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Popular school farm announces closure
TRUSTEES at a community farm have made the ‘very difficult’ decision to close the venue due to the current financial climate.
Grimethorpe Community Farm, based on the grounds of Milefield Primary School - which operated as a foodbank as well as helping schoolchildren and people with disabilities connect with nature - will have its animals relocated.
Coun Jeff Ennis, who is also the chair of the farm’s steering group, told the Chronicle he was ‘very...
SEND school gets councillor’s approval
PLANS to turn a former youth centre into a school for kids with special educational needs has been backed by a local councillor.
An application was submitted earlier this week to change the use of the former Worsbrough Youth Centre, based on Ardsley Road, into a school which would cater for 24 key stage three children.
If approved the school, which will be known as West Riding School, will bring 12 new full-time members of...
School’s staff absences prompts year group closures
OUTWOOD Academy Carlton leaders were forced to close two year groups this week due to ‘exceptional levels of staff absence’ - prompting parents to slam the decision.
Parents and guardians of kids in year eight and year nine weren’t told until 2.30pm that their children would be learning from home for the rest of the week.
In a letter to parents, principal Paul Haynes said: “The health, safety and welfare of our students, staff, families...
Headteacher lauds school’s turnaround
A HEADTEACHER has praised his school’s remarkable turnaround having turned its fortunes around.
Birdwell Primary received a ‘good’ rating from Ofsted - just three years after being placed in the education watchdog’s ‘requires improvement’ category.
Headteacher Steve Honeyman, who took over the school last September, said: “I have witnessed first-hand the dedication and passion of everyone within the Birdwell community.
“The school has been on a journey over the past few years and it is...
Schools’ road safety set to be boosted
TWELVE primary schools across Barnsley could see 20mph signs placed outside them in a bid to improve road safety for children.
At last week’s full council meeting, the issue around road safety arose following previous plans put forward to Barnsley Council’s ruling cabinet members.
Coun Steve Hunt, who represents Darton East with the Lib Dems, said: “An additional £2m of highways investment was included within the 2022/23 budget.
“This was for highways safety measures including...
Good marks for primary school
A DEARNE primary academy are celebrating its latest ‘good’ Ofsted report.
Highgate Primary Academy, under the wing of the Astrea Academy Trust, received the rating following an inspection in October.
Inspectors praised leaders at all levels and highlighted the school’s values.
Devinder Riat, principal of the school on Nicholas Lane, said: “I am pleased that Ofsted recognise that our school continues to be good.
“This was made possible by the supportive parents and carers we...
£25m school plan approved
PLANS to build a new £25m school - which will house up to 900 students - was approved despite serious concerns raised by councillors.
Trinity Academy St Edward’s will move from its temporary home on Eastgate in the town centre to Broadway, Kingstone.
According to a report, it will open in September 2024 and have 90 staff, catering for youngsters aged between 11 and 16.
The proposed school - which has faced considerable delays since...
Councils to submit joint bid for special school
BARNSLEY and Sheffield City Council will this month submit a joint bid to the Department for Education - worth up to £15m - for a new 200-place special school.
It was revealed this week, in a Sheffield City Council report, a joint bid will be submitted for a free special school in the north of Sheffield - though the exact location of the site has yet to be confirmed.
It will offer kids with autism...
Ex-youth hub to become SEND school
A FORMER youth centre is to be repurposed into a ‘much-needed’ facility which will cater for 40 youngsters with special educational needs and disabilities to reduce costly out-of-borough placements, the Chronicle can reveal.
Plans unveiled this week show Elmhirst Youth Centre, in Worsbrough, will undergo a £1.3m refurbishment ahead of its reopening, which will include a new multi-use games area, interior remodelling, classroom extensions and ramped access.
The Department for Education allocated Barnsley £3.82m for...
Refugees given school places
ALMOST a dozen school places have been offered to young Ukrainian refugees in Barnsley, new figures have revealed.
