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The deadline for school places is fast approaching!

Dorset Council News Feed - 4 hours 3 min ago

Parents and carers whose children will be starting secondary or upper school next September have just a few days left to apply for a place at their chosen school.

If you haven’t already done so, you need to apply by 31 October 2021 to have the best chance of securing a place at your child’s preferred school.

Around 80 per cent of parents and carers have completed the application process, with approximately 650 families still to finish and send in their forms.

The admissions pages on the website will give you all the information you need to apply. You can also check out our parents’ guide for information about the different types of schools and how to apply to each one.

Cllr Andrew Parry, Dorset Council Portfolio Holder for Children, Education and Early Help is urging parents to apply now:

“If your child is in their final year at primary or junior school, or Year 8 in middle school, you need to make your application for a secondary school or upper school place now.

“Making the transfer to secondary or upper school may seem a long way off, but the closing date for applications is fast approaching, so time is of the essence. Applications received after 31 October cannot be considered until the late round in March, so please don’t risk disappointment by leaving it too late.”

School Application Deadlines

  • If your child is due to start secondary or upper school in September 2022, you should apply now. Parents/Carers must apply by 31 October 2021.
  • If your child was born between 1 September 2017 and 31 August 2018 and is due to start school for the first time in September 2022, then Parents/Carers must apply by 15 January 2022.
  • If your child is due to move to junior or middle school in September 2022 then Parents/Carers must apply by 15 January 2022.

If you’re not able to apply online, you can download a word document from the admissions pages or contact the School Admissions Team on 01305 221060, or email: admissions@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk

To find out more or apply now, visit: Dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/school-admissions

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Categories: Dorset

Coronavirus: Case rates in Dorset

Dorset BBC News Feed - 9 hours 21 min ago
The latest number of cases of Covid-19 across the county.
Categories: Dorset

How many cases in your area?

Dorset BBC News Feed - Mon, 10/25/2021 - 16:42
Explore the data on coronavirus in the UK and find out how many cases there are in your area.
Categories: Dorset

A bold and ambitious plan to support Dorset’s children and young people with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities (SEND)

Dorset Council News Feed - Mon, 10/25/2021 - 12:04

Dorset Council has secured £37.5m for the next five years to help deliver a bold and ambitious strategy to provide the best education for all of Dorset’s children and young people with Special Educational Needs or Disability (SEND).

Our bold and ambitious SEND Capital Strategy focuses on creating the best education and support for Dorset’s children and young people with SEND through the:

We aim to build on the capabilities of our mainstream schools to support more children and young people with SEND, which will ensure more children can attend a local school and receive their education in the county they call home.

Currently some children and young people with SEND must travel a great distance for educational provision, sometimes far from home. This is because there’s not enough specialist provision available in Dorset.

Independent provision costs around £60,000 a year per child, whereas high quality provision at one of Dorset’s own special schools costs around £22,000 a year per child. The SEND Capital Strategy aims to increase local provision and reduce some of these costs in the longer term.

Cllr Andrew Parry, Dorset Council Portfolio Holder for Children, Education and Early Help, said; “Dorset Council is making a big investment in education and support for children with SEND and it’s of huge importance to us. We’ve developed these ambitious plans because the need for more SEND provision is growing fast and we want all our children and young people to have the best possible outcomes – to thrive!

“This bold and ambitious strategy will focus on achieving the best education for all Dorset’s children and young people with SEND, while avoiding the need for a child to travel away from their family and friend networks to receive their education or support.”

The wider SEND Sufficiency programme to invest £37.5m will include the expansion of Inclusion Hubs across Dorset which will be provision attached to mainstream schools. Inclusion Hubs will support children with SEND so that they can access the mainstream classroom, but also allow space to support children when they need more specialist support. This will achieve an expansion of over 100 places over the next 5 years.

In addition, our roadmap to deliver the programme already includes a scheme to open the Dorset Centre of Excellence – a new school for Dorset to open with an initial 60 additional places in the 2021/22 academic year, with further phasing as it seeks to achieve 280 places in total over the subsequent years.

We will also work towards opening an additional site for Beaucroft Special School – which will bring approximately 75 additional places in 2022/23.

Meanwhile, we are continuing to work with our special school headteachers across Dorset to expand provision where we can and are exploring several schemes to deliver this.

To keep up-to-date with our plans and receive the latest news straight into your inbox, sign up for our SEND newsletter.

