Council seeking sponsor for new social, emotional and mental health free school

Bradford Council is looking for a sponsor to run a new special free school for pupils with social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs.

The new school is being created in Bradford after the council successfully bid with partners in the district and neighbouring councils for Education and Skills Funding Agency funding.

The free school will offer whole life services based around excellent education, family care and work-life support with space for 72 pupils and a 12 bed residential facility.
Bradford Council is now inviting applications to run the new school.  The council is hosting an event this week to share its vision with prospective sponsors.

Representatives from Social Care,  Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services and neighbouring local education authorities will also be attending.

The event takes place at the Ernest Saville Room in City Hall from 10am to 1pm on Friday September 22.

Applications to run the new school can be submitted at any time before noon on November 24 this year.  The Council cannot grant a deadline extension. Any organisation wanting to submit a bid should register their interest first.

The new school is set to be built on the former Rhodesway playing fields site on Lower Grange, Bradford.

Coun Imran Khan, Bradford Council’s executive member  for education, employment and skills, said: “This new free school will play a key role in our provision for pupils with special educational needs.  We are looking for an organisation which can fulfill our vision for a school which provides  whole life services based around excellent education, family care and work-life support. We believe this school can make a real difference to the lives of young people who will benefit from this support.”

Children’s Year of Safety campaign to launch in Braithwaite and Guardhouse

The Children’s Year of Safety, an innovative child safety campaign, is set to launch in Keighley’s Guardhouse and Braithwaite neighbourhoods .

The launch will take place at the Braithwaite and Guardhouse Gala which runs from 11 am – 2pm on Saturday, September 16 at Merlin Top Academy.

Schools, organisations, residents and children are being asked to commit to six simple steps that will reduce risks of all kinds for children and help them get off to the best start in life and fulfil their potential as they grow.

The campaign’s pioneering Six Steps to Safety will be covered in schools each half-term and will be mirrored by activities in the wider community.

The first step, and the focus for the first two months of the campaign is: Children need to come to school every day, and on time.

This will be followed each half term by the other five steps:

  • 11 or under ? Be home by 8 pm for a good night’s sleep
  • Be safe online – stay up to date with what you need to know
  • Worried about a child ? – speak out, stay safe
  • Alert today, alive tomorrow – safety around roads and cars
  • Play safe in the holidays

Staff from the primary schools serving the area have worked together with Bradford Council officers and councillors, police, churches and voluntary organisations to develop the campaign.

Year 5 pupil Tiannie Jessop, from Our Lady of Victories Primary School, won a competition to design the campaign’s logo which will be used throughout the campaign. As part of her prize she met the Lord Mayor of Bradford, Cllr Abid Hussain, who will attend the campaign launch at the Gala.

John Devlin, headteacher at Our Lady of Victories Catholic Primary School, said: “Children’s safety is a top priority for us so the Year of Safety is a very exciting project. We live in a wonderful community, and by everyone working together I am confident that we can make Braithwaite and Guardhouse a really safe area for all of our children.”

Cllr Val Slater, portfolio holder for health and wellbeing, said: “Safeguarding is everybody’s responsibility. It’s great to see this initiative bringing parents, schools and community organisations together to help deliver an innovative campaign to keep children safe.”

Easier Access Event postponed

An event planned this week in City Park has been postponed due to severe weather warnings.

The 10th anniversary Easier Access event, organised by Bradford Council’s Disability Partnerships and supported by Sovereign Health Care, was due to be held on Wednesday 13 September.

But severe weather warnings of high winds have forced organisers to postpone it. They are hoping to reschedule the event to Tuesday, 3 October.

The annual event raises awareness of disability issues. It is aimed at carers, voluntary and statutory organisations and their employees, local businesses and the general public.

This year’s event will feature inclusive sports and activities, live bands, short films on the Big Screen, a climbing wall and stalls around City Park with information and advice. Over 70 different local organisations are contributing to this well loved, inclusive and valued event.

Coun Dale Smith, Co-Chair of the Strategic Disability Partnership, said: “This is not a decision we have taken likely, but it is something we have had to do on safety grounds. We look forward to holding this popular event at a later date.”

