Thursday, 18 March 2010

£28m BSF investment at Rodillian School to be officially opened

A £28m school built as part of the city’s Building Schools for the Future programme is to be officially opened this week.

Ed Balls MP, secretary of state for children, schools and families, will officially open Rodillian School tomorrow (Friday 19 March). He will meet pupils and staff and be shown first hand how the BSF investment has benefited education and experiences at the school.

**********MEDIA OPPORTUNITY**********
Media are invited to the official opening of Rodillian School by the secretary of state for children, schools and families, Ed Balls MP, from midday on Friday 19 March. Could all media report to the school’s reception on arrival. You will need to be at the school by 11:30am. The address is: Rodillian School, Longthorpe Lane, Lofthouse, Wakefield, WF3 3PS.
**********MEDIA OPPORTUNITY**********


The school first opened its new doors in September 2008, the first of five newly-built facilities delivered on time and on budget. The official opening was delayed until all the scheduled work on the school's outside areas had been completed and it could be opened by a high profile educational figure.

It also provides a rare opportunity to celebrate the impact the new school has had on the learning and aspirations of the pupils and give everyone a chance to reflect on the past 18 months in their new surroundings.

New facilities at Rodillian include a lecture theatre to help prepare pupils for higher education, a canopy-covered amphitheatre and two-storey library space with state-of-the-art ICT facilities. The school’s excellent sporting facilities include a gymnasium, dance studio, sports hall and an inclusive fitness suite and PE classrooms.

Councillor Richard Harker, executive board member for education at Leeds City Council, said:“Rodillian is a 21st century school providing young people with facilities and opportunities to help them achieve their full potential.

“This fantastic school is now in its second year. The impact on the whole community has been impressive and I am confident it will continue to go from strength to strength.”

Chris Edwards, chief executive of Education Leeds, said:
“Rodillian is the latest state-of-the-art school to highlight the brilliant learning environments that more and more young people in Leeds are benefiting from.

“The brilliant new facilities have boosted standards and aspirations at the school and will have a huge, positive impact on the future of hundreds of young people.

“Education Leeds is committed to providing the best education possible and these fantastic new schools, coupled with dedicated teaching staff, are helping to boost standards across the city.”

Andy Goulty, headteacher at Rodillian School, said:
“I am proud to be showing our fantastic new school to the secretary of state for education. We are now in the second year of benefiting from the new facilities which have already made a big difference to both staff and pupils.

“It is everything you would expect from a 21st century school. The buildings have a modern and professional feel to them and the impressive IT and performing arts equipment are really supporting our efforts to improve attendance and behaviour and raise standards across the school.”

ED Balls MP, secretary of state for children, schools and families, said:
“If we want to give every child a good start in life, then it’s crucial that young people have the best possible environment in which to learn, with facilities fit for the 21st century. That’s why we started ‘Building Schools for the Future’ - the biggest school building programme since Victorian times.

“I am delighted that young people here are getting the full benefit of this investment. The new building at Rodillian looks fantastic, and the rising standards at the school show the difference it has made to pupils and staff alike. Seeing these improvements – and the positive effect they have had on young people’s approach to school – I know we need to do all we can to keep protecting funding for our schools.”

Around 13,000 young people are now benefiting from BSF investment in the city’s secondary school and the programme of improvements has attracted other local authorities and cities from around the world to Leeds to learn from the work and award-winning partnerships.

The official opening will take place between 11am and 1pm and will involve performances and presentations from young people from Rodillian and its partner school, the South SILC.

ENDS

Notes to editors:

Leeds BSF schools are brilliant spaces designed for 21st century Learning and teaching, which provide:
 flexible and varied rooms and spaces, offering different environments for different styles of teaching and learning;
 purposefully designed for the curriculum of today and tomorrow;
 unprecedented levels of cutting-edge learning technology;
 bright, open and safe spaces designed with young people, to engage young people;
 fully inclusive facilities, giving every young person access to the learning, support and care they need;
 unique features reflecting the unique ethos of each school and the needs of the local young people, families and wider communities they serve;
 Exciting and innovative environments for highly effective leadership and teaching.

*Leeds BSF is delivered through the Leeds Local Education Partnership (LEP), which brings together Leeds City Council, Education Leeds, the government's Partnership for Schools (through Building Schools for the Future Investment), and the Interserve led consortium Environments 4 Learning (E4L).

Partnerships for Schools (PfS) is the delivery organisation for Building Schools for the Future. PfS was established in April 2004 as a Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB), and is operated and funded under a joint venture between DCSF (formerly DfES) and Partnerships UK. PfS is a 100-strong organisation, with specialist expertise including educationalists, designers, ICT specialists, commercial managers and project management.