Figures from the Department for Education show at least 11 Ukrainian pupils have been offered a school place in the town.
Separate date from the Home Office show 79 refugees had been given visas in Barnsley under the Homes for Ukraine scheme, 45 of which have already arrived in the town.
Record-breaking numbers relying on free school meals
A RECORD-BREAKING number of children in Barnsley are on free school meals, shocking new figures have revealed.
Statistics, revealed by the Department for Education, show that 9.593 children in Barnsley were eligible for free schools meals in January.
It equates to more than 27 per cent of all state school pupils across the borough.
They’re the highest figures on record, up from 26.1 per cent the year before.
In state-funded special schools, more than 52...
New school set to secure permission
PLANNING permission for a new £25m, 900-pupil school is set to be approved next week.
Trinity Academy St Edward’s will move from its temporary home on Eastgate in the town centre to Broadway, Kingstone, with the green light set to be given by planning board members on Tuesday.
According to a report, it will open in September 2024 and have 90 staff, catering for youngsters aged between 11 and 16.
The proposed school - which...
Once-troubled school’s turnaround secures award nomination
MILEFIELD Primary School in Grimethorpe has undoubtedly been on a huge journey over recent years.
Following an Ofsted inspection in November 2019 that stated ‘the school was going through a period of turbulence’ and ‘expectation for pupils are not high enough’, it now could not be any further from that position.
The transformation is so dramatic that it’s gone from being one of the lowest-performing schools in the borough, year-on-year, to now be in a...
School marks 150th anniversary
WEDNESDAY marked the end of a very special school year for Cawthorne School and its 160 pupils.
For 150 years, the school has stood at the heart of the village and 2022 has seen lots of creativity and hard work go into celebrating this wonderful milestone.
This is no ordinary school having been the focal point of the village, serving the community and educating children and families for generations.
And it continues to be remembered...
Kids’ education outcomes ‘top priority’ for schools’ alliance
WORK to improve thousands of school pupils’ education outcomes will become a key priority for a borough-wide alliance over the next three years, it was revealed this week.
A refreshed strategy was agreed by Barnsley Council’s ruling cabinet members on Wednesday after councillors discussed the plight of the town’s 92 state-funded schools and 246 registered early years settings.
Barnsley - which ranks as the 60th most-deprived local authority out of 317 - performs well up...
MP criticises schools’ sex education policies
A BARNSLEY MP has slammed the way some schools teach ‘wildly inaccurate’ and ‘misleading information’ regarding sex education to young children.
Miriam Cates, MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge, last year sparked controversy when she said that saying ‘trans women are women’ would be ‘erasing women’s rights’ and is ‘not acceptable’.
In a debate in Parliament, Ms Cates spoke of groups that were teaching ‘dangerous and contested, extreme ideologies that do not have a basis in...
Team GB sprinter stops off at school
PUPILS in Bolton-upon-Dearne were visited by a Team GB sprinter on Wednesday.
Sports For Champions, a community interest organisation, is trying to replenish Lacewood Primary School’s budget and has set up a fundraiser in their name.
James Dasaolu, a 200m sprinter for Team GB, went along to the school, and donations can still be made ahead of the event on the Crowdfunder website.
Award for primary school
A BARNSLEY primary school is celebrating after being presented with the ‘Centre of Excellence for Physical Activity’ award by the director of Yorkshire Sports.
Burton Road Primary School were handed the accolade last month after their work gained recognition from outside of the town.
The school received a plaque and are continuing with their work, led by sports teacher Andy Hawksworth.
He said: “We’ve set up a provision to get inter-school competitions up and running...
School continues its rise up Ofsted rankings
A PRIMARY academy has continued its climb up the Ofsted rankings.
Laithes Primary Academy, in Smithies, has been rated as ‘good’ across the board by the education watchdog, with its early years provision singled out as ‘outstanding’.
