Carr Infants in Acomb and Lord Deramore’s in Heslington bid for Government cash

York Press: Coun Janet Looker Coun Janet Looker

HOPES are high that two York primary schools could receive Government cash in 2014 to rebuild or refurbish their buildings.

City of York Council’s cabinet member for education and children’s services, Coun Janet Looker, said the authority has bids in to the Department of Education to build a new school on the same site at Carr Infants in Acomb and a bid in to rebuild or significantly refurbish Lord Deramore’s in Heslington.

Coun Looker said the council was awaiting final confirmation from the Government and hoped that the two building projects would join building work at both Fulford and Huntington secondary schools as projects that will go ahead in 2014.

Looking back at the year gone by for education and children’s services in York, Coun Looker said: “It’s been quite a rollercoaster year.

“Strategically we have had to deal with two of our primary schools becoming academies – Robert Wilkinson in Strensall and Haxby Road. We are confident we will continue to work very closely with both schools in their new status, but it is something we have had to handle and deal with.

“We have also lost our director of children’s services, Pete Dwyer who went to work in North Yorkshire, and in the New Year his replacement as interim director, Kevin Hall, will go to work as director in East Yorkshire. One of the big things we hope to achieve before the end of the year is to appoint the new director. We have had some good-quality applicants and have been interviewing.”

Coun Looker said the year had seen several new head teachers starting who had already settled in to their posts. She said that the council was also working to create the York Challenge across all schools with the goal of ensuring that by 2015, 90 per cent of schools would be rated good or outstanding by Ofsted. On children’s services, Coun Looker said the council was continuing to see a fall in the number of looked-after children in care with the city’s foster-care service continuing to flourish.

Coun Looker said: “We have come through quite a tricky period in the department, but I’m feeling quite positive and, when we get our new director in post, we will be able to move forward.”

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