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Couple sought in sex assault appeal
30th July 2014
A WOMAN was pulled into a wooded area in
Harlow and sexually assaulted by a man she had
met earlier the same day.
Police want to speak to a couple who may be able
to help with their investigation after the
woman, who is in her 40s and from the Harlow
area, was attacked in Harlow Town Park at about
4.30pm on Sunday (July 27).
A police spokesman said the man pulled her into
a big wooded area of the park and sexually
assaulted her. She shouted at him and ran
The woman reported the incident to police and is
now being looked after by Essex Police's Sexual
Offences Investigation Team.
Detective Inspector Terry Balding said:
"After the incident the victim ran off down
the path towards School Lane.
"The man then pulled up in his silver car
and asked her to get in but the victim shouted
at him and walked off along First Avenue.
"She saw a white man and woman, who she
thinks were in their 50s, who may have seen or
heard their exchange.
"I would really like them to contact my
team as they may be able to help with
information into the investigation."
The man and woman or anyone with any information
should ring the West Sexual Offences
Investigation Team on Essex Police 101 or
Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Rebranding spending "could be
better spent on patients"
30th July 2014
NORTH Essex Partnership Trust, which
provides mental health services across north
Essex - including Epping Forest and Harlow - has
spent about £60,000 on a re-branding exercise
which includes a new logo.
Responding to a public question about the
re-branding at today's public board meeting and
a comment that it was felt the money "could
be better spent on patients", trust chief
executive Andrew Geldard said: "I think the
board is supportive of the piece of work which
we have done over a period of time."
Man robbed of mobile phone
30th July 2014
A MAN and his partner were threatened by
two men who snatched a mobile phone as the
couple walked along First Avenue - near Burnt
Mill Academy - Harlow.
The men took a white IPhone from the 20-year-old
Harlow man and tried to punch him but did not
make contact. They then ran off.
The Arriva 510 Stansted bus had just gone past
so passengers may have seen something
One of the robbers was white, aged about 17 or
18, about 5ft 11ins tall and had dark brown
short hair and was wearing a white Adidas T
shirt with a big, black logo on the front and
light grey jogging bottoms.
The other man was white, the same age, about 5ft
10ins tall, slim with short, light brown hair,
acne and freckles and was wearing a dark grey
hooded top which was zipped up the middle.
Anyone with any information about the incident,
which happened shortly before 1am yesterday
(Tuesday), should ring Harlow Police Station on
Essex Police 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on
0800 555 111.
Volunteer nominated for national
24th July 2014
A VOLUNTEER from Roydon who helps run a
sight loss support group in Harlow has been
nominated for a national award.
Mandy Smith is in the running for the
'Chairman's award for volunteering' as part of
the Macular Society's Awards for
The nomination recognises her hard work and
dedication in her role leading the charity's
local support group.
Age-related macular degeneration affects the
central vision and is the most common cause of
sight loss in the UK. More people are affected
as the population ages.
The Macular Society has 300 support groups
across the UK, all aiming to increase the
confidence and independence of people affected
by central vision loss.
Mrs Smith, who is affected by Macular
Degeneration, said: "I am pleasantly
surprised and I thank whoever was so kind as to
nominate me. My involvement in the group is a
pleasure and members are very supportive of each
other which is reward in itself.
"When you receive the news you have macular
disease and Charles Bonnet Syndrome it is scary
and a bit daunting. At meetings it is a pleasure
to see group members supporting each other
through the treatment and even looking forward
to meeting at clinic the next
Ann Watson, a member of the group which
nominated Mrs Smith, said: "Mandy has been
untiring in her efforts to make sure all of the
group members have access to all of the
information they need about their
"She is great at dealing with queries, and
has found some very interesting people to give
talks at the group meetings. Even though she
herself suffers with major sight problems, she
remains full of beans and this positively
reflects on everyone.
"The meetings have given a new lease of
life to many sufferers of sight
Mrs Smith's nomination will now be handed over
to the judges who will decide on the overall
winners and present the awards at the society's
annual London conference on September 27.
Open gardens raise £6,400 for
23rd July 2014
THE 20th annual Harlow Open Gardens
Weekend raised £6,400 for St Clare
Hundreds of people visited 29 gardens in Harlow,
Church Langley and Hastingwood during the
two-day event which was organised by the Harlow
Friends of St Clare in aid of the Hastingwood-based
Open Gardens stalwart Ann Gould, who organised
the first event in 1994, said: "Every year
has been a success and as the years have passed
the money collected has grown and grown.
"This year there were 28 gardens on show
and one allotment.