The academy, said headteacher Georgina Fletcher, has been on a ‘journey’ over the last decade.
Its predecessor school, prior to Laithes becoming an academy, was put in special measures in May 2014.
The school was then rated as...
‘Unlikely’ bats will scupper school’s build
IT is ‘unlikely’ hibernating bats found in a site set for demolition will entirely prevent a new £25m school on the edge of the town centre being built.
At last Thursday’s full council meeting, Dodworth ward’s Coun Peter Fielding raised a question regarding ‘at least’ a 12-month delay for plans to build the all-new Trinity Academy St Edward’s on a former NHS site on Broadway.
Pupils are being temporarily housed at a former Barnsley College...
Staff absence closes three schools
THREE Barnsley schools were partially closed on Tuesday due to staffing capacity.
Outwood Academy Carlton closed to year eight students due to ‘exceptional levels of staff absence’ - and it’s been closed since.
A letter sent to parents and carers by principal Paul Haynes said: “The health, safety and welfare of our students, staff, families and the community are at the forefront of the decisions we make as a school.
“It is with regret that...
Councillors discuss schools’ road safety work
‘MAJOR’ progress in road safety across the borough - including plans for all schools to be assessed to see if 20mph zones will keep kids safer - was discussed by councillors this week.
During Tuesday’s overview and scrutiny meeting, councillors were given an update on the progress against all the recommendations which were made at the end of 2020.
These included assessing all Barnsley schools to see if a 20mph zone will ensure safer journeys,...
Horizon schoolboys make history by winning national final on penalties at Hawthorns
HORIZON School under 14s have made history by becoming the first school team from Barnsley to win the Elite National Final.
Three weeks after Barnsley FC lost 4-0 at The Hawthorns, home of West Bromwich Albion, in their final Championship game before dropping into League One, the Horizon team beat St Peter’s from Gloucester on penalties there in front of about 1,000 spectators.
It has been a superb season for the team, who also won...
Barnsley Schools hoping to make history in final at Stoke City
BARNSLEY Schoolboys under 14s are hoping to make more history when they play in the English Schools FA national final at Stoke City’s ground on Friday morning.
They are due to face Aldershot from 11.30pm, after becoming the first town team to reach a national final in 24 years.
Jimmy Whitehead, who has coached the team for four years, said: “I’m so so proud of what they have done.
“It’s a culmination of four years...
Trade union criticised by school
A TRADE union responsible for representing kitchen staff at a Barnsley school has been criticised for its ‘aggressive’ approach in a row over a proposed new wage structure.
Unison spoke out regarding Churchfield Primary School, in Cudworth, whose ruling body - Waterton Academy Trust - announced its intention to remove a school holiday retention payment from its kitchen staff.
Churchfield, on Snydale Road, transferred from Barnsley Council’s control to the trust - which runs schools...
School’s new sports hall dedicated to late teacher
A HIGH school sports hall has been dedicated to a former teacher and chairman of Penistone Cricket Club.
Penistone Grammar School’s sports hall was re-unveiled last Friday evening in a ceremony which saw former and current teachers come together to honour a much-missed former colleague.
Steve ‘Reido’ Reid died aged 70 in April last year after a battle with prostate cancer, and was a former head of PE and head of sixth form.
A plaque...
Barnsley Schools reach national final for first time in 24 years
BARNSLEY Schoolboys have a team in a national final for the first time since 1998 and the first time ever at under 14s level.
They beat Wirrall 4-3 away in the semi-final this week and will now take on reigning champions Aldershot and Farnborough in the final which is due to be played at Stoke City’s ground in late May.
Barnsley Schoolgirls under 12s are also due to compete in the finals there after winning...
Judge lays down the law at school
THE most senior judge in England and Wales paid a visit to a Barnsley secondary school to encourage better understanding of the justice system.
