Thursday, 15 July 2010

Parklands Girls’ High School and Primrose High School futures to be decided

Recommendations to close Parklands Girls’ High School and Primrose High School and reopen both as academies are to be considered by Leeds City Council’s executive board.

Both schools are included the National Challenge programme, announced in 2008, and require changes to be made to ensure the 30 per cent GCSE target for 2011 is reached or maintained.

Education Leeds has proposed to establish a mixed academy on the Parklands site, sponsored by Edutrust Academies Charitable Trust (EACT), which also sponsors the Leeds West Academy, and establish an academy on the Primrose site, sponsored by the Co-operative Group.

Parklands Girls’ High School’s GCSE results exceed the national target but due to a declining roll and difficult financial situation present a challenge for sustaining progress beyond 2011.

Primrose High School faces major challenges to improve teaching, attendance and behaviour standards and require urgent changes to meet the target.

Councillor Jane Dowson, executive board member for learning at Leeds City Council, said:“There are real challenges facing both schools which need to be addressed to ensure standards and outcomes improve for every pupil. It is essential that all children and young people have access to the best education possible. Where this isn’t the case, we will assess what needs to be improved and make the necessary changes.”

Chris Edwards chief executive of Education Leeds, said:
“Both Parklands and Primrose have many positives to build on but changes need to be made to ensure the long term viability and future of each school. Each faces different challenges but both need to see rapid and sustained improvements.

“These recommendations have been made to improve learning and outcomes and I am confident that, by creating academies with the sponsors involved, young people will reap the benefits of a better education, achieve better outcomes and reach their potential.”

If approved at the next executive board meeting on Wednesday July 21, the proposals will go ahead in 2011.


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

Reception to honour retiring headteachers

The service and dedication of headteachers who have clocked up nearly 500 years’ service between them are to be honoured at a special reception.

Thirteen headteachers from schools across Leeds will retire this summer bringing to an end distinguished teaching careers and long-term associations with their current schools and schools across Leeds.

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Media are invited to attend the reception to mark the headteachers’ retirement at Leeds Civic Hall on Friday 16 July 2010. A drinks reception will take place at 1.30pm, an official welcome at 2pm, followed by lunch and presentations, finishing at 4.30pm. Please call 0113 3951577 to confirm attendance. For individual comments from headteachers, please contact the schools directly.
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Education Leeds has organised a reception to mark the occasion and say thank you for their service to the children and young people of the city.

The headteachers retiring are: Juliet Agar, Farsley Springbank Junior School; Timothy Bean, Great Preston C of E primary School; Liz Benfield, Iveson primary School; Roger Bumby, Pool C of E Primary School; Kathryn Carter, Holy Rosary and St Anne’s Catholic Primary School; Kay Crellin, Templenewsam Halton Primary School; Susan Edwards, Raynville Primary School; Alan Key, Abbey Grange C of E High School; Bernadette King, Mount St Mary’s Catholic High School; Jean Lumb, Ninelands Primary School; Alan Scott, Brownhill Primary School; James Vincent, Otley The Whartons Primary School; and Alan Toothill, Broadgate Primary School.

Councillor Jane Dowson, executive board member for learning at Leeds City Council, said:
“Headteachers play a vital role in their schools and wider communities. They help to shape the lives and learning of their pupils and lead and inspire their colleagues. Over the years, these headteachers would have made lasting impressions on thousands of children and young people and I wish them the very best for the future.”

Chris Edwards chief executive of Education Leeds, said:“Our headteachers’ passion, energy and commitment make a real difference to children, young people, their families and their local communities.

“Leeds has brilliant schools which have developed with the help of fantastic headteachers like the 13 who are retiring this year. They have helped to inspire the next generation of headteachers in the city and I would like to personally thank them all for their hard work and commitment.”

The reception will take place at Leeds Civic Hall on Friday 16 July 2010 from 1.30pm.


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

Leeds sees big drop in burglary

Burglary in Leeds has dropped dramatically, according to figures released today by Safer Leeds.

There were 816 fewer burglaries in the city in the six months to May 2010 compared with the same period the year before – a drop of 16 per cent.

The fall follows a city-wide drive by Leeds City Council and West Yorkshire Police to target offenders and improve home security.  

The approach involved analysing intelligence reports to identify burglary hotspots, and protect vulnerable victims as well as improved information-sharing across the city. The reports identified prolific offenders and locations of concern and targeted programmes were set up to focus on these.

Police also successfully closed off a number of outlets for stolen goods, which is also believed to have contributed to the fall.

The news has been hailed as a breakthrough by representatives of Safer Leeds, the city’s Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership after years of rising burglary levels in the city.

Cllr Peter Gruen, Leeds City Council’s executive member for Community Safety, said:

“These figures show a huge turnaround in burglary levels in the city in a relatively short time. They show what can be achieved  by good partnership working and by targeting our work to identify the places and the people that need the most help.

“This intelligence-led approach is going to be increasingly important in the coming months as we face doing the same job with reduced resources.

“It is important though that we don’t become complacent. We at Safer Leeds will do all we can to continue to drive down burglary levels. But the public can help too.

“One third of all burglaries are the result of doors and windows being left open – and that goes up to 50 per cent in the student areas.  

“So, please, during these summer months don’t forget than an open window can be an open invitation to a burglar.”

Chief Superintendent Ian Whitehouse is the Divisional Commander at North West Leeds Division and chairs a multi-agency partnership tasking group specifically looking at burglary on behalf of Safer Leeds.

Chief Supt Whitehouse said:

"We are extremely pleased to see the results in tackling this problem. There are too many people to thank for their efforts and achievements but they know that these figures reflect the hard work they have put in during the last 12 months. It is my firm intention to continue to ensure that if you are a burglar you will be caught and we will do everything we can to disrupt your activities. It is our intention to make sure people remain safe in their own homes."

For media enquiries please contact:
Sara Hyman, Leeds City Council press office, 0113 2243602