Monday, 25 January 2010

100 per cent attendance results in top prizes for lucky Leeds pupils

Thousands of children and young people attended school 100 per cent of the time in November last year after taking part in a city-wide attendance competition.

Over 36,000 children and young people achieved 100 per cent attendance in November 2009 as part of the ‘Give it 100%’ competition organised by Education Leeds’ attendance champions team.

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Media are invited to the prize giving at the Radio Aire studios on Tuesday 26 January. Breakfast will be served from 9.30am and prizes awarded from 10am. Please call 0113 3951577 or email jon.crampton@leeds.gov.uk to confirm attendance
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November often has one of lowest attendance rates of the year so Education Leeds increased its support to schools by encouraging pupils to attend every day throughout the month to be in with a chance of winning top prizes.

The attendance competition also runs in March every year, which is also a month where attendance rates can fall. ‘Give it 100%’ is designed to promote the importance of good attendance and encourage children and young people to have as little time off as possible.

A prize giving event will be hosted by Radio Aire tomorrow (Tuesday 26 January) where children and young people will be presented with prizes by DJs JK and Joel.

Each of the 37 schools which entered will have a winner and the prizes include Nintendo DSi’s, school parties with a Radio Aire DJ, iPods, digital radios, class and individual prizes for Go Karting, and family days out from SnowZone, Hollywood Bowl and the Ice Cube.

Councillor Richard Harker, executive board member for education at Leeds City Council, said:
“The attendance champions competition is a great way of increasing attendance and raising awareness of the benefits of regularly going to school. The response to this additional competition was impressive and saw more than 36,000 pupils achieve 100 per cent attendance. I hope the lucky winners enjoy their fantastic prizes.”

Chris Edwards, chief executive of Education Leeds, said:
“We want every child and young person to spend as much time as possible in our brilliant schools where they can be happy, healthy, safe and successful. It has been shown that missing just 17 days in one school year can lead to a drop of an entire grade at GCSE so the importance of regular attendance should not be underestimated.

“Congratulations to all those who took part. They are all winners and their prize is a better education to set them up for the rest of their lives.”

‘Give it 100%’ is one of a number of attendance champions initiatives, competitions and advertising campaigns run by Education Leeds to remind children that every school day counts.

ENDS
For media enquiries please contact:
Jon Crampton, Leeds City Council press office, 0113 3951577
Email: jon.crampton@leeds.gov.uk

Review of the Farsley Conservation Area

A review of the Farsley conservation area gets underway today, with locals being asked for their views on what they think is special about Farsley and any improvements that could be made.

The historic settlement of Farsley was first designated as a conservation area in 1987 in order to safeguard the special architectural and historic character of the village, and protect important buildings from unauthorised demolition.

It is proposed that the conservation area be extended to include the historic settlement of Bagley, to the north-east of Farsley centre, as well as extending the existing boundary to include the whole of West Royd Park. A Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plan will also be produced to make sure the special interest of the conservation area is documented. Members of the public are being asked to comment on the proposed alterations over the next six weeks. The draft appraisal document can be viewed online at: www.leeds.gov.uk/conservation

A public meeting and drop-in session will take place on Monday 8 February at St John the Evangelist Church Hall, New Street, Farsley. The public meeting will begin at 7pm when a conservation officer will present the proposals followed by a question and answer session. The informal drop-in session will start at 7.45 until 9pm.

Buildings within a conservation area are protected from unauthorised demolition, and new developments have to meet higher standards of design than elsewhere. Other planning rules are slightly different and permission from the council is needed for certain activities such as tree felling.

Councillor Andrew Carter, joint leader and executive board member responsible for development, said:
“We want to safeguard the special architectural nature and historic character of villages such as Farsley, and protect their important buildings for the future. Designating a conservation area is the best way for us to do this.

“I am particularly keen to get the opinions of local people, and this public meeting and drop in session will give residents the opportunity to speak directly to a conservation officer and make their views on the matter known to the council.

“This is an important part of the process to protect historic and important local communities.”

The outer west area committee, with the support of ward councillors, have made this work a priority and allocated money from their ‘Well Being Fund’ to ensure that Farsley has up-to-date conservation area protection.

