Express and Star newspaper header

FAKE NEWS – Trinity Mirror is to buy The Express and Star! Now that is a headline!

My apologies because today I misinterpreted a piece of information.

The blog I wrote was incorrect….This was the offending article. ……..” Blimey! Trinity Mirror to buy the Express and Star Group of Newspapers! Wow….. What is that going to do for Wolverhampton and employment???This will mean a shake up in the way that this great Local Independent Newspaper will look going forward! There will be a shake up as its inevitable when consolidation takes place in the market place….interesting to hear what others think?”

I have written to the editor apologising for the Fake News I placed on my social media sites this morning.     I have written my 100 lines which starts about ‘being a donkey’!


e5b70e_fddc131cb1cc459ba4acfb3f2edb1b03 phoenix

Looking for a Nursery School – Live in Blakenhall Area of Wolverhampton?

Are you looking for a Nursery School? Do you live in or around the Blakenhall area of Wolverhampton? If you do ….. then you need to read on!

Have young children approaching/ or of Nursery School age,  and live in the Blakenhall area of Wolverhampton? Why not pop along to The Phoenix Nursery School who have just been rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted and have a glowing Ofsted report!

Put your child’s  name down for a great Early Years Education at The Phoenix Nursery School, which is federated with the very successful Ashmore Park Nursery School!

Here is what the Ofsted Inspector said about this School – 
Ofsted Piccadilly Gate Store Street Manchester M1 2WD  
T 0300 123 4234    
18 December 2017
Mrs Susan Lacey Executive Headteacher Phoenix Nursery School Phoenix Street Blakenhall Wolverhampton West Midlands WV2 3JS
Dear Mrs Lacey
Short inspection of Phoenix Nursery School
Following my visit to the school on 5 December 2017, I write on behalf of Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills to report the inspection findings. The visit was the first short inspection carried out since the school was judged to be good in March 2014.
This school continues to be good.
Since the previous inspection, the school has federated with Ashmore Park Nursery School. You have provided leadership support to Phoenix Nursery since September 2014 but were formally appointed as the executive headteacher of both schools in January 2016. Your deputy headteacher effectively supports you in leading and managing both settings. The two schools share the same governing body. Together, you have managed this federation seamlessly and without disruption to children or staff. You have utilised the successful practice at your partner school to develop further the quality of teaching and raise outcomes for children at Phoenix Nursery. You have begun to offer full-time provision, 30 hours a week, for a small number of eligible children, in order to increase their learning opportunities and strengthen their early development.
The steps you have taken have made a positive difference to the school and the pace of improvement has accelerated. You have continued to build on the school’s strengths. You have developed and transformed the learning environment by adding an additional room and refurbishing, to a high level, the main classroom. Teaching areas are bright, vibrant and well resourced. You have improved the quality of teaching by providing high-quality training for all staff. This has resulted in increased staff confidence and greater understanding of children’s individual needs. Teamwork is a strength and staff morale is high. In their questionnaire responses, all staff said that they are proud to work at Phoenix and that leaders use professional development to encourage, challenge and support their development. 
 Children are happy, safe and well cared for. Excellent relationships exist between children and their key workers. Children settle quickly to tasks and understand and follow routines and instructions. They behave well, take turns and are respectful to all adults and other children. The very good ratios of adults to children provided ensure that all children receive high levels of nurture and support. This enables them to thrive and get off to a good start in their education.
You have successfully addressed the areas for improvement identified in the previous inspection. Activities are well planned and purposeful. Careful planning by staff ensures that the broad range of activities offered meet the individual needs of children with different abilities. Children are encouraged to talk about what they are doing and happily join in with stories and rhymes. This helps develop their early communication and language skills. However, further work is needed to promote children’s early reading skills. Additionally, leaders should ensure that evidence for children’s starting points for all areas of the early years curriculum is collected when children join nursery. This is to support the accurate tracking of children’s progress over time.
Safeguarding is effective.
There is a strong safeguarding culture within the nursery. This is because of the high priority you place on keeping children safe. Safeguarding procedures are robust and fit for purpose. All the proper checks on staff and visitors are carried out with thorough attention to detail, and record-keeping is meticulous and very well organised. You have ensured that all staff and governors are fully trained and conversant with the latest safeguarding guidance. Staff know what steps to take if they have a concern about a child. As the designated safeguarding leader, you carefully assess any concerns that are raised and swiftly follow these up with parents or the local authority as needed. Actions taken are fully logged and records are stored securely. 
All adults contribute to keeping children safe. Strict rules are applied in relation to the use of cameras and mobile phones. iPads used by children have safety devices to ensure that these are used appropriately. Activities, such as visits to the park, are thoroughly assessed for potential risks and children are taught about stranger danger. Walking sensibly inside the classroom is also strongly promoted to avoid accidents. Regular fire drills are carried out so that staff and children know how to evacuate the building quickly. Parents are rightly confident that their children are kept safe at nursery.
Inspection findings
 You, your leadership team and governors share a clear and ambitious vision. High expectations are set for children, staff and parents. You and your governors recognise the importance of high-quality professional development and strongly promote this. For example, you have formed an international network between four schools in the West Midlands and five pre-schools in Sweden. Additional funding has enabled your school and its partners to be part of a research project using digital technology with young children. This advanced thinking has had a strong impact on children’s early technology skills and adults’ ability to teach this aspect of the development of children’s skills. 

