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 

Major improvements announced at Westfield School

Westfield school

A meeting of the Councils Executive will be asked next week to agree to an investment of £650,000 at Westfield Primary school

The money will be spent modernising and expanding school meal provision at the school.

A report  describes the background to the plan. ”

The increasing number of pupils at the school has highlighted the problems the  school currently has around the management of the school meals service as more pupils are having a school meal.

The proposed scheme will include work on both the dining and kitchen areas which will address current safety concerns and enable more pupils to access nutritional school meals”.

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…)

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.

Outrage as York Tory Councillors fund school in Leeds

Tory Councillors in York have taken the unusual step of issuing a leaflet claiming credit for funding a primary school in Seacroft.

With cash strapped schools in Scarcroft in York hoping for investment to deal with overcrowding, we doubt that local parents will be too impressed with the move!

Tory leaflet March 2017


Good and outstanding children’s services in York says Ofsted

School children

Eleven inspectors spent four weeks at the city council in November and December, examining all areas of services provided to children in the city.   They also spoke with groups of children, young people and their parents and carers.

Their inspection report is published today (7 February 2016).

It concludes “A wide range of effective services are in place to help children and families [in York] to access help and protection when they need it”.

Strong leadership, effective and committed front line staff and a well-established culture of listening to the voice of children and young people are features of York’s services singled out for specific praise by the regulator.

York’s Safeguarding Children Board was judged by Ofsted to be outstanding.  It is only the second safeguarding board in the country to be given the highest rating.

The children in care council, ‘Show Me That I Matter’ also gets special mention. The inspectors highlight how it works very hard to influence how children in care are understood.

Which school in York?

School childrenAll admissions authorities in the City of York area are consulting parents and carers on new policies and the number of places available for the school year starting in September 2018.

The consultation includes all admissions policies for church schools, academies and local authority maintained schools, and includes the planned number of places available at each school in the year of entry to primary, junior, secondary schools and sixth forms. The views of parents, carers, schools as well as governors, teachers and other interested parties are being sought before the closing date of 16 December 2016.

The fairness and accessibility of information available, application processes, planned admission numbers, admission policies and oversubscription criteria are all currently being consulted on. All comments from participants will be forwarded to the relevant admissions authority for their consideration before the arrangements are agreed.

York’s school attendance is ninth best in UK

Westfield school

Figures released by the Department for Education yesterday, show school attendance for York pupils continues to improve, and is currently the ninth best in the UK.

Of the 150 local authorities across the country, attendance data for the autumn and spring terms 2015-16 show that City of York Council is the ninth best performer of all other local authorities.

Compared nationally, York’s overall attendance level has further improved since 2014-15 when absence was 4.2 per cent. In 2015-16, it improved to 4.0 per cent for same period. York’s performance is better than the national trend which shows that levels of absence fell from 4.5% to 4.4% in the same period. Levels of pupils who are regarded as persistently absent in York – absent for 10 per cent of available sessions – are shown to be the eleventh lowest in the UK with 8.8 per cent for York compared to the national figure of 10.3 per cent.

Compared regionally, York has the second lowest figures for absence in the Yorkshire and Humber region. Regional figures are 4.4 per cent for overall absence and 10.8 per cent persistent absentees respectively.

Absenteeism can be due to a number of factors including parental neglect, truancy, holidays or non-essential appointments. Pupils who miss between 10 per cent and 20 per cent of school tend to have lower attainment levels than average, with only 35 per cent achieving five A* to C GCSEs, including English and maths.

The full data is at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/pupil-absence-in-schools-in-england-autumn-2015-and-spring-2016