Bradford Opportunity Area is launched to boost social mobility

A programme to boost social mobility for young people across the district has been launched as Bradford became an Opportunity Area.

Bradford has been selected by the Department for Education as one of 12 areas nationally to receive extra funding to improve the life chances of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

A local partnership, including Bradford Council, will work to ensure that young people are equipped with the qualifications and skills they need to fulfill their potential.

The focus of the programme will be to ensure children and young people in every area can access high quality education and opportunities at every stage.

This work will involve a partnership between central Government, Bradford Council and other stakeholders and communities across the district.

This will include schools, academy sponsors, local and national businesses, Local Enterprise Partnerships, further education colleges, universities, the voluntary sector and more, including government backed organisations such as the Careers and Enterprise Company and National Citizen Service.

As part of the Opportunity Areas Programme, an Education Endowment Foundation research school has been established in Bradford to find the best ways of raising standards and improving education in the district.

This will be run by Dixons Academies who will gather and share evidence of best practice on social mobility to help Bradford teachers tackle this issue in their schools.

Bradford will receive a share of an extra £72 million in total which is being invested in 12 opportunity areas over the next three financial years: 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-2020.

Bradford Council leader Coun Susan Hinchcliffe said: “Giving the young people of Bradford, regardless of their background, the best possible start in life is a top priority to me, the Council and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority.  As the youngest city in the UK, Bradford has the potential to produce our region’s next generation of productive, highly skilled people, who will drive forward the growth of tomorrow.

“The Bradford Opportunity Area offer we are launching will help us to unlock that amazing potential and support our children need to achieve. By providing vital skills development we will ultimately enable young people to find fulfilling, good quality employment.

“We are delighted that the Department for Education and the Careers and Enterprise Company have recognised the strength of opportunity here in Bradford. Through this initiative, and the work we’re already doing as a Council and as a Combined Authority, I’m confident that we can make Bradford and the wider City Region a place where every young person can have a good education, a good job and a good quality of life.”

Coun Imran Khan, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Education, Employment and Skills said: “The launch of Bradford as one of the country’s Opportunity Areas is great news for the district.

“The focus of this work will help us to achieve our ambition for all our young people to have the best start in life, access a good education and achieve the qualifications they need to ensure they and the district can have a bright future.”

The 12 Opportunity Areas are Bradford, Blackpool, Derby, Norwich, Oldham, Scarborough, West Somerset; Doncaster, Fenland and East Cambridgeshire, Hastings, Ipswich and Stoke-on-Trent.

Council seeks views on the expansion of Low Ash Primary

Bradford Council is consulting on its proposed plans to enlarge Low Ash Primary School in Wrose. 

The consultation begins on Friday 8 September and runs until 20 October. A full analysis will be carried out and a report with recommendations will be made to the Executive of the Council in December 2017. 

The proposal would see the expansion of the school building to enable the Published Admission Number (PAN) to be increased from 60 to 90 pupils.  The school currently has capacity for 420 children which would rise to 630 if this proposal is agreed. 

The demand for places in this area continues to increase particularly with regard to the number of housing developments approved or awaiting a decision.  Some homes have been completed and children have been accommodated in other recently expanded schools. 

Coun Imran Khan, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Education, Employment and Skills, said:  “Low Ash Primary is a popular school and usually receives more applications than it has places for. 

“The school has adequate space for it to be expanded, and subject to the consultation and appropriate planning permission, would look to commence the increased intake with effect from September 2019.” 

The consultation is on the Council’s consultation webpage and responses can be made in various ways: 

Ends 

Contact:  Nina Mewse, Senior Provision and Places Officer, T 01274 439346. 

Notes to Editors:

The link provided  above takes you to the current consultations page.  Please scroll down to : 

Consultation on the Expansion of Low Ash Primary School in order to increase the Published Admission Number.

Tim Peake’s spacecraft to land in Bradford

The spacecraft which transported Tim Peake, the UK’s first European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut, to and from the International Space Station, will be landing at the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford for public viewing from Wednesday, 27 September 2017.

The Soyuz TMA-19M capsule, complete with equipped interior and char marks on its outer body from its re-entry into the earth’s atmosphere, will displayed along with its 25m diameter parachute.