The public consultation will begin on Monday 25 January and will run until Friday 5 March. Posters will be displayed around the village to tell people how they can comment. There will also be a display in Farsley Library from 25 January, and response forms for people to complete.

The proposals should be approved by council officials in March 2010.

People can also request a copy of the draft appraisal from the conservation team at: Sustainable Development Unit, Leeds City Council, Leonardo Building, 2 Rossington Street, Leeds, LS2 8HD

ENDS

For media enquiries, please contact;
Claire Macklam, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1578
Email: claire.macklam@leeds.gov.uk

Businesses to decide over £250 million spending on workforce skills

Chief executives and senior directors of large, medium and small businesses are being invited to become part of a new board to ensure that spending decisions which impact on the Leeds city region are taken locally rather than nationally.

To kick-start the search, a breakfast briefing is being held on Friday 29th January at the Holiday Inn in Brighouse for employers wishing to find out more.

National pilot ‘Leeds city region’ status has brought with it decision-making powers from central Government.

In making the most out of its new powers, the Leeds City Region Partnership is to establish an employment and skills board where local business leaders will be able to identify which employment skills the city region economy will need as it emerges from the downturn.

John Yeomans, interim chair of the Leeds City Region Employment and Skills Board, said:

"This is a very exciting development for the city region's business community, and an opportunity for real influence. Talented and experienced businessmen and women from a range of sectors are being called upon to help shape around £250 million of investment in adult skills and employment training.”

The Leeds city region covers a large geographical area including the following areas: Barnsley, Bradford, Calderdale, Craven, Harrogate, Kirklees, Leeds, Selby, Wakefield and York.

For further information on the breakfast briefing please visit www.leedscityregion.gov.uk or for any enquiries please contact Sue Cooke at sue.cooke@leeds.gov.uk.

Ends

Notes to editors:


1. The establishment of an Employment and Skills Board is a key part of the pilot city region programme which was launched in November 2009.

2. The Leeds City Region (LCR) Partnership brings together a group of 11 local authorities: Barnsley, Bradford, Calderdale, Craven, Harrogate, Kirklees, Leeds, Selby, Wakefield and York, along with North Yorkshire County Council to promote economic development and a better quality of life.

3. The Leeds City Region Partnership pilot programme can be downloaded from their website on the homepage under Publications: www.leedscityregion.gov.uk.

4. The Leeds city region has close to three million people, a resident workforce of 1.3million, over 100,000 businesses and an economy worth £48bn per year.

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For press/media enquiries please contact:
Sara Hyman, Press and Media Manager
Leeds City Council Press Office Tel: 0113 22 43602

Best selling author comes to the Central Library

Leeds Central Library will play host to best selling author Jasper Fforde this week as he talks about his past influences and his recently released new book.

The international best selling author will be visiting the Central Library in Leeds on Thursday 28th January at 7pm, to talk about his latest novel, Shades of Grey.

Jasper Fforde worked in the film industry for 19 years, before breaking into writing himself. His varied career included the role of "focus puller" on films such as Goldeneye, The Mask of Zorro and Entrapment. Jasper’s first novel The Eyre Affair was published in 2001, and became an international best seller, with ‘The Thursday Next series’ continuing to five books.

Organised by Leeds City Council’s Library service, Jasper Fforde’s talk is just one of the many new and exciting events organised by libraries this year.

Leeds City Council executive member for Leisure Councillor John Procter said:
“It is great to have an accomplished writer such as Jasper visiting the city and talking about his new book. The evening is sure to be very interesting and very popular.”

Tickets for the event cost just £3 and will available from The Carriageworks Box office and the Central Library.

For more information about Leeds City Councils Libraries and information service, visit; http://www.leeds.gov.uk/Leisure_and_culture/Libraries.aspx.

Notes to editors:

For possible interview opportunities with Jasper Fforde please contact Emma Knight on 07880723954 or email emma.knight@hodder.co.uk

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For media enquiries please contact:
Catherine Milburn,
Learning and Leisure Communications Assistant
on 0113 247 8285
Email: catherine.milburn@leeds.gov.uk