York young people create new Social Media Guide

Young people across York have created a Social Media Guide to provide their peers with information and advice about using social media safely.

The guidance has been created in conjunction with child and adolescent development psychology experts from York St John University. A host of materials has been created through consultation workshops with young people, including lesson packs for schools, information for young people and a webpage for parents. It’s hoped that the materials will help young people to develop a healthy relationship with social media, enjoying the benefits, whilst recognising the potential negative impact it can have on mental health and self confidence.

The social media pack is available online at www.saferchildrenyork.org.uk/parents-and-public.htm, click on the ‘Staying Safe Online – Young Persons Social Media Guide’ box at the bottom of the page.

New web page for school leavers now available, Q&A taking place June 23rd

Students finishing year 11 this year can now access a wide variety of resources designed to help make the transition from secondary school to either further education or employment easier.

On Wednesday June 23 at 5:30pm, City of York Council is hosting a Facebook Live Q and A session providing insights from senior council staff and local industry professionals. Chaired by Councillor Daryl Smalley panellists include Glyn Jones from York College and Liam Sibley from the Rebel Business School.

This event represents a fantastic chance for young people to ask any question they might have about the transition from secondary education, and learn more about the opportunities available to them.

You can tune in to the event by visiting facebook.com/cityofyork, a recording of the event will be available via the same link. 

School leavers’ are also encouraged to check out a new dedicated webpage, which provides valuable links and information regarding further education and apprenticeship schemes, including where to access further information, advice and support. The page can be found at york.gov.uk/SchoolLeavers.

Post-16 experts have also pulled together a handy fact sheet capturing a wide range of different options for school leavers, which is also available on the webpage. 

Budding entrepreneurs of all ages can also take flexible, online courses from Rebel Business School, to help provide information and advice on how to start and develop their own businesses. Visit therebelschool.com for more information. 

£2.67m investment in specialist York schools

Two of York’s specialist schools could benefit from a £2.67m investment if plans are approved by City of York Council’s Executive later this month (20 May).

The Executive will be asked to approve plans for capital works at Applefields Special School, which supports secondary aged students, with a wide range of special educational needs; and Danesgate which is home to York’s Pupil Referral Unit and supports young people with Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) needs.

The proposals recognise the continued rise in pupil numbers at Applefields over the last four years and a need to better support the needs of children and young people with Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs at Danesgate.

Members will be asked to approve plans to approve works to adapt existing office and break out space into classrooms at Applefields, ready for the September 2021 intake. The proposals would enable the school to support the increasing number of young people with highly complex needs, such as those with profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD), autism, and those with the highest level of social and emotional need.  

Phase 2 of the project would see the creation of essential administrative space and, if approved, would be completed by September 2022. The total value of the works is approximately £765,000. Remodelling and reorganisation of the site at Danesgate is needed to reflect the changing needs of the children and young people using the centre, with increasing numbers of pupils having communication and interaction needs.

The proposals also recognise the rising number of children and young people who are unable to attend school with their peers due to mental health needs and an increasing need to have more bespoke provision for many students who display anxieties, including specific intervention and break out spaces.

The proposed capital works at Danesgate would see the reconfiguration of the current buildings, to create smaller classrooms and breakout spaces, enabling the centre to meet the varied needs of pupils. The total cost of the proposed works is £1.9m.

Cllr Keith Orrell, the council’s Executive Member for Children, Young People and Education, said:

We know that the number of children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, including those with Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs, across the city is continuing to increase. As a city committed to supporting all our residents, it’s important that we ensure that we are able to provide the right support to enable all our children and young people to fulfil their individual potential.

95.5% of children get their first choice of primary school in York

Image result for school allocation images

Primary school admission figures for entry in September 2021 reveal that 95.5 per cent of York children (1,674 children) have been allocated their first preference of school.

This is an increase of just over one per cent on last year’s figures.

City of York Council’s figures published show that:

  • 99.5 per cent of pupils got one of their five preferences
  • all of the 143 pupils who applied for a place at York’s junior schools (from Year 3) got their first choice

Parents who applied online can find out where their child has been allocated a place by logging into their parent portal account today via www.york.gov.uk/PrimarySchoolAdmissions.

Parents who made written applications will receive a letter confirming their admission arrangements.

Anyone who didn’t receive their first choice of school will also receive written information.

School admissions figures

 We’ve provided this year’s and last year’s admission figures as a comparison.

Primary school figures 2021
PreferenceQuantityPer cent
Primary school figures 2020
PreferenceQuantityPer cent
Junior school figures 2021
PreferenceQuantityPer cent
Junior school figures 2020
PreferenceQuantityPer cent

The total size of the cohort starting school in September 2021 is 1,753 pupils, compared to 1,860 last year.

Nine pupils didn’t get any of their preferences. These were largely made up of parents or carers who did not apply for their child’s catchment school – despite being advised to do so – preferring instead to apply for schools a considerable distance from their home.

Councillor Keith Orrell, Executive Member for Education, Children and Young People, said:

I’m delighted that so many children will be able to attend their first choice of primary school this year. Starting primary school is such an exciting milestone. I wish all those starting a new school in September the very best of luck.