The display of the iconic craft will be accompanied by an inspiring and immersive range of activities, including the Space Descent VR experience, narrated by Tim Peake himself.  Space Descent VR uses Samsung Gear VR headsets to recreate the experience of travelling over the International Space Station (ISS) and the incredible 250-mile journey back down to earth inside the Soyuz TMA-19M.

The VR imagery has been created by the award-winning Alchemy VR studio for the Science Museum Group, and is experienced with the latest Samsung Gear VR headsets in a bespoke VR lounge inside the museum.

The museum’s October half-term activities (21 – 29 October) will also be dedicated to Tim Peake’s Principia mission, featuring out-of-this-world experiences such as astronaut-training, taking the helm at mission control and launching self-designed rockets. And the museum’s popular series of Lates events for adults returns on 28 September with an evening of interactive space-themed entertainment.

Museum director, Jo Quinton-Tulloch, said: “The Science Museum Group acquired the Soyuz TMA-19M capsule last year, and we’re the first venue to display it outside the capital. It’s hard to express how excited we are to be bringing it to Bradford. The Soyuz capsule represents one of history’s most incredible technological feats, and this is an unmissable opportunity for visitors young and old to see the craft that took Tim Peake all the way to the Space Station and back.”

Soyuz TMA-19M carried Peake and crewmates Yuri Malenchenko and Tim Kopra in ESA Expedition 46/47 to the ISS on 15 December 2015, returning on 18 June 2016. It was acquired last year by the Science Museum Group.

Commenting on the acquisition, ESA astronaut Tim Peake said: “You do become very attached to your spacecraft because it definitely does save your life. I’m absolutely delighted that my Soyuz spacecraft, the TMA-19M, is going to be returning here to the UK and may serve, hopefully, as inspiration for our next generation of scientists and engineers.

Details of visiting arrangements and special events, including the Space Descent VR experience and half-term activities at the National Science and Media Museum will be announced at a later date.

Space Descent VR with Tim Peake and the presentation of Tim Peake’s spacecraft have been made possible with support from Samsung and the generous co-operation of Tim Peake and the European Space Agency.

Soyuz_TMA-19M_in_space

Heritage Day at Keighley Library

Visitors to Keighley can discover more about the town’s heritage at Keighley Library this coming weekend.

The annual Heritage Day at Keighley Library will take place on Saturday, 9 September.

There will be local, family, schools and military stands and this year the event will take on a musical theme reflecting Keighley’s musical heritage.

People can meet local and family history groups including Keighley Local History Society, Keighley Family History Society, Men of Worth, Keighley Schools Heritage and Airedale and Haworth writers.

At 11am there will be a special Rhymetime for children of all ages with guest presenters ‘Little Notes’.  The sing-along will feature woodwind instruments and fun and games.

From 11am until 4pm there will be music from local musicians Foxes Faux, Dayner Sim and Niamh Mirfield and Keighley group The Presidents.

There will be displays of Keighley’s musical heritage since the 1950s from the local studies library collections.

At 1pm musician and historian Gary Cavanagh author of ‘Noise of the Valleys’ will give a talk with musical clips from the CD that accompanies the book.

Coun Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Environment, Sport and Culture, said:  “People can drop in throughout the day and discover more about the heritage of the local area.”

Admission to the event is free and everyone is welcome.

30 hours update – Parents who have applied for a code but not received one

The DfE has informed the LA that a small number of parents who have applied before 31 August may receive their 30 hours code between 1 and 14 September, because HMRC required additional information before determining their eligibility (‘amber’ cases).

In these circumstances, providers should be satisfied that a parent applied for a 30 hour code by 31 August before offering a 30 hours place. For example, a parent might demonstrate that they applied before 31 August through sharing the information contained within their childcare account mailbox and secure message that will state when they were identified as an amber case, and the date they received the message.

Bradford LA will fund a 30 hours place for these parents for the autumn term where they have received a code from HMRC with a validity start date after 31 August and up to 14 September.

