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Top attendance figures for two local schools

A North Yorkshire primary school and a secondary school from Lincolnshire are among some of the best in the country when it comes to attendance records. The Department of Education has published statistics on absence for the 2011-12 academic year.

And they show that Great Ouseburn Community Primary School is fifth in the table of primary schools with the best attendance records in England, and Caistor Grammor School in Lincolnshire ninth in the table of Secondary schools.

Almost 60,000 fewer children were persistently absent from school last year. The decline follows the Government’s decision to lower the persistent absence threshold from 20 per cent of school missed to 15 per cent of school missed so that heads can step in earlier to tackle problems.

If children are are not in school they cannot learn. Too many children are still missing too many lessons. We must continue to tackle poor attendance and make sure every pupil gets a good education.

– Department of Education spokesperson


Overhaul announced for two Sheffield schools

Sheffield City Council is backing plans to rebuild two primary schools. Fox Hill Primary on Powey Road will be rebuilt on the same site as the existing school. The old school will then be demolished.

Prince Edward Primary School, on City Road, will also be rebuilt on part of the existing school site and part of a cleared Council housing site. The future of the cleared site will be discussed at a later date.

Pupils will be able to continue with their studies in both cases and will have minimal disruption while work is carried out. All staff will retain their jobs as well.

"It is great to be able to rebuild these two schools that need lots of improvements. Research has shown a good educational environment improves educational attainment and behaviour."

– Councillor Jackie Drayton


Ofsted release findings into school standards

One in five students attend a good or outstanding school in Barnsley Credit: Calendar

Only one in five children in Barnsley is attending a good or outstanding secondary school.

It is not much better news in Bradford, according to a report out today by Ofsted. The two authorites came bottom of a table showing the percentages of pupils attending good or outstanding secondary schools in their local authority.

And Wakefield was amongst the worst when it came to primary education. Ofsted's chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw says children are victims of a postcode lottery in gaining a decent education.

Children abused at school

A report has revealed that the number of allegations of physical and sexual child abuse in schools has risen.

In the past three academic years (2008-2011) there has been a 19% increase and in that time dismissals have increased by 66% and suspensions by 41%.

The report is entitled "Safe from Harm".

It was undertaken by a legal research company looking at the effectiveness of legislation that was introduced to protect children in the wake of the murders of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman.

Freedom of Information requests were sent to all 152 LEAs in England and the key findings include:

  • In the past three schools years a total of 9,048 allegations of physical and sexual child abuse have been made against staff with and without Qualified Teaching Status (QTS).
  • This has resulted in 1,355 suspensions and 866 dismissals of staff with and without QTS.
  • only 10% of these allegations resulted in dismissal and of those suspended, 64% were dismissed.

In Yorkshire and the Humber 714 allegations were made against staff with and without QTS between 2008 and 2011. 172 staff were suspended during that time with 63 members of staff being dismissed.

The information collated from the report supports my concern that there are still too many people gaining access to children, for their own iniquitous behaviour. I am equally concerned that some LEAs were unable to provide us with this data as they do not record these statistics.

– Malcolm Underhill, IBB Solicitors, who represents victims of child abuse

This Report lays out important issues in a balanced manner and we hope it will be used to promote public debate - when 10% of allegations which are reported result in dismissals we have to be concerned. What happens in the other 90% of cases? The likelihood is reprimands, retraining, employment warnings, poor practice, as well as unsubstantiated claims. This is not scaremongering - parents are entitled to know the answers where it's their children who are involved. We have to go beyond the era when questions were not asked and children had no voice.

– Jan Cosgrove, National Secretary of Fair Play for Children,
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