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Categories: Dorset

Dorchester town crier equals record of 11 national titles

Dorset BBC News Feed - Mon, 10/25/2021 - 11:12
Dorchester town crier Alistair Chisholm matches a record set in the 1950s by Cornwall's Ben Johnson.
Categories: Dorset

Covid: When can I get my Covid booster jab?

Dorset BBC News Feed - Mon, 10/25/2021 - 09:49
More than five million people in England have been offered a booster jab.
Categories: Dorset

Dorset Council launches consultation to shape the future of Dorset’s library service

Dorset Council News Feed - Mon, 10/25/2021 - 08:43

Dorset Council has launched a public consultation to inform how they develop and deliver their library service in the future. Library users and non-users are being asked to share their views. The consultation runs from 25 October 2021 to 7 January 2022 and is available online.

Libraries are at the heart of Dorset’s communities and provide highly valued services, including book lending, activities and events, reading groups, skills and learning, health and wellbeing, information provision, digital access and support, and art and cultural exhibitions. People of all ages can enjoy all of this and more, within a safe and welcoming environment. There are 23 council-run and eight community-managed libraries in the Dorset Council area.

The current library strategy is 11 years old. Over those 11 years, there have been significant changes in public behaviour and digital technology, and the impacts of the Covid pandemic have been felt. This consultation seeks to look to the future of Dorset’s libraries – how can they best meet the needs of local residents and communities, now and over the next ten years?

Cllr Laura Miller, Dorset Council’s Portfolio Holder for Customer and Community Services, said:

“This is an exciting time: we are calling on all residents to help us shape the future of Dorset’s library service. Since the previous library review in 2010, we’ve seen big changes in both public behaviour and digital technology, and it is now time to look to the future of our libraries.

“This initial consultation period will be a conversation with our communities, employees, and partners, to better understand what they need from the service, now and in the future.

“So, whether you are an active library user, if you have visited our libraries in the past, or if you have not visited one of our libraries before – we want to hear from you. Your views will help us to provide a modern relevant and sustainable service, and I encourage everyone to have their say.”

The survey will run for 11 weeks and will close on Friday 7 January 2022. The survey responses will be brought together with evidence around local needs and responses from our partners. A draft strategy will then be produced which will be the focus of a second consultation, to be held in summer 2022.

In addition to our main survey, there is a dedicated children’s survey for ages 5-15 years.  To find the surveys head to: www.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/lets-talk-libraries

Support is also available via customer services where an officer can help to fill in the survey over the phone. Call 01305 221 000.

Those who need paper copies of the survey can access these by visiting their local library.

To say thank you to those who complete the survey, there will be the option to be entered into a prize draw to win one of two prizes, either a Kindle Paperwhite (8GB) or an Amazon Echo Dot, for the main survey. Children who complete the survey could win a £25 Amazon Voucher (three vouchers will be awarded). Employees of Dorset Council are not eligible to enter the prize draw. full T&C’s can be viewed online.

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Categories: Dorset

What is Covid Plan B and what are the rules across the UK this winter?

Dorset BBC News Feed - Mon, 10/25/2021 - 08:19
Health service figures are calling for stricter Covid restrictions in England to protect the NHS.
Categories: Dorset

Attempted murder arrest after car fails to stop in Bournemouth

Dorset BBC News Feed - Mon, 10/25/2021 - 06:07
A woman, aged in her 40s, is in a critical condition in hospital following the crash in Bournemouth.
Categories: Dorset

Beach cordoned off after rock fall near Lyme Regis

Dorset BBC News Feed - Sun, 10/24/2021 - 14:58
Rocks were still falling from the cliffs when coastguard teams arrived at the scene
Categories: Dorset

Bournemouth 3-0 Huddersfield: Dominic Solanke double as Cherries stay unbeaten

Dorset BBC News Feed - Sat, 10/23/2021 - 17:43
Dominic Solanke scores twice as unbeaten Bournemouth maintain their Championship lead with victory over Huddersfield.
Categories: Dorset

Weymouth 1-1 Wealdstone

Dorset BBC News Feed - Sat, 10/23/2021 - 17:19
Connor McAvoy marks his Wealdstone debut with an equaliser to earn a draw in their National League match at Weymouth.
Categories: Dorset

Troubled Poole Park mini railway set for council makeover

Dorset BBC News Feed - Sat, 10/23/2021 - 15:08
The popular attraction was suspended for safety reasons in May 2018.
Categories: Dorset

Help improve public paths and open space in Dorset for walking, horse riding and cycling

Dorset Council News Feed - Fri, 10/22/2021 - 14:16

The Dorset Local Access Forum are looking for people who want to improve Dorset’s paths and open spaces for local people and visitors.

