Monday, 2 November 2009

Have your say on primary school expansion plans

Education Leeds is asking for your comments on plans to expand 17 primary schools from September 2010.

A full consultation begins today (Monday 2 November) on the plans, which respond to a large increase in the number of children requiring a place in Leeds primary schools. It will continue until Friday 11 December and include public meetings in every affected area.

Local authorities have to provide a school place for every child in the city with no child having to make an unreasonable journey to get there.

The rise in the number of children being born in the city and the number of families with pre-school age children moving into Leeds means that extra places are required in many areas of the city.

Education Leeds believes the 17 schools are in the right areas and are able to expand in time to give the additional children expected to start school in September 2010 a place in a local school.

Plans are in place to increase the number of children every school can accept into each year group (its admissions limit), and this proposal would increase the amount of space available in the schools to accommodate the additional children.

At some schools, this will mean changing the way the school’s facilities are used, and at others it will mean adding extra rooms. Where extra rooms are needed Education Leeds would provide modern, high-quality accommodation which is built to last for decades.

The proposals also include plans to provide extra places for children with Special Educational needs (SEN) in two of these schools.

Councillor Richard Harker, executive board member for education at Leeds City Council, said:
“We have a responsibility to provide an education to every child in the city and we intend to ensure there are local places to meet local needs. There are 6,000 additional primary places available in the city but they are not necessarily where the demand is.

“We believe these schools are in the right locations and are able to expand to meet the demand. They will receive our full support to ensure every child receives the best possible start to their education.”

Chris Edwards, chief executive of Education Leeds, said:
“With an increased demand for places in 2010 prompted by movement into the city, high birth rates and a move to public education by children from private education, we have had to move quickly to ensure every child who might need a primary school place has one close to where they live.

“These additional places - which will largely be provided in modern, high quality units - would mean that the high standard of education in the schools will be available to even more children. The consultation is a chance for parents and carers to find out more and discuss our proposals in detail.”

Education Leeds is working with every school in the city to plan places for every child. As part of the process, the Office of the Schools Adjudicator was contacted regarding the additional demand and advised Leeds City Council it was able to use existing powers to admit above the agreed admissions limit to meet the demand for 2010.

The adjudicator agreed with Education Leeds that other steps should include developing and consulting on proposals to provide the accommodation and formalising the increase in admission limits for 2011.

The 17 primary schools which are proposed for expansion are: Beeston, Blenheim, Brudenell, Ebor Gardens, Greenmount, Highfield, Hugh Gaitskell, Ireland Wood, Ingram Road, Iveson, Mill Field, Moor Allerton Hall, New Bewerley Community School, Swarcliffe, Victoria, Whitkirk, and Thorner Church of England.

The additional educational needs (SEN) provision would be provided at New Bewerley and Whitkirk. Both would have ‘enhanced community provision’ for up to 14 children with complex physical and medical needs. This means the schools have specially-equipped care, therapy and teaching areas. These areas can be accessed and used by any child no matter what their needs

Details of the consultation are:
Mill Field, Blenheim and Brudenell expansions will be discussed on Monday 9 November at 6.30pm, City of Leeds High School, LS6 2LG.
Beeston, Greenmount, Ingram Road, Hugh Gaitskell and New Bewerley expansions will be discussed on Wednesday 11 November, at 7pm, at St Matthew’s Community Centre, LS11 9NR.
• The Whitkirk expansion will be discussed on Thursday 12 November, at 7pm, at Whitkirk Primary School, LS15 0EU.
Ebor Gardens and Victoria expansions will be discussed on Monday 16 November at 7pm at Primrose High School, LS9 7HD
• The Thorner C of E expansion will be discussed on Tuesday 17 November, at 7pm, at Thorner primary school, LS14 3JD.
Highfield and Moor Allerton Hall expansions will be discussed on Wednesday 18 November at 7pm at the North East City Learning Centre (next to Allerton Grange High School), LS17 6SF.
• The Swarcliffe expansion will be discussed on Tuesday 24 November, at 7pm, at Swarcliffe Primary School, LS14 5JW.
Ireland Wood and Iveson expansions will be discussed at Thursday 26 November, at 7pm, at Ralph Thoresby High School, LS16 7RX.

All views will be summarised and presented to Leeds City Council’s executive board on 12 February 2010. If it agrees to proceed to the statutory notice phase a final decision is expected in July 2010.

Copies of the consultation are also available at libraries, by contacting Education Leeds on 0113 2475696 or visiting


For media enquiries please contact:
Jon Crampton, Leeds City Council press office, 0113 3951577

Invitation to join trade mission

A Leeds business network, which improves links between local and central and eastern European companies, is organising a business mission to Leeds’ Romanian partner city of Brasov from 16 to 19 November.

