Friday, 20 April 2012

Thousand of pupils to attend their first preference primary school


Families applying for their child’s first primary school place have received good news this week after thousands of the city’s children have been told they will start their first preference school in September 2012.

A total of 84 per cent of children will attend their first preference primary school – which is the same as in 2011 - while overall 94 per cent will attend one of their three preferences (again, the same as last year). Despite the percentages being the same, there were actually 300 more children who were allocated their first preference school than last year.

The number of children not getting any of their top three preferences at primary school was six per cent, however alternative places were offered to all children who did not get any of their preferences. Families are recommended to always include their nearest school as one of their preferences and to make sure they use all three preferences to get the best chance of being offered a preferred school.

Over 9100 children will start in reception classes in Leeds in September this year, making the admissions process one of the biggest tasks in the education calendar.

This year the challenge has been even greater, as increasing pupil numbers has meant there were approximately 400 more applications made than last year.

Councillor Judith Blake, executive member responsible for children’s services said:
“For parents and carers, choosing a school for their children is one of the most important decisions they will make and I am pleased that so many children and young people will be attending their first preference school.

“In a very difficult environment this is encouraging progress and we will do everything we can to ensure parents have a full understanding of how the process works to ensure as many as possible receive one of their preferences.”

The complete primary admissions figures for September 2012/13:

7699 (84%) children were given their first preference
644 (7%)children were given their second preference
258 (3%) children were given their third preference
546 (6%) children were not able to be offered any of their preferences and were made an alternative offer.

ENDS
For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713
Email: emma.whittell@leeds.gov.uk



Shopping for ideas to brighten up the high street


Groups and organisations with ideas for regenerating the high street are being invited to apply for funds to put their ideas into practice.

Leeds City Council has been awarded £100,000 from the government through the High Street Innovation Fund to help areas blighted by empty shops and bring back entrepreneurs to communities.

The fund is part of the government’s response to the Portas Review, published last December, which came up with a series of 28 recommendations for reversing the economic decline in the high street.

The review concluded that the high street cannot rely simply on retail but needs to offer something new and different that cannot be matched by out of town shopping centres or the internet. This should include creative use of public spaces and a vibrant evening economy. It called for a series of pilots to test out new ways of doing business as well as re-imagining the role of high streets as community hubs which are about much more than shopping.

Leeds is one of a number of authorities which have applied for funding as part of a national “Portas pilot” bidding round. However the £100,000 fund just made available is in addition to this.

Applicants wishing to apply for funding have until 30th April to submit their bids to the council. The process is open to partnership organisations, business groups, town teams and economic units such as markets, but not to individuals. Bid applications must relate to the recommendations of the report and successful bidders may also be required to submit additional information in relation to their bid.

Cllr Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council’s executive member for development and economy said: “This is a chance to try out new ideas and breathe new life into our high streets. People already come into Leeds to enjoy the architecture, the culture and the nightlife as well as the shops but we want to find as many ways as possible to enrich that experience. We are looking for bids which are original and different but which have a sound business base.”

Information on how to apply for funding is available on the Leeds Initiative website: http://www.leedsinitiative.org/citycentre/page.aspx?id=21869

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For media enquiries, please contact; Annie Goodyear, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 224 3937 Email: anniegoodyear@leeds.gov.uk

New project will spruce up green space for local people

Work has started on an exciting face-lift project which will transform Armley Moor.

As part of improving the area and making it more attractive for local people there will be a number of new additions to the green space.

The first part of the project will look at widening footpaths, replacing the existing railing and installing new innovative outdoor gym equipment such as parallel bars and a ski stepper for the whole community to use.

The project has come about after the Armley Common Rights Trust were successful in securing £160,000 funding for the project from Leeds City Council and Green Leeds Ltd.

Work has started on site this month and is hoped to be completed by the end of June 2012. The council’s parks and countryside team will be carrying out the work.

Councillor Adam Ogivilie, Leeds City Council executive board member with responsibility for leisure said:

“This project will provide local residents with a well maintained greenspace which should encourage local activities and community participation.

“With this year being very much centred around sport, it will be fantastic to improve this local area and provide important green space that every community needs.”

David Bootle, Chairman of the Armley Common Right Trust said:
“Armley Moor is one of 7 plots of land that the Trust maintains for and behalf of the people of Armley. These improvements are the culmination of 7 years work and represent the positive Partnership between the Trust and LCC”


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For media enquiries, please contact;
Cat Milburn, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 4450
Email: Catherine.milburn@leeds.gov.uk