Lord Chief Justice, Lord Ian Burnett of Maldon, visited Barnsley Academy in Kendray on Wednesday to give a talk about the work of judges, the justice system, and the rule of law.
Conducted as part of the Schools Engagement Programme involving judges across the country, the students - from years ten,...
Schools prepared for return to remote learning
SCHOOLS are prepared for a return to remote learning in the new year but the emphasis is still on face-to-face learning, according to Barnsley Council.
While national Covid rates soar as a result of the new Omicron variant, Barnsley’s average has remained consistent since a spike in early October.
But the Chronicle understands schools and ruling trusts - amid speculation of a return to more stringent lockdown measures - have contacted parents and staff over...
School’s turnaround complete...
A SCHOOL with a tumultuous history - leading to significant transformation and a name change - is celebrating its best Ofsted result in more than a decade.
Oakwell Rise Primary Academy, which opened in February 2017 on the site of the former Doncaster Road Primary School, has been hailed by the education watchdog for being ‘transformed’ since it was given academy status.
The predecessor school was nominated for a Proud of Barnsley award in 2014...
School’s long-awaited library opens
SPECIAL guests officially opened a school’s long-awaited library last week having gone without for five years.
Local author and award-winning journalist, Michelle Rawlins, cut the ribbon at Penistone Grammar School last Tuesday evening - unveiling the new library.
The evening included speeches from Michelle and Sheffield author Nik Perring, along with the two authors presenting awards for the finalists and winners of the school’s poetry competition.
Students Flynn Rodgers, from year eight, Rosie Barnes, year...
New school plan hit by fresh delay
PLANS to build a £25m school on the edge of the town centre which has been snagged by delays have been set back again, the Chronicle can reveal.
Trinity Academy St Edward’s was set to open a temporary venue for 180 year seven students on September 1 last year on the grounds of a former NHS site near Broadway, Kingstone, where the all-new school is set to be built.
Its kids are currently being housed...
Long-awaited £25m school plan breaks cover
LONG-AWAITED planning consent is being sought for a new £25m school in order to cater for growing demand on the outskirts of the town centre - despite concerns over pupils’ road safety.
Trinity Academy St Edward’s was set to open a temporary venue for 180 year seven students on September 1 this year on the grounds of a former NHS site near Broadway, Kingstone.
However, its kids are being temporarily housed at a Barnsley College...
Damning inspection report for school
A SCHOOL that’s in the ‘early stages’ of improvement has been judged as having serious weaknesses - but leaders are confident they can turn things around.
Staff at Dodworth St John the Baptist Primary Academy say the timing of its latest Ofsted inspection and Covid’s impact on plans for school development have played a part in the verdict, which sees the school drop into the lowest inspection category after previously being rated as requiring improvement....
School defends toilet closure decision
A SCHOOL forced to close several toilets due to students setting off fire alarms by smoking electronic cigarettes has dismissed a petition - which has amassed almost 1,000 signatures - that claims all but a few toilets have been ‘locked’.
The petition, said Horizon Community College principal Claire Huddart, misses out key pieces of information - that students ‘vaping’ has led to staff having to cancel fire alarms before South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue is...
MP welcomes pledge for in-school counsellors
A PLEDGE to put counsellors in Barnsley schools thanks to ‘vital’ funding has been welcomed by an MP who’s campaigned for better mental health and wellbeing support for kids.
John Healey’s survey of local schools in 2018 found nearly all had seen mental health worsen.
He took local headteachers to see the schools minister, which helped win £1.7m from the government for extra mental health support.
John, who represents Wentworth and Dearne, said: “The number...
Traffic chaos ‘needs to stop’ outside schools...
PARENTS and carers have been urged to consider their actions and avoid a repeat of recent ‘traffic chaos’ ahead of Barnsley kids’ return to schools from next week by road safety bosses.
With a new academic year set to begin for many on Monday in a phased approach - with some returning the week after - pupils across the borough will be heading back to classrooms after their summer break.