The Central and Eastern Europe Business Network (CEBN) is currently promoting business opportunities in Romania to coincide with a British Embassy funded CEBN business conference in Brasov on Tuesday 17 November.

Over seventy local businesses will attend the conference with keynote speakers including the British Ambassador to Romania and the Vice Mayor of Brasov. Local companies will be offered a programme of one-to-one meetings with local companies during the visit.

Councillor Richard Brett, leader of Leeds City Council and executive board member responsible for international relations said:
“Leeds’ prosperity and wealth was built on foreign trade. The recent economic downturn has highlighted the importance of continually developing business links overseas, and the council has a duty to support local businesses in doing so.

“This trade mission is a fantastic opportunity for local businesses to develop links with Romania and meet potential partners, customers and suppliers.”

Companies interested in reserving a place on the trade mission should contact Jo Lavan, Central and Eastern European Business Network on 07770 858540 or email:


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

‘Heigh ho heigh ho’ it was seventy two years ago

Caption: Snow White (Victoria Holtom) and the Seven Dwarfs

This Winter book your place to watch the classic favourite pantomime Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at the Carriageworks 72 years after the original Walt Disney Film premiered in 1937.

The 21st December 1937 saw the first ever screening of Walt Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. This year’s pantomime at the Carriageworks carries on the tradition of Snow White at Christmas with fun-loving BBC presenter Jez Edwards playing the comical jester figure Muddles and Jean Rogers, Emmerdale favourite playing the part of the evil wicked queen, along with further brilliant cast members joining them on stage this Christmas.

The cast are all looking forward to coming up to Leeds and especially to the intimate venue of the Carriageworks, which will allow them better audience interaction, which will make for an excellent panto.

The Carriageworks and Paul Holman Associates promise the show will be jam-packed with a stunning array of costumes, scenery and amazing special effects, not to mention a great atmosphere and the typical ‘baddy’ and the loveable comic figures taking centre stage.

Leeds City Council executive member for Leisure Councillor John Procter said:
“Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is a true family classic and it is great to see the story still being told so many years after the original film premiered. The Carriageworks is a great venue and I am sure the cast will do the fairytale justice this Christmas.”

Paul Holman from producers Paul Holman Associates said:
“PHA is delighted to have been invited back to the Carriageworks following a successful first year with Aladdin and for this season, we have chosen Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs as it’s one of the all-time favourites.

“Snow White will have plenty of comedy for all age groups, with well-known pop songs as well as the more traditional panto song and dance numbers, with lots of spectacular costumes and scenery to make your Christmas really magical this year.”

Tickets are proving very popular so order early to avoid disappointment. Tickets are on sale from the Carriageworks box office or by calling 0113 224 3801. They can also be booked online by visiting the Carriageworks website at

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs will run at The Carriageworks from Friday 4th December to Saturday 9th January 2010.

Notes to editors:

For further information on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, go to or contact Suzanne David at Paul Holman Associates on 0208 845 9408 or email

The Carriageworks is a thriving theatre at the heart of Leeds’ Millennium Square. It showcases the best new national and regional performances with a dynamic programme of theatre, dance, comedy and film. At the same time it provides support to young and emerging theatre makers, offering them a key platform to develop their work.

The Carriageworks also gives opportunities for members of the local community to take part in a variety of high quality arts activities, and is home to the Leeds Civic Arts Guild. This is an umbrella group of performing societies offering the opportunity for local people to experience making theatre in a fully-functioning professional venue.


For media enquiries please contact:
Catherine Milburn,
Learning and Leisure Communications Assistant,
0113 247 8285

Statement regarding bin strike talks between unions and council leaders

Councillor Richard Brett, council leader said:

“The unions asked for this meeting and we were happy to oblige.

“We said we’d listen to what they had to say, that’s exactly what we’ve done and those discussions were positive.

“We have agreed with the unions that we should both look at the proper evaluation of the productivity rates we want to achieve.

“We have also been able to offer the unions a reassurance that the refuse collection service won’t be privatised if the productivity improvements we require are implemented.

“In the meantime, the council’s offer of £18,706 for refuse collectors and £21,616 for refuse truck drivers still stands.”

Councillor Andrew Carter, joint leader said:

“This morning’s discussions were useful and constructive.
“However, we did make it clear that the union demands – to go through the whole job evaluation process again - was an absolute non-starter.

“We are not going to fix it to for the benefit of the bin men.

“Not only would that open the council to many legal challenges – the cost, of £45 million pounds, is simply not affordable.

Posted via web from Leeds City Council