Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Civic welcome for Mayor of San Pedro

The Lord Mayor of Leeds will extend a civic welcome this week to the Mayor of San Pedro and members of the Ivory Coast community in Leeds.

Mayor Clement is visiting Leeds to improve San Pedro’s international connections and further develop both the city and the country. He attended the West Indian Carnival on Bank Holiday Monday, and will be spending time with members of the Ivory Coast community now living in Leeds.

There are currently about 200 people from Ivory Coast that have made their home in Leeds, and they recently formed the Association des Ivorians des Leeds, which aims to help members of their community integrate and feel part of the city. The group was formally launched on new year’s eve last year and recently held a ‘getting to know you’ event to exhibit Cote d’Ivoire’s rich cultural history and celebrate the country’s independence day.

The Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Judith Elliott said:
“We are very proud of our international connections here in Leeds, and have built up a strong network of partnerships with cities across the USA, Africa, Asia and Europe over the past 50 years.

“I am delighted to welcome Mayor Clement and representatives from the Leeds Cote d’Ivoire association to this reception today.”

The civic reception will take place on Wednesday, 2 September at 5pm at Leeds Civic Hall.


For media enquiries, please contact;
Claire Macklam, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1578

Leeds girls get moving

Girls took over Fearnville Leisure Centre this week when they took part in two days of free ‘girls-only’ activities as part of a national scheme to get more girls involved in positive activities.

As part of Positive Futures’ national Girls Get Moving Week (31 Aug – 6 Sep), Leeds’ Positive Futures and Leeds City Council are running activities ranging from dance to DJing, and from boxing to badminton on Tuesday 1 and Wednesday 2 September. The girls will be coming from all over the city, and will also be able to take part in pilates, beauty therapy, and art sessions, all at Fearnville Leisure Centre.

Media opportunity:
Date: Wednesday 2 September
Time: Between 9.30 am – 3.30 pm
Location: Fearnville Leisure Centre, Oakwood Lane
Members of the media are invited to photograph and interview some of the young people taking part in the activities. Staff from Positive Futures will also be on hand for interviews.
If you would like to attend please contact Emma Whittell in Leeds City Council press office on 0113 2474713.

Positive Futures, the leading social inclusion programme, has organised the week to inspire more girls into physical activity, increase participation levels of young girls on the programme and help support the Government’s drive to tackle youth crime, particularly the rise in girl-related underage drinking which leads to crime, disorder and nuisance.

Councillor Alan Lamb, deputy executive member responsible for Youth Services said:“The work the Leeds Positive Futures team are doing with young people across the city to increase participation in sports and physical activity, whilst tackling issues around youth offending, anti-social behaviour and drug use is fantastic.

“This project will offer the girls the opportunity to learn new skills, be physically active and have fun.”

The Positive Futures programme, managed by young people’s charity Catch22 and funded by the Home Office, has 118 projects working with young people aged 9-19 in some of the most deprived areas of the country.

Joyce Moseley, Chief Executive, Catch22 said:
“Positive Futures projects are fantastically successful in engaging girls in activities that are fun and exciting, and this is clear when you look at the diverse range of activities on offer for Girls Get Moving Week. When our project workers can build relationships of trust and respect with girls, they open up new opportunities for achieving, education and employment.”

Notes to Editors
1. Positive Futures is a national sports and activities-based social inclusion programme for young people aged between 9 and 19.
2. The Positive Futures Programme started in 2000 and was officially launched in 2001. There are 118 Positive Futures projects in total across England and Wales.
3. The programme is supported by a strategic group comprising: Arts Council, Department for Children, Schools and Families; Department for Communities and Local Government, Department for Culture, Media and Sport; Football Foundation, Home Office, Local Government Association, London Active Communities and Skills Active.
4. Positive Futures programme data for the 12 months leading up to 31 March 2009 revealed that near 60,000 young people attended nationally. These young people attended more than half a million times and sessions included football, kayaking, fishing, abseiling, swimming, filming, djing, photography and dance.
5. Young people achieved 26,236 positive outcomes and qualifications in 2008/09 with a 36.34% increase in young people gaining employment compared to the same period in 2007/08
6. In April 2006 the Home Office commissioned the charity Crime Concern to take over the management of the programme.
7. Catch22 is the new charity formed by the merger of young people’s charity Rainer and crime prevention charity Crime Concern in July 2008.
8. Catch22 works with 34,000 young people aged between 8 and 25. The charity aims to help young people ways out of tough situations through individual support as well as help through projects and programmes across the UK. Catch22 has 200 years of experience working with young people. To find out more, log onto

For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council Press Office, on (0113) 2474713

The South Leeds Academy to officially open in September

A unique academy which will transform learning in south Leeds will officially open this month after the government formally approved the development.