"The weather was very bad at times but
despite the rain visitors kept coming to the
garden enjoying the plants and homemade cakes,
teas, coffees and ploughman's lunches.
"At some gardens people ate their meals in
the rain with umbrellas up, or were invited into
the gardener's house to eat."
Many of those who opened their gardens also
organised live music, gift stalls and plant
sales, served refreshments and held raffles to
The weekend raised £5,658 with Barclays Bank
giving £750 match funding.
Four schools announce new 'super
A NEW team has been unveiled to be in
charge of four Harlow primary schools from
The team will be headed by Helena Mills,
headteacher of Burnt Mill Academy and chief
executive of the Burnt Mill Co-operative Academy
Trust which has responsibility for Freshwaters,
Roydon, Little Parndon and Cooks Spinney
primaries, all feeder schools of Burnt
The new structure sees Paul Jackson as executive
headteacher of all four primaries, while each
school will have its own head of school - Marios
Solomonides, promoted from deputy headteacher to
head of school at Freshwaters; Stuart Pope,
promoted from deputy headteacher to head of
school at Cooks Spinney; Sophie Laing, moving
from her role as assistant headteacher at Burnt
Mill Academy to head of school at Little Parndon;
and Gill Doyle who remains head of school at
Council welcomes Science Hub
HARLOW Council has welcomed the decision
of the Board of Public Health England that
Harlow is to be recommended as the location for
its state-of-the-art national Science Hub.
PHE has been considering for some time the
options for relocating its facilities from
Porton, Whitechapel and Colindale.
The PHE Board has decided to recommend to
Government that the facilities and support
services are relocated to Harlow to create a
world class Science Hub at the former
The Department of Health and HM Treasury will
now assess the options and the recommendation.
It is anticipated a decision could be made by
the end of September.
The proposal is to provide a modern campus and
facilities for the nation's public health
science retaining and attracting the world's
best scientists and researchers.
The proposal includes building new laboratory
facilities with some activities moving to Harlow
Harlow Council leader Jon Clempner said:
"This is an extremely positive development
for Harlow as it will increase the number of
high quality science and research jobs in the
"Harlow is a science-led town and this will
add to that status and contribute to the
Enterprise Zone developments in the town.
"A new Science Hub links perfectly with
MedTech and will increase the attractiveness of
the town for businesses in the science and
He added: "We want the world's best
scientists and researchers to work here in
Harlow but we also want to improve the higher
education offer in the town and the educational
opportunities for local people. "Having a
state-of-the-art science hub in Harlow will help
to do just that."
Harlow Council's regeneration and enterprise
portfolio holder Tony Durcan said: "This
announcement is the culmination of a huge amount
of work over a long period and recognises Harlow
as a place in which to invest.
"At the centre of the London Cambridge
Corridor, Harlow is an ideal place for
investment and I am sure PHE moving to Harlow
will attract private sector firms to the
"The council is doing all that it can to
support investment in Harlow. It is also
supporting local people to enable them to
acquire the skills and education necessary for
them to take the opportunities that are being
Award for Kier Harlow
REPAIRS and maintenance provider Kier
Harlow has won two gold awards in the Royal
Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA)
Occupational Health & Safety Awards
Kier Harlow has received a merit in the British
Safety Council's International Safety
The awards benchmark Kier Harlow's health and
safety performance and recognise its continuous
drive for the highest standards of health and
safety while carrying out repairs and
maintenance to 10,000-plus council properties in
Set up as a joint venture partnership between
Harlow Council and Kier, Kier Harlow has been
rewarded for its professional approach to
preventing accidents, which includes carrying
out regular health and safety briefings and
RoSPA's awards manager David Rawlins said:
"The RoSPA Awards encourage the raising of
occupational health & safety standards
across the board.
"Organisations that gain recognition for
their health and safety management systems, such
as Kier Harlow, contribute to a collective
raising of the bar for other organisations to
aspire to, and we offer them our
Kier regional operations manager John Phillips
said: "To receive both a RoSPA and BSC
award is a great achievement. They demonstrate
our employees' dedication to continuously
improving our health and safety practices and to
maintaining the highest standards
"The safety of employees, residents and
members of the public has been, and always will
be, of the utmost importance to
Kier Group has won 13 RoSPA awards this year.
Labour hopeful becomes academy
PARLIAMENTARY hopeful Suzy Stride has
become a director of the Burnt Mill Co-operative
Academy Trust, joining forces with chief
executive Helena Mills.