Governors are very supportive and present good levels of challenge to you and your staff. They carry out learning walks and receive regular reports from staff members to keep them fully informed of daily practice. Governors have invested heavily in improving facilities and teaching. They have employed an educational consultant to deliver good-quality training to ensure that practitioners develop their knowledge and skills to the highest level. They monitor children’s achievement carefully and ensure that all groups achieve equally, for example boys and girls.

They have a good knowledge of how the early years pupil premium is spent and the impact that this has on the small number of eligible children. They receive regular assessment updates and as a result, know how well different groups of children are doing.  All adults carry out regular observations of children and you and your deputy headteacher keep a careful check on children’s progress. Photographic evidence and annotated notes are recorded in teacher project books and children’s ‘learning together’ journals.

These journals capture activities at home as well as school, as parents are actively encouraged to add their comments. This adds to staff knowledge about individual children. However, teachers’ assessments of children’s abilities when they join the nursery are occasionally too low. Additionally, procedures are not in place to collect systematically evidence of the different areas of learning for each child at the point of entry. This detracts from leaders’ ability to track children’s progress over time in all areas of the curriculum accurately and take action to accelerate progress for individual children. 

Adults maximise every learning opportunity to promote children’s communication and language skills. They model spoken and written language clearly so that children learn to use correct pronunciation of letters and sounds and full sentences. They use skilful questioning to check children’s understanding and probe their thinking. Indoor and outdoor spaces are used well to encourage collaboration with other children and social interaction. Snack time is also used effectively to encourage children to talk about what they are learning.

Children who do not speak English are supported well and staff make good use of sign language and gestures to communicate with children who are at an early stage of learning to speak English. Successful strategies ensure that newly arrived children quickly acquire age-related language skills. Children with special educational needs and/or disabilities are also well supported; speech and language therapy is accessed for children who have a delay with their communication and language skills.

There are many strengths in the taught curriculum and children make the greatest gains in their personal, social and emotional development and their physical development. Rapid progress is also made in technology and in using materials and media. This is because children have daily opportunities to develop these skills and are guided well by adults. Opportunities to count are built into different activities and children are regularly encouraged to write their name or use their mark-making skills to depict their thinking. Adults share stories to encourage a love of reading and phonics skills are taught well. However, children do not independently select books during their choosing time and do not have reading material to take home. The school’s own information last year shows that children make less progress in reading than in writing.

Teaching provides children with an exciting and relevant range of activities and experiences. Activities often build on the children’s interests and follow a theme. For example, in learning about spiders, children showed high levels of engagement and sustained periods of concentration in making spiders out of clay. This was then developed by looking at or painting pictures of spiders.

Effective adult support in the outdoors strongly promotes teamwork and the development of gross motor skills. A penalty shoot-out enabled children to practise and hone their football skills. Giggles and cheers demonstrated the clear levels of enjoyment experienced by all those who participated. Other activities, such as exploring the mud kitchen and making vehicles out of construction materials, promoted children’s ability to be imaginative to good effect.

Parents have very positive views of the school and greatly appreciate and value the work of you and your staff. Typical comments include, ‘Phoenix Nursery School truly is a home away from home for the children’ and ‘The school has been amazing for my child.

All staff are really supportive.’ Communication methods, including use of social media, text messages, letters, emails and the school’s website all serve to keep parents fully informed of school news and events. You have also worked hard at encouraging parents to be involved in their child’s learning. Work packs are sent home to parents and video links are provided to demonstrate how parents can help their children.