As previously advised, a parent can reserve a place for their child the term after their third birthday with their chosen provider prior to their code being checked, but the code must be checked via the Funded Hours Checker before the child can take up their funded place. If providers choose to allow parents to start the place prior to validating the code, it will be at the provider’s own risk should the parent prove to be ineligible.

The DfE has also stated that the childcare service helpline is now able to provide a temporary code to eligible parents experiencing on-going technical issues. Please encourage parents to contact the helpline on 0300 123 4097, who will check eligibility and provide them with a code if they qualify for 30 hours in the event that they cannot resolve their issue with their on-line application.

Join us in Barkerend at the Eid Themed Party

An Eid themed street party is set to take place on Thursday, 24 August transforming a local street into an outdoor fun arena.  Activities include face painting, mehndi, activities and games, information stalls and much more!

The street party will be held at Folkestone Street, Barkerend, BD3 between 11am and 3pm.

This is a partnership event with Bradford Council Youth Service, Neighbourhoods Team and Better Start Bradford.

For more information, please email: saboor.ghazi@bradford.gov.uk

Malaika’s Story…

 

When you first meet seven-year-old Malaika Azeem from Bradford, she appears to be a healthy little girl. But at only a few weeks old, Malaika was diagnosed with life-limiting Congenital Heart Disease, a condition that causes increased heart rate, shortness of breath, chest pain and mobility problems. Malaika is in need of round the clock care that often leaves mum Sanam struggling to cope.

Malaika also suffers from frequent cyanosis, which causes poor oxygenation of the blood, otherwise known as ‘blue episodes’, for which she requires immediate hospitalisation. For mum Sanam, the past six years have been a constant battle to find support for the family.

She explains:

“The last 12 months have been really stressful for us all. In January last year, Malaika underwent open-heart surgery and doctors were unsure as to whether she’d pull through. After the operation, I cared for Malaika myself, changing her tracheotomy at home, as well as managing her physiotherapy. Since then, she has had several severe blue episodes and endured repeated hospital stays.

“I’m lucky to have the support of my parents and sister, who live close by, but there are very few people I would trust with Malaika’s care. Although I’ve previously tried to access different services in Bradford, there are few who really understand Malaika’s condition. Because she looks normal, people don’t understand.”

The challenge of caring for Malaika 24 hours a day, seven days a week is made more difficult as Sanam must juggle Malaika’s needs with those of her three sisters. Nimrah 13, Romesa 10, and Saira 3. For them, family life revolves around Malaika’s medical care, meaning that weekend activities and time out together are almost impossible.

Sanam explains further.

“Planning outings is a huge struggle. In the past, when we’ve been out and about, Malaika has fallen or become ill, so when I’m looking at places to go I have to consider where is suitable for her, and what might happen if she is ill away from home.

“I often feel guilty not being able to spend time with the other children. They sometimes get upset at the amount of attention I give Malaika, but when she falls ill, they understand why she needs me so much. My eldest, Nimrah, acts as a mother, sister and friend. She will help to wash and change Malaika and is a huge support to me. I’ve always tried to be honest with them all about the reality of Malaika’s condition and we take each day as it comes.”

Sanam self-referred Malaika to Martin House in the summer of 2015, and was overjoyed when the family were invited to a special tour prior to their first stay: After their first stay at Martin House in November last year, the Bradford family are hopeful that, with the right support, life can become a little more manageable.

“Malaika loved her first visit to the hospice. When we got there she didn’t know where to look first, and was so excited saying, “look at this, look at that”. She didn’t want to come home at all! Before our first proper stay in November, Malaika had been very ill and I was barely sleeping. The stay came at just the right time for both of us.”

“The time we spent at Martin House was an extraordinary experience. It was so good to get away from everything. Going to the hospice gives me the chance to talk to other parents and realise I’m not alone – their children might have different needs but we are all in the same boat. I don’t need sympathy; it’s so wonderful to be able to speak to people who understand.”

“When I talk to people about the hospice, they assume it’s all about end of life care. But Martin House do everything. Malaika loves to sing, and when she last stayed, she made a CD of her singing nursery rhymes and other songs. When I listened to it, I was in tears! It’s building up these memories that’s so special, all the little things that we do together that mean so much.”

Malaika2