YEP Says, March 3: Not enough being done to tackle school shortages

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...and a new front in war on cyber crime

THE wait is over for students who yesterday discovered which secondary school they will be attending in September, ending a period of uncertainty as to whether they would be split up from their friends.

It will have been even more nerve-racking, however, for parents who recognise that these will be crucial years in their child’s education and as such hold firm views on where their needs will be best served.

So it is concerning that the number of pupils securing places at the school they listed first on their choice of preferences is on the slide.

Around 1,300 families in Leeds failed to get their first choice this year – compared to around 800 last year.

The reason is that this year’s cohort is much bigger, meaning there are fewer places to go round. More troubling still is the fact that the proportion of families who have not been given any of their preferred options has more than doubled in the space of just 12 months.

It means that around 350 children will have to be found a place at a school which is not oversubscribed – and in Leeds such schools are increasingly few and far between.

The Government insists it is allocating significant funds to the creation of more high school places but clearly more needs to be done. Not least to cope in future with the increased numbers of children now entering the city’s primary schools.

A new front in war on cyber crime

MORE officers on the beat would top the wishlist of most voters when it comes to police priorities ahead of the election.

But maintaining law and order today is not just about a visible presence on our streets – as welcome and reassuring as that is.

Policing has to respond to the rise of cyber-crime and the challenges it presents – a point acknowledged by West Yorkshire Police with the launch of a dedicated unit to combat internet-related offences.

The distress caused by internet trolls and online fraudsters is comparable to the upset suffered by those whose homes have been burgled. It is good to see this being recognised.

Castleton Mills, Armley, Leeds...19th November 2017 ..Picture by Simon Hulme

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