Termly ‘learning together’ sessions provide opportunities for staff to feed back to parents on their child’s progress and for parents themselves to work alongside their children and witness the activities that their children participate in. Parents have a good understanding of how well their children are doing as a result. All parents report that their children are happy and safe.
Next steps for the school
Leaders and those responsible for governance should ensure that:    adults provide children with more opportunities to develop and extend their reading skills  teachers assess children’s starting points in all areas of the early years curriculum on entry to the school and use the information to track progress with greater accuracy.
I am copying this letter to the chair of the governing body, the regional schools commissioner and the director of children’s services for Wolverhampton. This letter will be published on the Ofsted website.
Yours sincerely
Heather Simpson Ofsted Inspector


L- R Councillor Rita Potter - Phil Bateman MP and  Mary Bateman MP, Labour. Picture by Shaun Fellows / Shine Pix

News from around Wednesfield North and a little beyond!

News from around Wednesfield North and a little beyond!

  • The next Village to us of Essington hads a Bye – Election tonight. Their Polls closed at 10.00pm.
  • The result of the election is – Result from the Essington Parish Council by-election tonight is that James William Slim (Independent) was elected to the Essington Central Ward.
  • Councillor James Slim received 464 votes, Catherine Kitson received 254 votes – turnout was 31.7%
  • Whilst on Essington I have around 10 pieces of correspondence which I have responded to, relating to Pot Holes in Essington/ Residents of Staffordshire who approached me for help & advice.
  • Ecclestone Road Pot Holes – Confirmation that on the 31 st Jan the pot holes were treated

Did you know that Wednesfield Market Offers 26 street stalls, Wednesfield Market offers shoppers a real choice of competitively priced products for the whole family including: Stalls include – fruit and vegetables, confectionery, cakes and biscuits, clothing, gifts and cards, plants and household items

There is also a Bric-a-brac Market On Wednesdays, Wednesfield Market hosts a bustling bric-a-brac market where many unusual items can be purchased.

Opening Times

Tuesday – 8am to 3.30pm

Wednesday (bric-a-brac mixed market) 8am to 3.30pm

Friday  – 8am to 3.30pm

Saturday – 8am to 3.30pm

See and you can lead into my Twitter account and my Facebook account from that page.

Councillor Phil Bateman

Good News for City of Wolverhampton on Education Progress!

Education and the City of Wolverhampton.

The City of Wolverhampton’s Managing Director, Keith Ireland, in a briefing for City Councillors reminded Councillors that the City of Wolverhampton – was moving in the ‘right direction’ following the release of the latest statistical information.

Last week’s release of national educational performance statistics show continued improvement in the city.

Mr Ireland informed City Councillors that “This has been a real focus for the council and is a tribute to the hard work of teachers, young people, families, councillors and council employees.

We’ve moved up 27 places nationally (109th to 82nd) for the new Progress 8 outcomes – showing the progress pupils make from the end of Key Stage 2 (Year 6) to the end of Key Stage 4 (Year 11).

The average achievement of pupils in up to eight qualifications including English and Maths – saw the City move up to 97th nationally, up 28 places from 125th in 2016.”

He went onto quote that “58% of pupils in Wolverhampton secured GCSEs in Maths and English at the new grade 4 or above – up from 53% the year before. At Post 16, the city’s strong performance continues with students achieving results putting the City in 17th place nationally. There’s still a lot of work to do but we are heading in the right direction!”

Councillor Phil Bateman added “I am pleased to receive this information, as I am sure parents and employers will be pleased to know that our city isn’t standing still..

The City continues to make progress, despite the difficulties that exist around stretched resources. Local Government is not an easy place to work at the moment. There are challenges all over the place. Education however continues to be the one item that will lead to prosperity for all. We have to keep improving. You only have one chance with youngsters to get their education, knowledge and skills right before they set off in the World of Work.”

More Fly Tipping Discovered.

Yet again we have had fly tipping taking place in the Wolmer Road Garages…here on Ashmore Park.

Please if you see anyone or know of anyone that is doing this. Please report them!

Wolverhampton Homes Estate Services department will make arrangements for one of our Estate Caretaking teams to attend and remove the fly-tipped items from the garage site by Friday 9th February 2018.

17 Police Lamp

Flight Ticket Fraud Alert!

21,000 Police Axed DVbkoGfXUAEO60Z

This PM Doesn’t Care for Law and Order !

This Prime Minister is ignoring local communities calls for more Police, and more of their  national tax pounds to be spent on our West Midlands Police force.

We all know that crime is rising, that burglary and vehicle theft levels here in Wednesfield is unacceptable, shop theft and violent crime is at high and unacceptable levels. The Police suffer because residents lose faith in them, when they do not turn out for the crimes they suffer.

Residents are now starting not to report crime, as Police stations close, as they see less uniforms to talk to on the beat. Less uniforms to tell them what is happening with regards to anti social behaviour and other crimes that take place. The Police are becoming rarer and you very rarely see an Officer above the rank of Sargent!

