A fair and affordable city for everyone
Education – every school a good school
York has for many years had very high quality schools and education services. However, along with elsewhere in the country, our education system is now under pressure from Government policies, the fragmentation caused by academisation and serious underfunding (both of schools and Council support services) which is now leading to bigger class sizes, cuts to subject choices and cuts to teaching posts. There is also a target based culture and increasingly narrow curriculum which puts huge pressure on children and teachers.
York also struggles with a particularly bad ‘attainment gap’ between the good results achieved by the majority of school students and the relatively small group at the bottom of the results table struggling to gain qualifications.
- Support York’s ‘family’ of schools in every possible way to maintain high standards for all children and all schools.
- Invest in continued support for the sharing of experience and expertise between schools in the city.
- Work with children, young people, parents and teachers to promote our positive vision for education. This includes: every school a good school; schools close to where people live; a curriculum for life rather than league tables and too much emphasis on exams; school curriculums should include the arts, sciences, history and languages – as well as social skills, emotional literacy, outdoor activity, citizenship, environmental education and practical life skills.
- Provide additional funding where possible to the Schools Well Being Service which supports schools dealing with what has been described as an ‘epidemic’ of mental health problems amongst children and young people.
- Restore funding where possible to the central support services the Council provides to schools, including well-resourced Special Educational Needs services and a schools music service accessible to all students.
- Re-instate a ‘Sustainable Schools Network’ in the city to encourage environmental awareness and community building eg. through grow and eat schemes, waste reduction and recycling and working in local communities and green spaces.
- Ensure that there is adequate provision for new schools on development sites in the Local Plan and ensure all schools have active School Travel Plans.
- Continue to support York Learning to deliver a wide range of adult education courses and look at improving access for people on low incomes.