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 – should apply through their online account at www.york.gov.uk/ParentPortal.

Coronavirus York updates; 10th November 2020

Deaths and test results

One additional care home death has been registered (3/11)

The total York death toll (occurrences) is now 178.

No additional York Hospital Trust deaths have been announced today

35 (THIRTY FIVE) new cases were announced today bringing the total to 4228. Todays figure is the lowest since September. The 7 day rate figure at 179.48 is the lowest since the beginning of October and is further evidence that the epidemic is slowly declining in the City.

Some neighbourhoods are still showing a small increase in case numbers

Overall the City remains below the county, regional and national infection rate averages.

Council Q & A on COVID response including health and Education

Join the next live #AskTheLeaders Live Coronavirus Q&A on the council’s Facebook page this Wednesday 11 November at 5.30-6.30pm.

The panel will be discussing your questions and comments about emotional health, wellbeing, what we can do to support each other, education and the city’s response to Coronavirus.

Residents are invited to watch live on Facebook to hear from panellists including:

  • Cllr Keith Aspden, Leader of City of York Council
  • Cllr Carol Runciman, Executive Member for Health and Adult Social Care
  • Sharon Stoltz, Director for Public Health
  • Maxine Squire, Assistant Director for Education and Skills
  • Naomi Lonergan, Director of Operations for North Yorkshire and York, Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust (TEWV)
  • Katherine Davies, Consultant Clinical Psychologist at Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust (TEWV).

Residents can interact with the session by either submitting questions in advance by emailing them to YourQuestions@york.gov.uk or commenting on the live video on Facebook where leaders will read out questions and respond. Questions may be answered by theme rather than individually, so that the conversation covers as many topics as possible.

Cllr Keith Aspden, Leader of City of York Council, said:

2020 has been an exceptionally tough year for us all, which is why it is important that we all come together to help each other through these difficult times. We have a panel for this live Q&A session that will help give us information on how to look after our own and others health and wellbeing.

“We will also be answering your questions on the latest information on our response, with schools and the public health measures that have been put into place across the city.”

Cllr Carol Runciman, Executive Member for Health and Adult Social Care, said:

As we once again find ourselves in a national lockdown it is vital that we look out for one another during this extremely difficult time. There are some simple steps that we can all take to help each other, a phone call or a text can make a huge difference to someone’s day.

“It’s important to remember that it’s okay to not be okay during this time and that there is help and support ready and waiting whether your problem is big or small. Residents can comment live on Facebook or submit their questions beforehand to YourQuestions@york.gov.uk.”

For the latest York updates on service changes, online support and how you can get involved in supporting your community visit www.york.gov.uk/Coronavirus

School improvements on hold in York

It seems the York Council has decided to shelve some schemes in its school maintenance and improvements programme.

In total around £4 million of works are being slipped into next year.

Schemes which are expected to be carried out in this financial year are located at Dringhouses and Ralph Butterfield Primaries.

A start on a major extension of Fulford school is also expect to start before the end of the financial year.

The delays are blamed on COVID-19 restrictions.

Work on a replacement library at Haxby will also not now start until 2021 at the earliest.

95.9 per cent of York children get a place at their first choice of primary school

Primary school admission figures for entry in September 2019 reveal that 95.9% per cent of York children have been given their first preference of school.

City of York Council’s figures published today (16 April 2019) show that 99.1% per cent of pupils got one of their first three preferences.

The percentage of online applications for primary school places has continued to increase, with 99% of parents and carers applying for their child’s school place online.

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 2019 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 reducing from 11 in 2018 to 10 in 2019.

This year’s admissions figures, compared with last year’s are outlined below:

Applied Online182694.5%182999.6%

The total size of the cohort starting school in September 2019 is 1,836 pupils, compared to 1,933 last year.

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.”

Good GCSE (Key Stage 4) results in York

Pupils across the city have achieved excellent GCSE results.

Early indications of results at York High would suggest that in spite of the increased challenge of GCSE examinations in English and maths this year students  “have achieved results in line with those achieved in 2016”.

Meanwhile York College says it is proud to announce “fabulous GCSE results for students aged 16-18 years, and adult students, who have taken their Maths and English Language exams this year.  A total of 237 students achieved grades 9-4 in English Language and 171 students achieved an A*-C in Maths from this summer’s examinations.  And nearly two thirds of adult students who took GCSE Biology this year have achieved high grades A*-C”.

Despite the significant changes that have taken place in the examination system this past year around curriculum changes and measuring performance, York’s Key Stage 4 performance remains strong.

These changes include new performance indicators for the percentage of pupils achieving grades 9-1 in both English and mathematics. Provisional results show that York schools have performed well against these new indicators with 69% of students achieving grade 4 and above in both English and maths, and 48% achieving grade 5 and above .

The measure known as English Baccalaureate (EBacc) continued to show good performance.  Pupils who gain good grades in English, maths, two science subjects, a modern foreign language and a humanities subject achieve EBacc.

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.