Ms Stride, Harlow's Labour candidate for next
May's general election and whose day job is with
the charity City Gateway where she works in
education with young people from difficult
backgrounds, said: "I am incredibly
passionate about tapping into the potential
which is in all young people whatever their
background, which is why it is fantastic to work
"I was also involved in a policy review
looking at engaging youngsters in politics.
There is a definite aspirations gap in Harlow;
young people are just not aiming high enough. So
I launched my aspirations campaign and set about
sharing my own story of how I went from state
school education to Cambridge
She added: "I am from the East End and that
didn't stop me. I believe state school education
sets you up for life rather than holds you back.
Anything tough you go through simply builds
resilience. The next Alan Sugar will come from
this kind of area, not from Eton.
"I was lucky in that I had a very dynamic
headteacher but when she left there were no
other teachers encouraging me to aim for the top
universities. "I did not have an easy
journey getting to Cambridge, I had to fight for
"There is potential in everyone, in every
community and every school. It's about tapping
into that potential and that's what Helena is
fantastic at. She is very aspirational and
ambitious for the children, which is absolutely
"This is about me coming alongside what is
already going on here and using my experience,
skills and connections to enhance it. If every
school was like Burnt Mill, the world would be a
better place. Children here are getting a
Ms Stride has already started working with Burnt
Mill Academy taking girls through their paces in
a football session as well as holding assemblies
on equality and aspirations.
She also plans to offer help and advice to
students when they make their applications to
Ms Stride, whose role with the BMAT is unpaid,
said: "It's really, really exciting to be
working with the Trust. Even if I was not a
parliamentary candidate this is what I would
want to be doing."
Miss Mills said: "I am delighted to have
Suzy Stride on board with the Trust. She stands
for the same values as us and believes every
single child deserves the very best education
and the most exciting opportunities regardless
of their background.
"We are on a mission to provide a
world-class education and Suzy is fighting for
the same things for Harlow's young people."
Woman trapped after car hits house
FIREFIGHTERS were called to free a woman
trapped in her car after it hit a house in Denby
Two Harlow fire crews were called out at midday
and took about 15 minutes to free the woman who
was given oxygen therapy by firefighters until
School records best ever SATS
A HARLOW primary school is celebrating
its best ever SATs results - boosting its score
by 30 per cent since forming a partnership with
a secondary school.
Staff, pupils and parents at Freshwaters Primary
Academy joined the Burnt Mill Co-operative
Academy Trust at the start of the academic
Pupils are expected to have reached level four
by the end of Year 6. The school this week
recorded 83 per cent of children having reached
that level in their reading, writing and maths.
For the first time, 41 per cent of pupils also
exceeded that by achieving level five in reading
while a couple of pupils managed to score level
six - a standard expected of children a year
Last year just 59 per cent reached their target
in reading, 56 per cent in writing and 56 per
cent in maths.
Head of School Marios Solomonides said:
"Children are generally expected to improve
by two levels but we have seen lots of our
pupils make accelerated progress up three levels
during their time at Freshwaters.
"We have achieved this leap in achievement
by putting excellent teachers in front of our
Year 6 pupils. They have really focused on each
individual child. That is the BMAT way, to look
at each child and to identify as early as
possible when and where they may need help to
achieve their best.
"There's no secret to it, it was about
looking at what they needed to learn and then
teaching them it. If a child did not know
something, we looked at whether it was because
they had not been taught it or that they needed
to be taught it in a different way to help them
"There is nothing different about our
children; this was not just a particularly
bright group. It has been about our expectations
being higher and we have full belief we will
achieve like this again next year."
The school is not content with just getting it
right with Year 6 and now wants to transfer
those teaching methods to the rest of the
Mr Solomonides said: "Our challenge now is
to apply those principles we have learnt with
all other year groups.
"It is not just our Year 6 teachers who got
our pupils to this level. It is about everyone
within our community having an impact on the
children, from learning support assistants to
catering staff and parents.
"Our children have to feel happy, positive
and cared for to achieve and that's the
responsibility of our whole school community. It
has been lovely to see staff from across the
school showing an interest in how the Year 6
group did, whether they taught them or not.
That, to me, shows everyone feels a part of what
we are doing, even if they do not sit in a
classroom with the children."
Two arrested over 'drug-related'
TWO people have been arrested following
the 'drug-related' death of a woman in
Nicola Miles, 47, was found seriously ill in a
residential property in Brockles Mead shortly
before 11pm on Monday, June 30.
The local woman died a few days later at
Princess Alexandra Hospital, Harlow.
Officers are awaiting the results of toxicology
tests after a post-mortem examination was unable
to reveal a cause of death.