The Dorset Local Access Forum (DLAF) considers all the issues relating to the county’s Public Rights of Way and public green spaces. They find solutions to matters such as the coast path being lost to erosion, the need for safe vehicle-free routes for walking, cycling and horse-riding, the maintenance and improvement work that is sensitive to the paths character & landscape and how to help people to walk and ride and not use vehicles for local trips.

The forum are looking for people to be part of this team. Anyone can apply to join the DLAF – all you need is commitment, enthusiasm, and experience of using; helping provide or of the wider issues that could be benefited by improved countryside access.  That could be:

  • Someone who enjoys walking, horse-riding, cycling, responsible vehicular driving or other outdoor activities, or who uses the county’s rights of way to travel sustainably around their local area
  • An owner, occupier and/or manager of land – especially with open access or Public Rights of Way
  • Someone involved with matters such as health, environment, planning, tourism, the economy where improved paths and green space could bring additional public benefits.

The forum is an independent, statutory body providing advice to various organisations, including councils, AONBs, English Heritage, the Forestry Commission, Defra and Natural England, as well as any members of the public who request it.

Councillor Noc Lacey-Clarke, Cabinet Lead Member for Environment, Travel and Harbours at Dorset Council, said

“The Dorset Local Access Forum is an opportunity to bring together a diverse mix of people of all ages and expertise to provide fresh, creative and challenging ideas and advice on how to improve and develop paths and countryside access sites in Dorset. Its members shape the Forum and its work.

“This last year has highlighted the very important role that Dorset’s public rights of way and greenspace plays in people’s lives, health and to get outside into the fresh air. At times this has also presented new challenges and opportunities to learn. The forum exists to help make Dorset more accessible and enjoyable for everyone, both now and in the future.”

Apply to join the DLAF   The deadline to apply is 7 November 2021

Find out more about DLAF

For more information on the role and work of the DLAF contact Tara Hansford, Strategic Outdoor Access Development Coordinator tara.hansford@dorsetcouncil.co.uk  Tel: 01305 221779

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Categories: Dorset

#HelpAndKindness Supporting Dorset’s Response to the Care Crisis

Dorset Council News Feed - Fri, 10/22/2021 - 13:53

The number of requests for help with finding home care are growing daily at #HelpAndKindness.

The #HelpAndKindness project “joins the dots” between residents’ needs, and providers of support across Dorset. Requests are received from residents, public sector partners and from the commercial sector. They are increasingly asking for local support for people at home.

In addition to sharing details of local care agencies, #HelpAndKindness is also signposting to independent, self-employed providers who work in the community. These Micro-Providers of care and wellbeing services are a growing resource in Dorset. They can provide all kinds of support, excluding personal care and complement the vital, professional care services offered by larger agencies.

Dorset Council, Community Catalysts and #HelpAndKindness have been working on a pathway to support people to set up these Micro care businesses. This includes offering advice, training and support in promoting their work. Micros work within a voluntary quality framework called “Doing It Right” and are supported to provide high quality services. It’s really important that people are supported to live as independently as possible in their own homes and this work helps this to happen.

The past month has seen over thirty new enquiries to set up Micro Care businesses.

Further work is under way at #HelpAndKindness, who are working with local providers, the local authority, NHS and other partners, to look at these issues, and find creative and agile ways to strengthen Dorset’s capacity to care for people at home.

The care crisis is upon us, and we believe it’s through this kind of collective action that we can find a way to tackle the challenges, and continue to meet the needs of people across Dorset.

For more information on Community Care micro-providers visit www.helpandkindness.co.uk/the-micro-providers-network or for other information regarding adult social care visit www.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/adult-social-care.

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Categories: Dorset

Dorset Council wins funding to improve poorly insulated rented homes

Dorset Council News Feed - Fri, 10/22/2021 - 13:35

Dorset Council has been awarded £98,000 of Government funding, after applying to a national competition, to improve the most poorly insulated rented homes in Dorset.