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

First new council house tenant in 20 years toasts her family’s new home



For audio of the above video, please right click here and select 'save as'.

Tenants have now moved into the first new council homes in Leeds for 20 years.

Faye Musgrave is one of the first to move into the new council housing on the Oaklands Estate in Gipton.

A single mother with four children, Faye works as an NHS secretary at St James’ Hospital. Speaking this week, she praised the quality of the properties and the support she has received to bid for and move in to her new home.

Also moved in are Tony Burrows and Dawn Hodgeson, who with their two children have been on the council housing waiting list for eight years. They would not normally have been considered for these new council homes, but because of the ‘local lettings policy’ they were favoured as local applicants who are working.

These are the first council new-build properties made available as part of Leeds City Council’s East and North East Leeds (EASEL) initiative.

The initial five three-bedroom family houses have been built on Oaklands Drive in Gipton. A further five family homes will be available as council tenancies in Seacroft on the Parklands estate before the summer.

Funding for the development has come from the Homes and Communities Agency's (HCA) and Leeds City Council. The let was arranged and will be supported by East North East Homes Leeds (ENEHL), one of the city’s three Arms Length Management Organisations that manage and maintain the city’s council housing stock.

Building work will be finished on a further 63 council homes in Gipton by March 2011, which will also be made available at affordable rents.

ENEHL created a local lettings policy to make sure the new homes are assigned for local people and preference is given to those who are key workers. The houses are advertised through the council’s Choice Based Lettings magazine. People who are registered on the council housing waiting list can then express an interest in the property when it is advertised as available.

All the homes will meet the highest environmental standards which will mean fuel costs and energy bills will be low for residents.

Councillor Les Carter, Leeds City Council’s executive board member for housing, said:
“It’s superb to see people already settling in to the new council housing on the Oaklands Estate – the first new council homes in Leeds for over 20 years.
“We’ve had to change council housing for the 21st Century, making sure it’s not just the kind of housing people need but it’s the kind they want to live in too.
“I’m delighted that we’ve talked to Faye, who’s had support from the council and East North East Homes Leeds to find and move in to her new house. I hope she’ll be very happy.
"I'm also pleased that the council has been able to put up funds for this project.
“Because of the tough conditions we’ve faced due to the recession we’ve had to be innovative to drive on with EASEL and ensure we’re not just supplying good quality housing but also other regeneration works that will change the face of east Leeds."

Angelena Fixter, chair of the East North East Homes Leeds board said:
“This is fantastic result for local families, great news for the local community and a huge achievement for Leeds in offering the first new council properties for 20 years.
“ENEHL are delighted to be able to work in partnership to help deliver these new homes at an affordable rent for key workers that will have lasting benefits on our neighbourhoods.”

Notes for editors:

East North East Homes Leeds
is one of three Arms Length Management Organisations (ALMO) which manage and maintain council housing on behalf of Leeds City Council. It is wholly owned by the council, which retains ownership of housing stock and sets rents.
East North East Homes Leeds manages 19,000 council-owned residential properties in Boston Spa, Burmantofts, Chapel Allerton, Chapeltown, Collingham, Gipton, Halton Moor, Harehills, Linton, Meanwood, Moor Allerton, Moortown, Seacroft, and Wetherby.

ENDS
For media enquiries please contact:
Michael Molcher, Leeds City Council (0113) 224 3937
e-mail: michael.molcher@leeds.gov.uk

Have your say in everyone’s tomorrow

Older people are invited to attend a conference where they can give their views and opinions on what its like to live in Leeds, and discuss how their voices can continue to help with the decision making process in the future.

The ‘Everyone’s tomorrow’ conference will involve older people in discussions about the positive impact that their ideas have had on the facilities and services that are currently in place for them, and to look at what has worked well and what could be done better.

The free event, organised by the council and the Leeds Older People’s Forum, will take place on Monday, 22 March at Leeds Civic Hall, 10.30am until 3.30pm, with lunch provided.

The conference marks the start of work to improve how the council and its partners involve older residents in decisions about how the city and its services will look in the future. Examples of things that work well in other cities and good practice from around the country will also be on show.

Councillor Peter Harrand, executive member with responsibility for adult social care said:
"This event is designed to find out what older people think of how they have been involved in the life of the city so far, and get their ideas about how they can help us to make sure that Leeds is a good place to grow old.

"It would be great to see a large number of our older residents there on the day to join in with the debate on what works well and not so well, and to hear some new ideas too."

If you would like to attend this conference or would like to be involved in shaping future services for older people in Leeds, please contact the Leeds Older People’s Forum on 0113 380 4911, or email info@opforum.org.uk. More information is available on the website www.opforum.org.uk.

ENDS

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