity to live active lives and benefit their physical health early in life. We still want to see these figures continue to rise as we ensure children of all backgrounds can access opportunities to make healthy life choices and get active.

“Since that academic year we have launched our #MoveMoreYork campaign, encouraging everyone across the city, all ages and abilities, to move more in their everyday life and make healthy choices which can benefit them for the rest of their life.”

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 chosen to lead on national safeguarding children arrangements

York has been chosen as one of only 17 areas of the country to trial new safeguarding arrangements for children and young people.

The Government has introduced a new guidance around safeguarding children this month, which sets new legal requirements for Children at risk of abuse or neglect to be protected through improved partnerships between local police, councils and health services.

York has been chosen as an ‘early adopter’ under the new guidance: an area which will work with the National Children’s Bureau to implement new local safeguarding arrangements before they are established across the rest of the country.

The 17 areas will develop new and innovative approaches to set up partnership safeguarding processes and share best practice with other areas, before they adopt new arrangements in the next 12 months.

The work of City of York Safeguarding Children Board was assessed as ‘Outstanding’ in an independent review by Ofsted in December 2016.

The focus of York’s work as an early adopter will be to fully engage schools with the new safeguarding arrangements. This will build on and extend the existing strong partnership between the city’s schools and the Safeguarding Children Board. Schools play an important role in keeping children safe and the work being undertaken will ensure that they remain central to the city’s safeguarding arrangements.

Simon Westwood, chair of City of York’s Safeguarding Children Board, said: “I’m really pleased that York has been chosen to help shape the future safeguarding children arrangements in this country. It’s testament to the hard work and dedication of all the organisations who have worked together tirelessly over a number of years to help protect children and young people across the city.”

Children’s magazine Shine re-launches online

The much loved children’s magazine Shine, has re-launched to ensure locals to York are kept up to date with the latest clubs, events and sports happening across the city of York.

After some time away the magazine has now re-launched online and serves as a one-stop website for all you need to know about local activities for children and young people .Aimed at those aged between 5 and 18 years old, this resource has launched just in time to prepare your diaries for the 6 week holidays.

Browse the online calendars for Sports, Play, Parks, Arts and Library activities and events across the York area. You can also read the Shine Blog to find out a little bit more about courses, holiday camps and clubs to get involved in.

Organisers and leaders of children’s groups can register as a Shine user and have activities listed in the magazine’s calendar. The full magazine can be downloaded online.

Some of the exciting highlights happening this summer include:

West Bank Park Summer Fair 2018:

Free entry and on-site parking available at this year’s Summer Fair at West Bank Park from 1-4pm on June 24th.

‘Play In A Week’ – York Theatre Royal:

Join a fast-paced rehearsal week at York Theatre Royal. This year ages 8-14 years old can partake in the performance of the Jungle Book. Places cost £95 and are open to ages 8-14 years old. The course runs from August 13th to August 17th. For those aged 5-8years old, The Dream Play rehearsal week is taking place August 20th to August 24th.

‘Squash Camps 2018’ – Queen Margaret’s School:

Take part in a 3 day course to learn and develop you squash skills. The course runs between 9am-12pm a day for 3 days. Courses cost £45 per person. Course dates are July 17th-19th and July 31st– August 2nd.

Visit www.yor-ok.org.uk/shine for more details. And you can find the Shine blog at www.shineyork.wordpress.com 

York children set to take walk to school week in their stride

 
Twenty five York schools and over 7,000 pupils across the city are set to take part in Walk to School Week from Monday 16 October.

Walk to school week aims to get even more children walking, cycling or scooting to school.

The school that gets the highest number of pupils walking, cycling or scooting throughout the week will win the coveted Jack Archer award and £200 to put towards sports equipment.

It is recommended that children aged five to sixteen do at least sixty  minutes of physical activity that gets their heart beating faster than usual and they need to do it everyday to burn off calories and prevent them storing up excess fat in the body.

Regular activity is also important for adults and it is recommended that adults make sure they’re active for just 30 minutes each day, or 150 minutes a week.

The scheme is also targeted at families who normally take the car, and encourages them to consider walking or cycling to school instead.

Residents can find out more about changing the way they travel in York at: www.itravelyork.info
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York makes safeguarding everybody’s business

Helping everybody understand that safeguarding is their business is a line-up of events from the York partners joining in national Safeguarding Week from 9-13 October.

The Safeguarding Boards for Adults and Children and Safer York Partnership along with partners such as City of York Council, York Hospital, CVS, domestic abuse experts IDAS, North Yorkshire Police and The Retreat have published a programme of activities and seminars to help put the safeguarding of children and adults firmly at the fore of residents’ and professionals’ minds.

Mindfulness courses and ‘Confident parent, confident child’ and ‘Fit food, fit kids’ classes from York Learning are available from the council and will be promoted during the week.

  • The NHS Trust’s children and adult safeguarding teams will be on hand at York Hospital throughout the week to chat and meet visitors’, staff and patients alike.
  • Two introductory courses on safeguarding adults, plus a chance to ask questions on adults at risk, will take place on 11 October at the Gateway Centre, Front Street, Acomb, and on 13 October at Tang Hall Community Centre from 2-4:30pm. Please book a place with Penny.hutchinson@york.gov.uk
  • Nelli’s Cafe at New Earswick Methodist Church will host a drop-in question and answer session with the chair of the Safeguarding Adults Board Kevin McAleese on 11 October from 10am-12noon.
  • Come and chat about the ‘Strength and Wellbeing’ display in North Yorkshire Police’s mobile depot in Parliament Street on 11 October – when council staff will join them – and on 13 October from 9am-4pm.
  • IDAS will run a workshop on healthy relationships for practitioners working with children and adults on 11 October.
  • On the same day York CVS will run a seminar on the lasting effects of grooming which is open for workers in the voluntary sector, before holding its first ever parents’ forum run by its nursery team.
  • The Retreat is offering adult social services practitioners a seminar on safeguarding covering positive risk taking, partnership working and promoting positive wellbeing.

Among the social media activities by partners will be signposting services such as social prescribing which can support strength and wellbeing.

The full programme of events for Safeguarding Week is at: www.safeguardingadultsyork.org.uk
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Some surprises as Chapelfields residents give their views on public services

Younger residents want better play, sports and youth club facilities

Failure to repair the bus shelter – damaged 3 months ago – was criticised by many

A door to door survey of residents views, undertaken by the Westfield Ward Councillors and helpers, has revealed the top priorities of Chapelfields residents. 170 households completed questionnaires with the top priorities for local improvements being:

  • Better parking facilities
  • The reinstatement of a regular skip service (halted by the council in April) and
  • Better maintenance of trees/bushes & verges.

:There were a lot of concerns about security. 38% of residents described policing in the area as “poor”.

For the first time the survey included a separate section aimed at finding out the priorities of younger people.

The responses revealed that listening to music and watching TV were the most popular current pastimes.

Many respondents wanted to see better sports facilities with a usable football pitch a high priority.

The Grange Lane Park and Playground “needed an uplift” being described as “dirty and insecure”.

Some wanted to see more events at Sanderson House – the local community centre.

One child – with a more down to earth priority – said that she wanted to see the “ice cream man visit the estate earlier in the day”

All respondents gave a high priority to providing funding from the Ward Committee budget for younger persons activities.

71% of respondents rated the Acomb Explore Library as good or satisfactory with 57% giving similar support to the Energise leisure centre.

For the first time in the annual survey the bus service was the top rated public service 97% rated it as good or satisfactory.

A full analysis of the Chapelfields Residents survey can be downloaded by clicking here

The residents survey now being extended to cover the Kingsway West area