Students honour Remembrance Day with memorial wall tribute

Students from Bradford’s Pupil Referral Units create artwork in the car park at Belle Vue Barracks for Remembrance Day.

YOUNG people from Bradford’s Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) have been working to create a lasting memorial to those who died in the nation’s world wars. SkillForce, a national education charity, has been working in partnership with the PRU to develop the skills of students from the local area, delivering a uniformed services qualification to help them learn teamwork.

Part of the course was to take part in a Remembrance project, which was designed by the students.

Over the past few days they have been creating a poignant, remembrance themed permanent memorial on a wall at Belle Vue Barracks on Manningham Lane.

They designed the mural themselves, and have spent three weeks designing, planning and creating the poignant image.

Lead instructor Alex Young said: “I am extremely proud of the student’s hard work and efforts and they should be very proud of themselves.”

Eight sites being considered to house new school for expelled pupils

 

COUNCILLORS are being asked to decide which of eight sites across the district will be best to convert into a new school for up to 100 expelled pupils.

The hunt is on for a site for a new pupil referral unit that will teach secondary school pupils “outside of mainstream schools” and the authority is looking at sites in Bradford, Shipley abd Keighley as possible locations for the project.

So far the preferred site is the former Bolling Special School site in Bowling, which has been empty since 2011, as the most suitable location, but all eight possible sites will go before the Council’s children’s scrutiny committee for consideration on Tuesday.

Last year some councillors had raised concerns that the unit being set up at the Bolling site was a foregone conclusion, which prompted the director of children’s services, Michael Jameson, to promise the Council would look at several different options.

The committee will hear that the next most suitable site, the former Branshaw special school in Keighley, could cost £2 million because of the site’s decrepit state.

Pupils who have been expelled from schools are taught in a mostly vocational environments, in numerous locations across the district. But recent changes to Government legislation means that they have to be provided with a more classroom-based education.

To achieve this, the Council has had to rent classroom space, but officers have now drawn up a shortlist of possible sites based on criteria that they are Council-owned, could accommodate up to 100 pupils, would be able to open in a short time period and could be refurbished for less than £430,000. It would also have to be near public transport links.

The other six possible sites are the Edwards Rainbow Centre inHolme Wood, which was a community centre until six months ago, the Scotchman Road Activity Centre in Manningham, which officers say has attracted the interest of a community consortium, the Brunswick Road Hostel in Greengates, which is used by the Children Social Care team, The Looked After Children building inWindhill, soon to be vacated, Reliance Works in Shipley, a vacant industrial unit and Unit 1 124 Dockfield Road, Shipley, an industrial building next to the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.

The report says: “The former Bolling Special School site appears to be the most suitable. The next highest scoring building is the former Branshaw Special School in Keighley. Conversion of this site would cost in excess of £2 million. Placing the unit in Keighley would increase the length of journeys to and from school for the majority of pupils.”

Cllr Ralph Berry said: “We are trying to make sure we have good enough accommodation, for the new requirements for teaching these pupils maths and English. It will complement the customised needs of particular pupils.”

The committee meets at City Hall at 4.30pm.

 

Keighley option rejected as site is found for new pupil referral unit

A FORMER special school site in Keighley has been rejected as the location for a new pupil referral unit.

The now-derelict Branshaw plot, which closed five years ago as part of a major reorganisation of special education in the district, was on an eight-strong shortlist.

But councillors have opted instead for the former Bolling Special School site in Bradford, which has been empty since 2011.

Bradford Council’s children’s scrutiny committee heard Branshaw was the ‘second favourite’ option for housing the new unit, which will cater for up to 100 expelled pupils.

But a report said conversion of the site would cost more than £2 million, and placing the unit in Keighley would increase the length of journeys to and from school for most pupils.

Councillors were told although Bolling no longer served as a special school, it was in a good state of repair.

Pupils expelled from schools are currently taught in mostly vocational environments, in numerous locations across the district.

Site is selected for new school for expelled pupils

A FORMER special school site has been recommended as the best option to house a new pupil referral unit which will be used to educate secondary age pupils who have been expelled.

Bolling Special School in Bowling was selected as the best option from a list of eight potential sites by councillors sitting on the children’s scrutiny committee.

They heard the proposals had the backing of two other schools in the area, which would work in co-operation with the new unit to offer vocational education to help pupils move into work.

Community Consultation over School

The East Bolling community will soon be consulted on Council plans to turn a former special school into a school for expelled children.

The former Bolling School (pictured) off Bowling Hall Road has been chosen as the preferred site for a new pupil referral unit by Bradford councillors. The council needed a site that was council owned, able to be re-developed in a short space of time for less than £500,000 and could handle up to 100 students.

Councillor Ralph Berry, portfolio holder for Children’s Services, said: “Our Scrutiny Committee looked in detail at a range of options that could provide additional teaching space for pupils from Bradford District PRU. They have recommended the Bolling Special School site as the preferred option for development.

“The decision was based on this site being able to provide the most effective space, and safest environment and the best value for money for the district.

“Consultation and information sharing with the local community is part of the next step.”

Site being sought in Bradford for new school for expelled pupils

BRADFORD Council is searching for a site to set up a new specialist school to teach pupils who have been expelled from mainstream education.

But it has stressed that setting up the facility will involve proper public consultation, after fears arose that a site in Dudley Hill had already been chosen without people in the area being informed.

The Council needs to provide a new pupil referral unit after a recent change in Government policy, which now focuses more on excluded pupils learning more academic subjects in a classroom setting, as opposed to more vocational skills they are currently taught.

There had been concerns that the former Bolling School School off Rooley Lane had already been chosen for the school.

But Michael Jameson, the strategic director of children’s services, has insisted the authority will look at a number of different options.

The Bolling Special School site is near both Bradford Academy and Oastler special school, and documents presented to Bradford School’s Forum confirm that discussions had “led to the proposed development of the Bolling site for classroom delivery.”

During a debate about the future of pupil referral units, the forum was also told that a new site was needed as soon as possible, as there was not enough places for expelled pupils to learn academic subjects.

Councillor Lyn Smith spoke at the meeting as a governor of Oastler School.

She said: “There has been no discussion with Oastler School about these plans, and the school would also be exceedingly close to Bradford Academy which also, to the best of my knowledge, has not been consulted.

“These plans are not in the public domain in any way.”

The forum was assured there would be a consultation into the provision, and after the meeting Cllr Smith said she was happy that public would be given more information, adding: “I just wanted to make sure this consultation was properly worked through.”

Mr Jameson, the strategic director of children’s services, said: “The Government’s guidelines for Pupil Referral Units changed in 2013.

“PRUs now have offer pupils a broader curriculum which includes basic skills in English, maths, science and RE and not just a vocational curriculum.

“So we can deliver this, the PRU management committee approved the head teacher’s plan to develop the staffing complement so that qualified teachers are able to provide a curriculum consistent with national requirements.

“We are exploring a range of suitable sites to provide the education the children deserve of which the proposed Bolling site could be one, but no decision on this has yet been made.”

Councillor Ralph Berry, the executive member for children’s services, said: “We need to make sure the facilities and the location are appropriate for this group of young people who we need to work with in an intensive way.

“We will have a review of the best possible locations and the sites that are available.

“The number of pupils it will take is part of what has to be worked out.”