Traffic matters which have affected...
Schools take part in anti-speeding scheme
THREE primary schools will be surrounded by 20mph zones as part of a pilot scheme aiming to tackle growing community concerns over dangerous roads.
Highgate Primary Academy and Goldthorpe Primary Academy - on Nicholas Lane and Doncaster Road, Goldthorpe, respectively - and Carrfield Primary Academy in Bolton-upon-Dearne are planned to have 20mph signs in place by September when the new year starts.
Wentworth and Dearne MP John Healey, who campaigned for the initiative alongside local...
New school’s planning a ‘shambles’
A TEMPORARY school which is set to open in the borough for two years while a 900-place venue is built has been labelled a ‘shambles’ by a councillor after a last-minute site change was revealed.
Trinity Academy St Edward’s, which had planning permission to build a temporary home on Broadway, Kingstone, while a permanent building is constructed on the same site will now be housed in Eastgate House in the town centre due to ‘unforeseen...
Children do their bit for Australia
CHILDREN from a Worsbrough primary school were so touched by the news of the spreading Australian wildfires that they begged for a chance to help donate money to the cause.
Pupils from The Mill Academy, Lobwood, asked their teachers how they could help after they saw news coverage of the Australian bushfires which have raged for more than a month.
Spurred on by their pupils’ enthusiasm, the head of the school, Tamara Gulliver, organised a...
Education at secondary is ‘much weaker’
PRIMARY school pupils in Barnsley are excelling academically but the town’s secondaries have been found to be ‘much weaker’ than their national counterparts, an Ofsted study has revealed.
The education watchdog’s annual report, which looks at schools’ attainment and inspection outcomes, reveals just 40 per cent of the borough’s secondary schools are good or outstanding-rated.
This puts Barnsley at the bottom of the Yorkshire and Humber league table, as of August 31 last year, and...
Every school in borough hit by Covid cases
EVERY secondary school in Barnsley has been affected by coronavirus cases this month - with almost 40 schools across the borough being forced to close a bubble.
Coronavirus cases in Barnsley are rapidly rising, due to both the Delta variant and the recent relaxation in restrictions, but the rise in cases in youngsters across the borough is becoming increasingly concerning.
Less than two months ago, on May 17, the rate for 15 to 19 year...
School rocked by Covid outbreak
A MASS testing programme has urgently been brought in at a Covid-hit school after cases quadrupled in a week and further disrupted youngsters’ learning, the Chronicle can reveal.
Penistone Grammar leaders described their frustration at rising rates having recorded 52 new cases.
The school - which had just 13 cases up to June 20 - now has quadruple that figure which led to a mass testing programme being brought in this week to halt the...
Next generation fighting against fly-tipping
PUPILS at a primary school are campaigning that something be done at a fly-tipping hot spot in their village.
Children from Goldthorpe Primary School regularly go out with their litter pickers cleaning up the green spaces around the school, but this week they came across a huge pile of discarded white goods in a lay-by on Doncaster Road.
The school takes great pride in its outdoor provision and educating children in environmental matters, with outdoor...
Once troubled school now heading in right direction
THE head teacher of a previously failing primary school has reflected on a first term that has already seen a major turnaround.
Rebecca Paddock, who became head teacher of Worsbrough Common Primary School in September after the school came under the management of the Hoyland Common Academy Trust, said her first priority was stabilising the school after what Ofsted inspectors called a ‘period of turbulence’.
The school had dropped from ‘outstanding’ to requiring improvement in...
Primary school’s hive of activity...
PUPILS at a primary school are buzzing after producing their first batch of honey from their own beehive.
Goldthorpe Primary pupils have been caring for their bees, and learning important lessons about their value to the environment, over the course of the past year.
With support from Paul Freer and the Barnsley Bee Keepers Association, the students are looking to increase the size of their colony after their first successful harvest.
Outdoor education teacher Chris...