York’s educational psychology expertise draws international attention

The reputation of City of York Council’s work in educational psychology has drawn government specialists from Hong Kong to visit the city this week to share in and learn from its practice.

Representatives from the Education Bureau of the Hong Kong SAR Government, researched Educational Psychology Services (EPS) which are run by UK local authorities.

Impressed with the planning, vision and standards of York’s Educational Psychology Service, the government team asked to meet with lead officers, school Special Education Needs Coordination Officers (SENCOs) and visit a school setting, to see first-hand how the service supports schools catering for children’s diverse needs.

York still above average in education achievements

A Council report,  being considered next week, confirms that the City’s education system is continuing to  achieve above average performance results.

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click to enlarge

Exam results at both GCSE and advance level stages show an improvement over the previous year.

OFSTED inspections reveal that, as of 9th October 2015, 89% of York secondary schools are rated “good or outstanding”, 88% of primaries are “good or outstanding” and 100% of our special schools are “good or outstanding”.

This means that overall, of the 64 schools in the city, 89% are good or outstanding.

At most education stages the difference in achievement  between less well off pupils (entitled to pupil premium) and others, has either narrowed or remained constant, although the gap widened in mathematics at Key Stage 2

Detailed performance graphs can be found by clicking here

GCSE English and Maths

english and maths FEIf you  need your English and Maths for a higher education course or to improve your job prospects, look no further.

To offer you the best chance of attending an assessment with us, we run sessions all across York on different days and different times of the day.

To cofirm a slot on one of our assessments or to ask any questions, email york.learning@york.gov.uk or call 01904 554277.

Clickhere   to find a time and date to suit you

Announcement of primary school place allocations in York as overcrowding grows

  • 92% of York children have been allocated their first preference primary school for September 2015.
  • 100% of York children have been allocated their first preference junior school for September 2015.
  • 8% of York children were allocated their 1st, 2nd or 3rd preference primary school. Need help or advice? – email education@york.gov.uk

Larger class sizes in York

The Council has also released details of overcrowding at some schools following a Freedom of Information request

In 2014 there were 8 infant classes with a size of over 30

These were at Poppleton Ousebank, Wheldrake, Elvington, St Lawrences, Bishopthorpe and Ralph Butterfield (3)

By 2015 this figure had increased to 12.

The schools affected are

  • Our Lady Queen of Martyrs,
  • Whedrake (2),
  • St Aelreds,
  • Elvington,
  • Bishopthorpe (5) and
  • Ralph Butterfield (2)

LibDems announce education manifesto

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click to access


York letting disadvantaged pupils down?

A new Centre for City’s study has put York bottom of a league table when measuring the exam results achieved by disadvantaged pupils.

Attainment graphs

Although the number of pupils achieving 5+ A*-C GCSEs including Maths and English in 2013/14 was good, the results for those from disadvantaged backgrounds was worse then elsewhere in the country.

 The gap in York at primary school age (KS2) is 23 percentage points.

This widens to a 40 percentage point difference between disadvantaged pupils and their peers at GCSE level: just 29 per cent of disadvantaged pupils in York achieve five or more good GSCEs, while 69 per cent of their peers do.

The government’s flagship “pupil premium” funding was intended to address this issue.

Someone at the York Council needs to start explaining why some secondary schools seem to be letting down those pupils from a disadvantaged background.

Council Leaders have been quick to jump on any good news from this organisation.

When a downturn in performance become apparent, silence isn’t an adequate explanation.

£103,330 boost for children in York

Liberal Democrats have welcomed the news that nurseries, childminders and other early years providers in York are set for a £103,330 cash boost to help three and four-year-olds from disadvantaged families.

Lib Dems say the extra investment could help close York’s ‘attainment gap’ – the difference in education performance between children from disadvantaged backgrounds and their peers.

5,819 York children to benefit from LibDem project

Local Liberal Democrats have welcomed the news that in total 5,819 children in York will benefit from the introduction of universal Free School Meals when term begins next week.

All reception, year 1 and year 2 pupils will now get their meals paid for under the scheme, which was first announced by the Liberal Democrats in 2013.

Although some children previously qualified for school meals, some do not take them due to the stigma, and others who don’t qualify struggle to afford them.

Research and pilot schemes in places such as Durham and Wolverhampton show that introducing universal free school meals leads to positive improvements in health, attainment and social cohesion, as well as helping families with the cost of living.


York Primary schools labelled as “complacent” by Labour

The Labour Councillor who has responsibility for education standards in York has accused local Primary schools of being “complacent”.

Cllr Looker gives this as the reason for several  schools “flat lining” on performance.

Schools quote March 2014

Until 2011, York was an outstanding area for education standards but some schools subsequently slipped in OFSTED checks.

Even some schools in major City’s like London overtook York in achievements.

If there was complacency then it was in political Leadership.

The Labour Cabinet member with responsibility for Education quit only 6 months after taking office in 2011.

The whole of the Education Departments management team then went off looking for alternative jobs.

They found them. Perhaps significantly, all in non Labour controlled authorities.

Cllr Looker was brought out of retirement to steady the ship.

“Steady” it appears turned out to mean “mediocre”.

York school children urged to ‘Expect Respect’

City of York Council is supporting Women’s Aid’s work to prevent domestic and sexual violence by sharing the educational toolkit “Expect Respect” with all schools in the city.

“Expect Respect” is an online educational toolkit that includes one hour lesson plans for each year of school from reception to year 13, guidance on the links between the learning outcomes within the lesson plans and to the relevant parts of the Early Years and National Curriculum.  The toolkit also provides supporting information and resources for teachers, access to online interactive activities and an online support service giving teachers advice and guidance about the delivery of the lesson plans.


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.