In the last five years over 700 properties in Dorset have been rented with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) that is in the lowest two bands (F and G).

The council Housing Standards Team entered the competition with a plan to provide help for landlords to improve their energy efficiency and, where necessary, increase enforcement.

In the next few months all landlords with properties with low EPCs will be contacted. Grants will be available for improvements such as loft and cavity wall insulation, more efficient boilers and solar panels.

Cllr Graham Carr-Jones, Dorset Council Housing Portfolio Holder for Housing and Community Safety said:

“This funding will help us improve some of the worst energy performing properties in Dorset, making sure that all properties provide safe and legal accommodation for residents.

“We already have a good relationship with landlords, and we want to develop more tools to help them decide how to improve their properties.

“Over the next few months landlords with a property with a low EPC score will be contacted by our Housing Standards officers.

“We will offer help and advice, but at the end of the day, we will also take enforcement action if that is what is necessary to improve these homes.”

Dorset Council is also looking to launch ways that help landlords get free expert advice and check for grants from the council’s Healthy Homes Dorset scheme run by Ridgewater Energy.

This will also help to identify the works necessary to improve their properties, how much they will cost and how much their EPC score will increase.

Background Information

The Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards project is funded by Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.

More information for landlords about standards for rented homes as well as guidance for landlords on the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards is available on on the Dorset Council website.

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Categories: Dorset

Sarah Everard: Five police officers facing action over social media messages

Dorset BBC News Feed - Fri, 10/22/2021 - 12:29
Five officers have cases to answer over messages sent on WhatsApp and Signal, the police watchdog says.
Categories: Dorset

Pokesdown station: Council to help fund lifts and revamp

Dorset BBC News Feed - Fri, 10/22/2021 - 12:01
Bournemouth Christchurch and Poole Council says Pokesdown station will be refurbished.
Categories: Dorset

Dorset market town set to be left without a market

Dorset BBC News Feed - Fri, 10/22/2021 - 09:55
Dorset Council agrees plans for Wimborne Market's site to be redeveloped as a care village.
Categories: Dorset

Road construction in full swing in Gillingham

Dorset Council News Feed - Fri, 10/22/2021 - 08:29

Construction work south of Gillingham is underway to build the Principal Street, which will support the expansion of the north Dorset town.

Wirtgen soil stabiliser mixer on site

This 1.3km-long residential road will enable the development of land for housing, with the Gillingham southern expansion set to deliver 1,800 homes plus a new primary school, health facilities, sports pitches, play areas, shops and open spaces.

The Principal Street will have a 30mph speed limit and a shared footway/cycleway on both sides of the road, it will have street-lighting, parking spaces and green verges planted with trees to enhance its feel as a residential area.

Initial works as part of the road construction include:

  • installing the foul drainage system, which the housing developments will connect into
  • installing water mains supply, for houses to later connect into
  • installing the surface water drainage system for the road
  • earthworks to stabilise the ground for road construction
  • earthworks to create drainage ponds and ditches
  • hedge translocation
  • water vole habitat mitigation work

Cllr Ray Bryan, Portfolio Holder for Highways, Travel and Environment, said: “It’s exciting to see construction underway after the enormous amount of planning and design work that has led to this moment.

“This Principal Street will provide the vital infrastructure needed to support the development’s needs, which in turn will help provide much needed affordable housing and benefits for the local community.

“It will also ensure safe sustainable access by bike or on foot for the future residents of the new homes set to be built.”

Vinny Veness, Hanson Contracting Major Projects Manager, said: “We’re working to a challenging programme to complete construction in Spring 2022, with a very busy site and work being carried out across the area.

“Our focus for the moment is to install all the primary utilities under the road to ensure the new homes can be connected to these supplies. We’re also working across the new route to stabilise the clay soils ready for road construction, and the shape of the road will start to become more evident as this ground stabilisation progresses.”

A successful bid to Homes England’s Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) granted £6.31m to fund the design of the road, secure planning approval and build the road through the development.

This money will be recovered through Section 106 developer contributions from the expansion which will be reinvested in housing projects across Dorset.

The road will be adopted by Dorset Council at the end of its construction, with the council taking responsibility for its maintenance.

There will be no through-access along the road until Welbeck Land Ltd has completed its first phase of development, which includes building the final junction at the eastern end of the Principal Street (onto Shaftesbury Road).

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Categories: Dorset