Monday, 11 October 2010

Roman marbles return to Leeds City Museum

Caption: The Lanuvium Marbles are now back in Leeds

A selection of rare stone sculptures have returned to Leeds City Museum this week after completing their very own Italian job.

Five marble Roman sculptures of cavalrymen and horses dating back to the 1st century BC are now back at the museum off Millennium Square after spending the last six months on loan in Rome as part of a major exhibition.

The life-size statues are known as the Lanuvium Marbles after the ancient city south of Rome where they originated from. Lanuvium was the hometown of Roman general Lucullus, and it is believed he had the marbles created to honour his victory in Asian Minor in the Second Mithradic War.

The marbles first arrived in Leeds in 1896 when Sir John Savile Lumley, the British Ambassador to Rome, had them transported to his Yorkshire estate and then donated them to the Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society.

When the Leeds City Museum opened its doors in September 2008, the marbles were given pride of place welcoming visitors in the entrance as well as forming part of the Ancient Worlds gallery, and they are now to be returned to be on display again in those positions.

The sculptures had been borrowed by the Musei Capitolini in Rome to form the centrepiece of the L’eta Della Conquista (The Age of Conquest) exhibition which ran from March until September. In the exhibition they were reunited with three other Lanuvium Marbles on loan from the British Museum, while the Leeds Museums and Galleries collection also has a further 750 items recovered from Lanuvium.

Principal keeper of Leeds City Museum Ceinwen Paynton said:

“It was a real honour to be asked by the Musei Capitolini to loan them the Lanuvium Marbles which are the pinnacle of ancient Roman sculpture and we were proud to be part of such a major exhibition in Rome. We are delighted the marbles have now been returned to us and will be back on display in Leeds City Museum for everyone to see.”

Admission to Leeds City Museum is free and for further information visit the website at


For media enquiries please contact:
Roger Boyde, Leisure media relations officer,
Tel 0113 247 5472, Email:

Good news for luncheon clubs in Leeds

Seventy-six luncheon clubs for older people in Leeds will find out this week how much they will get from a £185,000 fund provided by Leeds City Council.

At a time when all local authorities face huge financial challenges, the council are keen to continue supporting initiatives that provide services for the most vulnerable groups in our society.

Every year, the council’s adult social care department invites applications for funding from a ‘pot’ of money, which is set aside to help organisations ranging from churches to community centres to provide lunches and company for their older members.

Once again this popular source of funding has been over-subscribed and, as last year, a formula was used to make sure that funds are distributed between the organisations fairly. This takes account of the number of meals provided and how many people benefit from the service.

Typically, grants are between £1,000 and £3,000, depending on the size of the club. Letters announcing the news will be sent out to organisations this week.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, executive board member for adult social care, said:
“Luncheon clubs do a fantastic job in helping older people remain independent and feel less isolated

“Thanks to them, older people all across the city benefit from nutritious, hot meals and companionship; as well as having the chance to meet new people and keep up old friendships in their own communities.

”I am pleased that the council is able to help them with their fundraising in this way, particularly in these challenging financial times.”


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

International teachers to help develop global curriculum in schools

Teachers from around the world will be in Leeds this week to find out more about and help implement a global aspect to learning in the city’s schools.

**********MEDIA OPPORTUNITY**********
Media are invited to New Bewerley Community School to celebrate the school's international work on Wednesday 13 October at 9am. Please email or call 0113 3951577 to confirm attendance.
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Teachers from Benin (Africa), Brazil, the Czech Republic and Austria will visit different schools across the city, meet education experts, take part in workshops and get a flavour of life in Leeds and Yorkshire as part of the visit which is European funded by the Global Curriculum Project 2010 to 2012 and organised by the Leeds Development Education Centre (LDEC).

As part of the week-long visit (11-16 October), the group will go to New Bewerley Community School on Wednesday (13 October) to help celebrate the school's Millennium Development Goals awareness day, which saw the children raise money to buy Oxfam gifts relevant to the goals, which include calls for universal primary education, gender equality, empowerment of women, and the eradication of extreme poverty.

Councillor Jane Dowson, executive board member for learning at Leeds City Council, said:
"It's great that these teachers will be involved in recognising the international awareness and excellent work in Leeds - particularly at New Bewerley Community School.

“Many of our primary and secondary schools are already involved in the project and include a global dimension in teaching. I hope our international visitors take away some great ideas from their time in Leeds and pass on some of their experiences and knowledge so our children and young people benefit from their visit."

Chris Edwards, chief executive of Education Leeds, said:
"I’d like to welcome our international visitors to Leeds. This is an exciting project and a fantastic opportunity for young people to improve their academic skills and feel empowered to help change the world for the better.

"All children and young people in Leeds have the skills and ability to have a positive impact on the world and a global dimension to learning in schools helps to develop and encourage our children and young people's desire to do this."

There will be an official welcome to Leeds on Monday 11 October at The Carriageworks when the teachers and those involved in the project will be greeted by the chief executive of Education Leeds, Chris Edwards.