These test results are due back in
An inquest into the death of Nicola Miles was
opened and adjourned. Police had been looking to
arrest a man and a woman in connection with the
On Monday evening a 30-year-old man from Harlow
and a 30-year-old woman, of no fixed address,
were arrested in Harlow town centre on suspicion
They are being questioned by detectives at a
police station in Essex.
Accuro named Charity of the Year
HASTINGWOOD-based charity Accuro (Care
Services) has won the Heart Essex Radio Charity
of the Year for 2014.
The award, which is specifically for Accuro's
Community Gardening Project, was presented at
the Heart Essex Charity Award Ceremony held at
Colchester United Football Club.
The project was chosen because it "makes a
real difference in your area, your community and
to the lives of others''.
The Community Gardening Project is based in the
Saffron Walden area and has only been operating
for two years.
The project provides a range of opportunities
for adults with a disability to participate in a
range of horticultural-based activities, the
most important of which is a community gardening
This is a gardening maintenance service offered
free to local residents who are unable to
maintain their own gardens owing to factors such
as age or illness.
Sue Atack, Accuro's Adult Services co-ordinator
stressed the potential development for the
important project that is improving the quality
of lives of both the project's members (adults
with a disability) and of the people whose
gardens are being maintained.
She said: "Currently we are maintaining 15
local gardens but unfortunately demand for the
service is now outstripping what we are able to
provide and the waiting list for this service
seems set to continue to grow unless we can
secure some additional funding.
"The project is currently in the process of
moving to a new base at Elder Street, Howletts
End, Wimbish, and this will further increase the
potential for future development providing we
can obtain more support for it such as that
currently generously provided by the Lloyds Bank
Speaking of his involvement as a member of the
project, Michael Romanis-Geer said: "It is
hard work but fun and it's really great being
able to help other people."
In addition to providing the maintenance
service, the Accuro Community Gardening Project
also engages in a number of community-based
activities that have included working with
Newport Grammar School on the design and
development of a sensory garden.
It also provides a wide range of other
activities including opportunities for members
to grow and sell plants. Indeed they can
regularly be seen selling some of their products
on Saffron Walden Market.
Accuro CEO Arthur Steward said: "We are
very pleased to have received this award which
is not just recognition of the efforts of the
Accuro staff involved in establishing and
delivering this project but, and more
importantly, recognises the very valuable
contribution that our members with a disability
are making to their local community."
Accuro is a locally-based charity established 30
years ago this year by local parents of children
with a disability who were keen to see a better
future for their children.
The charity has grown steadily over the years
and now provides a range of services for local
children, young people and adults with a
disability and their families.
Accuro greatly appreciates the support it
receives from the local communities in which it
operates and welcomes offers of support and
assistance from local groups and
To find out more about the services offered by
Accuro and ways in which you might consider
supporting the vibrant and valuable local
charity visit the Accuro website at www.accuro.org.uk,
or ring 01279 433667.
Paddling pools ready for summer
HARLOW Council is reminding families that
a fun day out can be enjoyed at one of the
town's paddling pools.
The town has five council-run paddling pools -
at Bush Fair, Norman Booth, Staple Tye, Sumners
and the Town Park - as well as the splash park
at Potter Street.
The pools at Sumners and the Town Park
open on Saturday (July 19) with the others and
the splash park opening on Wednesday, July
All will stay open until Sunday, August
The pools are free to use and are open seven
days a week from 10am to 6pm dependent on
Although there is an attendant on site to
maintain the pool during opening hours all
children must be accompanied and supervised by
Harlow Council youth and community portfolio
holder Emma Toal said: "Harlow's paddling
pools and the splash park are a great way of
keeping the kids entertained and cool during the
summer holidays, and the best thing is they are
free to use for all.
"We know they're much loved by local
families and, if the hot weather is here to stay
- which we hope it is, the paddling pools and
splash park will help to make everyone's summer
an enjoyable one."
The pools sometimes close temporarily for
maintenance or if broken glass is found so
residents are advised to check the council's
website at www.harlow.gov.uk/paddling-pools
for the latest information.
Residents are asked not to take bikes or dogs
into the pool area and use the litter bins
provided or take their litter home.
Students help with charity's
HASTINGWOOD-based charity Accuro welcomed
Passmores Academy students during its Community
As one of their nominated house charities, the
Passmores students helped Accuro in three
The week kicked off with a sponsored walk for
the charity which provides a broad range of
support and activities for children, young
people and adults with a disability.
The walk was followed by a 1,500 leaflet drop in
the surrounding area telling everyone about the
many ways in which the community can volunteer
with Accuro and encourage people to consider
whether they may be able to provide Shared Care
support to a child with a disability.
Finally on Thursday, June 19, a group of eager
students descended on the charity's Hastingwood
Armed with nothing more than boundless
enthusiasm, tea and cake, they knuckled down to
making a huge stock of visual aids which the
charity circulates to children and adults who
have communication difficulties.
Accuro's community co-ordinator Janice Schooling
said: "We were delighted to be approached
by Sheila Sumsion, of Passmores Academy, who
worked with us to schedule a range of activities
where the students could make a real
contribution to their house charity whilst also
Accuro's services range from Shared Care,
Parenting Support and Play and Holiday Schemes
across west Essex, youth groups in Harlow (ASD),
Loughton, Saffron Walden and Great Dunmow,
through to an Adult Friendship Scheme and
Community Gardening Project.
Further details of the work the charity does,
and all future Accuro fundraising events, can be
seen on the charity's website www.accuro.org.uk.
For more details email the charity at firstname.lastname@example.org
or ring 01279 433117.
Teenager robbed on cycle path
3.22pm - 9th
A 17-YEAR-OLD Harlow boy was hit on the
head and robbed of cash on the cycle path
between Southern Way and Pynest Road,
Police say the attack happened at 9.35pm on
Friday, June 27. The boy was helped by a male
passer-by who police want to speak to.
He is described as white, aged about 60, of
medium build with short grey hair.
This person or anyone with any other information
should ring PC Louise Howell at Harlow CID on
Council prepares for strike day
9.19am - 8th
HARLOW Council is warning that services
could be affected on Thursday (July 10) by
national strike action - but widespread
disruption to council services is not
Public sector union members have voted in favour
of strike action, in a dispute over pay.
Plans are being made to ensure the impact on
residents is kept to a minimum. Information on
the impact will be shared on the council's
website and social media channels on
Residents are encouraged to use of the council
website - www.harlow.gov.uk
- to make payments, find information, apply for
services or to report issues.
Street cleaning, housing repairs, grass cutting,
waste and recycling collections are not expected
to be affected as they are provided by
contractors and partner organisations.
Council leader Jon Clempner said: "Council
staff up and down the country are planning to
strike as part of a national pay dispute.
"We are making preparations and we will try
to minimise the strike's impact as best we can,
but some services could be affected."
Town to mark war centenary
9.19am - 8th
HARLOW Council is working with a number
of individual residents and groups, including
churches, schools, art groups, the museum and
the Royal British Legion to mark the centenary
of the First World War in August.
Harlow Council wants to ensure the community is
able to remember those who made the ultimate
sacrifice, as well as those who came home, along
with the contribution of women and different
A working group is promoting and co-ordinating
local events and is interested in hearing from
relatives of members of the armed forces from
the First World War and anyone else with
memories from that period. Email the council at email@example.com
The council can give small grants to local
organisations to assist with projects related to
the first World War centenary. An application
form can be downloaded at www.harlow.gov.uk/ww1
Work is underway to identify the names and last
resting place of those who did not come
These will be recorded in a special illustrated
book based on the original research by Arthur
Graham and on a war memorials and war graves map
Two of the town's war memorials, in Potter
Street and Great Parndon, are being refurbished
and restored and others are being cleaned.
Events will be held at Harlow Playhouse and in
the Gibberd Gallery during the autumn, along
with a memorial weekend at the Royal British
The Potter Street war memorial will be
re-dedicated at a service at 11am on Monday,
August 4, on the 100th anniversary of the start
of the First World War. All are welcome.
The council will be publishing further
activities at www.harlow.gov.uk/events
and is encouraging the community to let it know
of any similar events taking place to mark the
For more information on the First World War
Centenary visit www.1914.org.uk
Young gardener wows show judges
9.17am - 8th
BURNT Mill Academy student Penny Walker,
15, was the youngest person selected to display
her creative design at the RHS Flower Show
Birmingham at BBC Gardeners World Live
Penny, from Takeley, earned a bronze medal for
her design which incorporated Birmingham's many
motorways and canals to look like a map made
She said: "My mum and grandma are really
into gardening so I get my interest from them
and always watch the Chelsea Flower Show on
"My favourite subjects at school are art
and technology so this enabled me to bring all
of those aspects together.
"I was really hoping they would pick me to
display at the show, but I thought maybe I might
be too young.
"There were only 20 of us picked from 100
applicants and I was the only child
Penny spent several months growing her plants
for the show and had four days to put the
display in place before judging.
She said: "I think the older people were a
little surprised I was in the same category as
them but they were impressed someone as young as
me could produce what I did."
Penny's mum Elizabeth said: "Penny received
lots of positive feedback from the judges and
encouragement and advice from all sorts of
people to help her to do even better next time
and pursue her chosen career."
New headteacher for Cooks Spinney
8.49am - 4th
A NEW headteacher has been appointed to
Cooks Spinney School in Harlow.
Stuart Pope, whose daughter Jessica is in Year
1, said: "I want my daughter to have an
outstanding primary education. There's no better
way of achieving that than making it happen
The school has seen many changes over recent
years, successfully coming out of special
measures in 2010, combining the infants and
juniors into a primary in 2012 and then
converting to an academy.
Enterprise opportunity for young
8.46am - 4th
HARLOW Council is again working in
partnership with The Prince's Trust to offer a
free opportunity to young people looking to go
self-employed or start a business.
They can take part in The Prince's Trust
Enterprise Programme which will help create
Aimed at 18 to 30-year-olds who are either
unemployed or working fewer than 16 hours per
week, the programme offers training, mentoring
and potential access to finance to allow
individuals to explore and decide if
self-employment or setting up a business is
right for them.
It also helps guide them through the steps of
taking their business ideas and making them a
reality, and provides them with skills and
knowledge necessary to succeed.
Liberty Chinoda, 28, from Harlow, aspired to set
up his own hair and cosmetics business but after
looking at everything that was involved he
needed the confidence to know it was right for
him and support in taking the final steps
towards setting it up.
He attended the course and received mentoring
through The Prince's Trust which led him to
taking on a lease at Bush Fair Service Bays and
opening Wave Hair & Cosmetics in May.
Liberty said: "I've wanted to set up my own
business for a while but wasn't sure if it was
right for me. The Prince's Trust Enterprise
Programme gave me the confidence and
encouragement to know that it was what I wanted
to do and that I can do it.
"The support I received from my mentor was
exactly what I needed and has helped me along
every step to opening up my own
Harlow Council regeneration and enterprise
portfolio holder Tony Durcan said: "The
Prince's Trust Enterprise Programme is an
excellent opportunity for our young
"The job market is still tough and becoming
self-employed or setting up a business presents
a range of opportunities allowing young people
to be their own boss, do something they are
interested in and passionate about, whilst
For more information, and for details about the
next course in Harlow which runs from July 15-18
Burnt Mill students to take GCSEs
8.43am - 4th
STUDENTS at Burnt Mill Academy will start
collecting GCSEs from the age of 13.
A new structure will see lessons extended from
the current 60 minutes each to 100 minutes to
give students the opportunity to complete GCSE
courses in one year.
The move will ensure students not only get to
focus on their core subjects but that they can
enrich their education with qualifications in
subjects including Latin and classical
From September, Year 9 and 10 students will work
to the new-look timetable choosing two GCSE
subjects to study throughout the year.
By the end of Year 9 they will secure GCSE
grades and then choose a further two to study in
Assistant headteacher Paul Williams said the
changes are being made to ensure Burnt Mill
students can take the options they love without
having to drop more core subjects such as
geography and history.
He said: "Nationally there is a big
emphasis on students getting qualifications in
subjects which will give them a good start in
"This way we can encourage them to take
those subjects they want to give them a real
breadth and variety without having to make a
decision to drop a core subject such as modern
foreign languages to study dance.
"We feel these subjects can be as useful in
securing future careers for our young adults,
building their confidence and personalities.
This puts our students in a strong position if
they have those qualifications in the bag when
they leave at 16.
"The new curriculum structure creates more
time. It will enable students to complete their
option GCSEs in just one year. By the time the
traditional exam season arrives for them in Year
11, they will already have six qualifications
under their belts.
"We have researched this type of structure
at other schools. The evidence shows it is a
real success to sit exams each year."
Students, with advice from their teachers and
families, may decide to take what they consider
to be the more difficult subjects in Year 9 to
get them out of the way or leave them until they
are older and feel more prepared.
The school feels the new structure enables them
to come up with a plan which works for the
Mr Williams said: "This is the right time
to make these changes as our teaching and
learning are outstanding. We can adapt to the
challenges it may bring now that quality is in
Headteacher Helena Mills said: "This change
enables us to offer subjects not generally
offered at other state schools, such as ancient
"This curriculum will ensure Burnt Mill
students leave with the most prestigious
subjects at GCSE. It also means our students
will have enjoyed a broad and balanced
curriculum enabling them to compete for places
at all the top universities nationally and
"A lot of hard work has gone into planning
this curriculum and we know our students will
thrive as a result of it." Year 7 and 8
will continue with the existing lesson structure
because younger students benefit from the
shorter sessions, the school said.
Council seeks views over services
4.37pm - 3rd
HARLOW Council is asking residents for
their views on what services they think the
council should fund and provide.
Harlow Council continues to face difficult
financial challenges due to continued reduced
grants from the Government.
Since 2011 the council's Government grant which
funds nearly half (46 per cent) of the council's
services has reduced by nearly 50 per cent and
this will continue with an expected further
reduction of 16 per cent in 2015-16 and ten per
cent in 2016-17.
The council has to save £5.3m over the next
four years. In 2015-16 the council will need to
Both of these figures are based on Harlow
Council's share of council tax increasing by 1.5
per cent a year.
Surveys have been sent out to a random sample of
2,000 households however the consultation, which
runs until August 29, is open to everyone and
residents can take part online via the Harlow
Council website at www.harlow.gov.uk/budget
Paper copies of the survey are available from
the Civic Centre or by ringing Contact Harlow on
The survey includes funding choices for more
than 20 services Harlow Council provides or pays
The council provides both discretionary services
(services the council is not legally obliged to
provide) and statutory services (services the
council has to provide by law).
There are also questions on council tax levels
and what residents' priorities are for making
Harlow a better place to live.
Council leader Jon Clempner said: "In the
last two years the council has done well to
minimise the impact on services but we want to
be clear and open with residents about the
financial challenges we face in balancing
budgets now and in the future.
"As a council you can't continue to have
your grants reduced without any impact on
services and we want to know what is important
for our residents.
"This is the start of an ongoing
conversation with residents about the decisions
we will need to take.
"When looking at our budget choices I
believe the fairest thing to do is to give
everyone the opportunity to have their say and
"No decisions are ever taken lightly and
the results of this consultation will help
inform our budget proposals for 2015-16 and
He added: "We know there may be some
services where people want us to spend more but
doing that means we will have to save money by
reducing or stopping services
The results of the consultation will be
published with the council's budget proposals
for 2015-16 announced in early 2015.
Residents can also join in the conversation on
Twitter (until the end of August) by suggesting
council savings and priorities using the hastag
Students prepare for Ghana trip
9.26am - 3rd
A GROUP of Year 11 students from Burnt
Mill Academy, Harlow, are preparing for the
adventure of a lifetime when they head to Accra,
Ghana, later this month.
As part of their preparations, the group visited
Wales where they climbed Mount Snowdon.
Ghana expedition school co-ordinator Andrew
Scott said: "The team-building exercise to
climb Mount Snowdon was part of our fundraising
plan. More importantly, it was designed as a
group bonding exercise to build group cohesion,
promote fitness and endurance, as well as
The 11-day Ghana trip will see the students
enjoy adventure weekends in the Cape Coast and
Volta Region, take a short hike through Kakum
national rainforest, visit Cape Coast Castle
which famously held thousands of African slaves,
visit a monkey sanctuary, climb Mount Afadjato,
dine at a restaurant built over a crocodile lake
and take part in a community project.
Mr Scott said: "At Christ The King Primary,
a lack of Government funding has resulted in
poor classroom conditions with broken floors and
flimsy walls. Our children have volunteered to
work in the classrooms as well as help to
concrete classroom floors where many of the
young children take their naps."
Dennis Dogbe, country co-ordinator in Ghana,
said: "Everyone is so happy to welcome
Burnt Mill students and staff to our community.
The children cannot wait!"
Funding package for Enterprise Zone
9.24am - 3rd
A £5M funding package which paves the
way for the start of construction work on a
world class state-of-the-art data centre campus
and business park in Harlow Enterprise Zone, has
been agreed as part of a public-private sector
The announcement was made by Local Growth
Minister Kris Hopkins MP.
The minister, responsible for Enterprise Zones,
was in Harlow to find out more about the project
and meet with Harlow Enterprise Zone Board
members Harlow Enterprise Zone is split over two
sites - Templefields and London Road.
The £5m funding will help transform the former
Nortel head offices on the London Road
The financial package is made up of a £2.5m
loan from Homes & Communities Agency's Local
Infrastructure Fund matched by a loan from
The money enables the implementation of
infrastructure works on the 20-acre site and
will be backed up by major investment from the
private sector to be announced later this
This funding combined with an injection of
private finance will see the demolition of some
unusable buildings, the refurbishment of others
and bring in new power and telecommunications
The funding will then clear the way for the
large-scale investment of private money to see
the creation of a new data centre campus and
Construction work will start towards the end of
Local Growth Minister Kris Hopkins said:
"This country is internationally renowned
for its expertise in life sciences and
biotechnology and the Government is determined
to support these important sectors everywhere
"Enterprise Zones are proving to be great
news for these sectors by bringing complementary
companies together in an environment where they
can work closely with each other and thrive.