The Police do not have the resources we want them to have, to police our communities in a way that we want. Neighbourhood policing is dead if you can not get the uniforms out there, mixing  with the community!

Our Prime Minister seems oblivious to our every day needs, as she lives in a bubble, and is cosseted by the very best of British policing.

Yet her record is a disaster. She has axed 21,000 Policemen and women. If Labour had overseen this in Government the newspapers would have never left the situation a lone. It would have been headlines every day!

I may be on my own in thinking this….but I am worried about law and order in this City.


Just Four and a Half Hours Later!

Local Authorities take some stick, so I want to highlight City of Wolverhampton Council’s Public Realm department for the great work they did for residents today here in Wednesfield North.  I sent this message today at 14.55.

“Sent: 07 February 2018 14:55 Subject: Fw: Manhole Cover – Higgs road Ashmore Park.The residents tell me that this manhole cover has had an inspection and the cover has not been replaced properly. It is standing proud of the footway and has become a trip hazard. Can you get someone to reset it please. It is a health and safety hazard standing as it is at the moment. It is outside of 8 Higgs road, or near too.”

 This is what I received later today from those same residents who contacted me before earlier Wednesday 7th Feb 2018 – The message came in at 18.23 to be precise-the very same day “Guess who are already out fixing the man-hole out the front!! Thank you!”

 I want to say a very big thank you to Public Realm for taking this issue seriously, yes it was a Health & Safety matter but if my residents are pleased I am ecstatic at the great response.

West Midlands Police

A West Midlands Police Message.

Over the last few Weeks there has been a slight increase in the number of burglaries in your local area, forcing access to gain high value property within homes. Police are warning of a rise in Asian gold being targeted. With this in mind we would like to take this opportunity to remind you of the importance of making sure your property is secure at all times and to let you know about what we are doing to deal with the problem.

Most burglaries are opportunist and therefore simple measures can often be enough to prevent a burglary occurring. Follow these simple crime reduction tips to further reduce the risk of becoming a victim of burglary:

Make sure doors and windows are locked, especially when leaving the house.
Secure your doors. Check the condition of the frames and glass panels. Fit devices such as chains and door viewers.
When you are out, leave a light on to give the impression that there is somebody at home. Timer switches can be fitted to operate radios and lights when you are out. Radios tuned to talk orientated stations can often give the impression that someone is talking inside.
Use your burglar alarm if you have one.
Never leave a spare key in a convenient hiding place, such as under the doormat or in a flowerpot a burglar will look there first.
Make sure that your sheds and garages are secure. Always lock ladders and tools away to stop a burglar using them.

With Regards to Jewellery and Property Our Advice is to:

Hide jewellery and leave it at home.
Stay alert and look after one another.
At home photograph your jewellery and keep an inventory on
Keep jewellery in a safety deposit box or at your bank.

We’re doing all we can to stop thieves in their tracks:
Several tactics are being used, such as targeted patrols, Planned operations and the robust management of known offenders, to prevent any increase.
There will be a officers patrolling locations both on foot and in vehicles. Houses that are potentially vulnerable will also be identified and officers will be distributing crime
Prevention advice. We are also working with people who work out and about in the community to make sure we have as many eyes looking out for offenders as possible.
We are encouraging households to join their local Neighbourhood Watch scheme or to set one up to help prevent burglary in their street.
Neighbourhood Watch schemes help residents work together to tackle problems in their community. They help cut crime by focusing on helping people to protect themselves and their property.

Residents interested in starting up or joining a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme should sign up to WMNow

Peadar Brewster 12074894_1220049531343559_5899720410016855693_n

My Neighbour of the Day Award!

An old friend who lives on Ashmore Park was playing the ‘good neighbour’. Here is what happened in his own words.

“I got out the car just in time to see a stranger going around the back of next-door. so off I went to see what he was up to as the neighbours where out. when I confronted him with what the fxxk you up to mate. he said I just moved in upstairs and have just put some gas on the meter around the back. well I felt embarrassed’ until he said its nice to know that your vigilant thanksfeeling embarrassed!

Well for me Peadar Brewster I love you being a Nosy Neighbour! I hope more of my constituents do what you did to help protect your neighbours property!

So for that I am Awarding you my special Neighbour of the Day Award!

It was a great intervention Peadar, and the retort from your new neighbour shows he was grateful for your intervention……  Please if you do see anyone suspicious, contact the Police or if it is safe for you – just ask the character(s) “What you up too?”….its the way to helping all of us protect our belongings and our property!