Other activities taking place in the week include: a reception at Leeds Trinity University on Thursday 14 October for visiting and UK teachers to meet and share ideas; a visit to Leeds Parish Church for an organ concert; a tour of Leeds; a visit to a mosque; and a trip to York. On Thursday 14 October, the teachers will find out more about the Stephen Lawrence Education Standard at a workshop at The Carriageworks.

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

Chief executive to leave Education Leeds at end of 2010

The chief executive of Education Leeds is to leave the organisation after nearly 10 years at the helm.

Chris Edwards, who joined as its chief executive when it was formed in 2001, will step down on 31 December 2010.

During his time in charge, Chris has overseen the transformation of education in the city, including better attendance and exam results and improved outcomes for children and young people. Under his guidance, numerous projects, schools and Education Leeds have all won national awards.

There have been significant improvements in GCSE results since Education Leeds was created. In 2001, 39.5 per cent of young people achieved 5A*-C GCSE’s but in 2010 that figure had increased to 75.3 per cent. The figure for 5A*-C GCSEs, including English and maths, increased from 27.5 per cent to 51.3 per cent.

Persistent absence in secondary schools is a key government measure and, over the last three years alone, Leeds has seen a decrease of 22 per cent, representing almost 1000 more young people consistently attending school.

Over the last nine years, nearly half a billion pounds has been secured from central government as Leeds competed against other local authorities for funding, including £260m of Building Schools for the Future money which has been invested in secondary schools since 2006.

The Stephen Lawrence Education Standard has achieved national recognition and been adopted by the government as a template for other local authorities and Education Leeds was listed in The Times 100 Best Companies ‘Ones To Watch’ in 2009 and recognised in the top 75 Best Company ’Public Sector’ category in 2010.

Tom Riordan, chief executive of Leeds City Council, said:
“I would like to thank Chris for his hard work and dedication to improving learning across the city during his time as chief executive of Education Leeds.

“Over the last nine years there has been a significant improvement in educational achievement in Leeds and many schools have been transformed and better attended. On behalf of everyone in Leeds, I would like to wish him the very best for the future.”

Professor Stephen Parkinson, chair of the Education Leeds Board, said:
“Chris has made an outstanding contribution to the work of Education Leeds in transforming the learning experience of young people in Leeds and the board is very grateful for his visionary leadership and commitment over the years.

“Between now and the end of December there will be several opportunities to fully record our appreciation before Chris leaves. For now, many thanks Chris for a brilliant job, well done.”

Sally Boulton, head teacher at Rothwell Haigh Road Infant School and the chair of the Leeds Head Teachers’ Forum, said:
“Chris has been an outstanding leader and a champion of the rights of children and young people within Leeds to an education of the highest quality. He has worked tirelessly to encourage head teachers and their staff to explore creatively how learning can be made real, exciting and lasting. Chris has supported, challenged and inspired school leaders across the city to go the extra mile. He will be a sorely missed colleague and advocate and we wish him every success for the future.”

Education Leeds is currently in the process of merging with Leeds City Council’s children’s services under the leadership of Nigel Richardson, Leeds City Council’s new director of children’s services.


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

VIDEO: Council leader joins taxi drivers on the Friday 'night shift'

The most senior councillor in Leeds has seen for himself some of the issues being faced by taxi drivers in the city.

Councillor Keith Wakefield joined three cab drivers on their Friday night shift so he could better understand some of the problems they encounter.

He was invited to go along in his role as leader and the executive board member with responsibility for licensing.

He witnessed private hire vehicles seemingly illegally touting for business in the city centre and breaking the law by picking up passengers outside a nightclub.

Other cars were seen parked on ranks where only hackney carriages (cabs) are allowed to wait and pick up fares.

In Headingley, Cllr Wakefield was shown a long line of private hire vehicles waiting for customers, when the licensing laws say they should return to their base once a journey has been completed.

He also saw plenty of examples of vehicles flouting the highway code by stopping on double yellow lines, at a zebra crossing and even parked on a pavement.

In the city centre, Cllr Wakefeld got to see the traffic chaos caused by the sheer number of vehicles – cabs and private hire – vying for passengers.

The drivers were also keen to discuss what they perceive to be the problem of stretch limousines operating in Leeds.

The cars ‘cruise’ the city centre offering groups of young people supposedly free lifts to various nightclubs.

Cllr Wakefield was told that the licensed trade has concerns about these types of vehicles given their size and lack of clarity for the public about what they are doing.

And, the drivers had a strong message about enforcement and called on Cllr Wakefield to ensure the council had more enforcement officers out at night.

Cllr Wakefield said:

“Tonight has been an eye-opener for me as I have been able to see first hand some of the issues and problems that cab drivers are facing.

“They have a number of genuine concerns which I have promised to look into.

“However, my biggest worry is the safety of passengers who need to better understand how the system is supposed to work.

“Getting into a private hire vehicle at the side of the road is illegal and you are unlikely to be properly insured, unless it has been booked in advance.

“That means some people could literally be taking their life in their own hands when they come home from a night out.”

For media enquiries please contact:
Andy Carter, Leeds City Council (0113) 395 0393

Notes to editors

The movie above can be downloaded by right clicking on the following link: