Friday, 21 September 2012

New community centre opens in Gipton

A new community centre in Gipton is to be named after Dame Fanny Waterman in recognition of the inspirational work she has done with the young people in the area.

The new community centre will be officially opened by Dame Fanny Waterman and Councillor Graham Hyde, Leeds City Council lead member for localism on Saturday 22nd September from 11am to 2pm.

The centre replaces the former South Gipton Community Centre and will offer the local community a new facility that consists of two meeting rooms, a hall and multi-use games area, all of which will be available to members of the local community, groups and organisations.

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All media are invited to the opening of the South Gipton Community Centre on Saturday 22 September from 11am. Representatives from Leeds City Council and Wykebeck School will be in attendance as will Dame Fanny Waterman. Please call the press office on 0113 247 4450 to arrange attendance.

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In addition to the official opening of the new community centre, the event will include live music, stalls hosted by local organisations and community groups, a sports competition and a martial arts demonstration.

The entertainment and fund raising has been arranged by Wykebeck Primary school with an aim to raise money for the designing of an outdoor learning space linking the community centre and school.

Headmistress, Jennifer Millington, said:

“It has been a tremendous privilege to have Dame Fanny Waterman at the school and for her to talk to the children about self belief and commitment to find and develop their talents - a message that connects perfectly with the school ethos.

“We wanted to mark this special visit and to encourage our children to get more involved in making music, and we are thrilled that local councillors agreed to name the new community centre after our distinguished visitor.“

Councillor Graham Hyde, Leeds City Council lead member for localism, said:

“It is excellent that the local community will be able to make use of the new resource.

“Community centres are an important asset to local areas, and it is great to see this new centre attached to a local school, allowing young people and the rest of the community to come together and make use of it. “

The centre has been funded by £518,000 from the inner east area committee.


For media enquiries, please contact;
Cat Milburn, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 4450

Leeds joins national challenge into GCSE grading errors

Leeds City Council and schools across the city are joining forces with other education authorities and national professional organisations to launch a legal challenge over the unfair grading of GCSE English papers this year.

Leeds City Council was one of the first organisations to raise concerns into the grading of GCSE English, and has been actively campaigning for the fair treatment of all students who sat the exam. Leeds has been leading a consortium involving other local authorities, schools and professional organisations calling for a judicial review on the issue.

Now, Lewisham Council, which is leading the legal challenge on behalf of the consortium, has today taken the first steps towards legal action, by issuing a formal letter to the examination regulator Ofqual and exam boards AQA and Edexcel. This letter details the consortium’s legal challenge and gives the organisations seven days to respond.

Councillor Judith Blake, Leeds City Council’s executive member responsible for children’s services, said:

“I am very disappointed that it has come to this point. The legal challenge was always our last resort. We already have over 50 other local authorities and professional organisations in the consortium as well as hundreds of individual schools, which gives massive weight to our legal challenge and proves that we are far from alone in this fight.

“From day one, we have been campaigning for all students to be treated fairly and despite the investigation by Ofqual and the work of the commons select committee no action so far has been taken to correct this injustice.

"This is an issue of fairness and nothing to do with grade inflation. We are issuing this legal challenge on behalf of all the students who we believe have been unfairly treated."

The legal challenge is being made on behalf of students nationally who would have received a grade C had their papers been marked in January, but were awarded a D because they were marked in June, because of an unprecedented change in grade boundaries. The aim of the challenge is to have these papers re-graded at the January level.


For media enquiries, please contact:

Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713