The funding agreement to support The South Leeds Academy, sponsored by the Leeds-based School Partnership Trust, was signed by the sponsors and the DCSF (Department for Children, Schools and Families) at the end of last week.

The former South Leeds High School will be replaced by the new 11-19 academy, which will be housed in existing buildings on the current school site, and will open its doors for the first time on Monday 7 September.

Colin Bell, who was the head at South Leeds High School, will be the new principal of The South Leeds Academy and brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the new role.

The academy will offer ‘learning by doing’, as well as more traditional academic learning, with new courses linked to employers’ needs to provide a range of skills needed in the workplace. It will provide industry-standard equipment and professional environments and a major part of this will be the development of off-site centres to deliver courses in areas such as construction, hairdressing and beauty.

It will also have a special focus on English to ensure that all children and young people at the academy have the best possible skills in written and spoken English.

Colin Bell, the new principal at The South Leeds Academy, said:
“This is an exciting development for south Leeds. It is a chance to innovate, to introduce new practices and provide a genuine opportunity to improve the learning and experiences of the area’s young people.

“The academy will provide a unique opportunity to those young people who attend - providing a tailored learning experience to ensure they have the best possible start to their adult life.”

Ian Garforth, chair of the School Partnership Trust, said:
“We are delighted to be the sponsor of the new academy in south Leeds. We intend to bring together our knowledge and experience of providing the best possible outcomes for learners of all ages with the vast experience that existing staff at the school have of working with their community.

“We will provide a wide range of options tailored for each individual learner, supported by the very best levels of pastoral care for young people.

“It has been a long and complicated process to get to this point but thanks to the hard work of all our partners - Education Leeds, Leeds City Council, the DCSF, Tribal project management and Wrigley’s solicitors - we can now look forward to a new era of education in south Leeds.”

Councillor Richard Harker, executive board member for learning at Leeds City Council, said:
“We are confident that the School Partnership Trust will ensure The South Leeds Academy becomes a successful school.

“This is an exciting time for learning in this part of the city. The academy will provide every young person with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the 21st century and will play a key role in the next chapter of the city’s success.”

Chris Edwards, chief executive of Education Leeds, said:
“The new academy will continue to build on what has been achieved at South Leeds High School under Colin Bell’s powerful leadership. The School Partnership Trust has a proven track record of working with one of the best schools in the country. This combination of knowledge and experience will help ensure that those who attend the academy get the very best education possible.”

The academy and the School Partnership Trust have absorbed many of the school staff into the new staffing structure, together with a number of new appointments. The new curriculum is ready to go from September and a shadow governing body is already in place. The governing body will expand to include representatives from parents, staff and the local community when it takes on its full responsibilities from 1 September.

An open day to celebrate the new academy will take place on Saturday 26 September. It will include activities for children and families as well as the opportunity to see what the academy has to offer the whole of the local community.


Notes to editors:

• The School Partnership Trust is a Leeds-based educational and social charity, which does not make any profit from its work. It currently helps run one of the most successful secondary schools in the country, Garforth Community College, and six associated primary schools in east Leeds. It is also sponsoring another developing academy called De Warenne Academy in Doncaster.
• The School Partnership Trust firmly believes that schools should be run together with local people for local people to provide the best possible educational outcomes for all students. It also believes that schools should work closely with their communities and not exclude anyone. You can find out more about the School Partnership Trust at their website:
• Sir Paul Edwards, chief executive of the School Partnership Trust and principal of Garforth Community College in east Leeds recently received a knighthood for services to education.
• South Leeds High School has faced complex challenges over recent years. The move to academy status is an opportunity to build on the big improvements made over the last few years to now create one of the most successful schools in the region and a valuable resource for the community. Enthusiasm for the development is evidenced by the record number of young people making the new academy school their first choice from September 2009.
• Unlike other schools, academies are funded directly by the government rather than the local authority. They receive the same level of funding as other local schools and the School Partnership Trust has pledged that The South Leeds Academy will continue to work in full collaboration with other schools in the city.

For more information contact:

Jon Crampton, Leeds City Council press office, 0113 3951577

Ian Garforth, chair, School Partnership Trust, 07770 403287

Colin Bell, principal, The South Leeds Academy, 07711 342629