"This investment in Harlow is showing that
our long term economic plan to secure a better
future by spreading businesses, jobs and skills
across the country is working."
John Keddie, vice-chairman of Harlow Enterprise
Zone Board, said: "The Enterprise Zone is
now making great progress and we will see
significant activity on the site over the next
year, with a new road connection starting in
"This new announcement of infrastructure
funding will start the transformation of the
Nortel site, once at the vanguard of innovation
with the invention of fibre optic cable.
"We also look forward to welcoming Anglia
Ruskin University's Med Tech Campus to the
Enterprise Zone since this will provide a strong
interface between business innovation and
Harlow Council resources and enterprise
portfolio holder Tony Durcan said: "HCA's
money matched by a loan from Harlow Council
gives the private sector confidence in the
future of the Enterprise Zone.
"Not only does it pave the way for the
start of construction work on the site it also
clears the way for major investment from the
private sector which will help create new jobs
and new opportunities for local
Essex County Council and Anglia Ruskin
University are finalising details of a funding
package to enable the development of a new
Medical Technology Innovation Centre at the
Zone's London Road site.
The innovation centre would be the location for
start-ups, entrepreneurs and SMEs as well as
international companies in the initial stages of
locating to the MedTech Campus.
Essex County Council economic growth and
infrastructure cabinet member Kevin Bentley
said: "Essex County Council has pumped £6m
into supporting the Enterprise Zone in
infrastructure investment, including major road
improvements in Harlow.
"Our specialist highways and Invest Essex
teams have given support to unlock other
financial bids that have secured in the region
"We are continuing to work with businesses
and education providers in Harlow to make sure
the local population has the skills needed by
the businesses we are hoping to attract.
"We are also taking a strategic look at
housing in the region to make sure we have
everything in place to attract companies that
will bring high quality and sustainable jobs to
"We are in final discussions with Anglia
Ruskin University on the funding package that
will support the delivery of the MedTech
"The opening of the innovation centre would
be the first presence on the Enterprise Zone of
the MedTech Campus which will deliver
high-skilled jobs in Harlow and make a
significant contribution to the economy of
Midnight Walk set to raise £50,000
8.18am - 2nd
THE St Clare Hospice Midnight Walk looks
set to raise £50,000 thanks to the 600-strong
crowd which turned out for this year's event
which had an 80s theme.
Walkers set off from the Water Gardens car park
in Harlow to follow either a 5km or 10km circuit
through the town.
St Clare director of fundraising Elizabeth
Palfreman said: "Once again our Midnight
Walkers did the Hospice proud, signing up in
their droves and helping raise thousands of
pounds of vital funding so we can continue
providing our incredible care to local
"We would like to say a huge thank you to
each and every person who took part, as well as
our army of volunteers and marshals who helped
ensure the night was such a success, and the
many local businesses who supported us. It was a
truly wonderful night."
Every Midnight Walker was presented with a goody
bag before they set off and a medal when they
crossed the finish line.
First back were Chloe Hammond, 17, and Jamie
Dalgliesh, 23, who ran the 5km route in 33
They were followed by their friend Christine
Ford, 16, who walked the same distance in 49
minutes. Jamie is the daughter of St Clare nurse
Anne Dalgliesh, while Chloe is the daughter of
Hospice at Home nursing assistant Sandra
A £50,000 total would be enough to cover the
cost of running the hospice's Inpatient Unit for
Schools bring in 'executive
A PRIMARY expert has been drafted in to
improve standards at four Harlow schools.
The Burnt Mill Co-operative Academy Trust (BMAT)
has brought in Paul Jackson to oversee
Freshwaters, Roydon, Little Parndon and Cooks
Spinney primary schools as executive headteacher.
Each school will still have its own leader with
the new title of 'head of school'.
Mr Jackson will help the Trust with its mission
to bring the primary schools up to and beyond
the Ofsted-rated 'Outstanding' standard.
He will take up his post in September initially
on a year-long secondment from his role as
headteacher of Gallions Primary School, in
Newham, east London.
He said: "I started at Gallions when it was
a brand new school 15 years ago. It was a
challenging area with 95 per cent social
housing, high level of value crime and a high
level of unemployment.
"I joined when we were faced with
challenging behaviour, challenging attitudes to
learning and no parental involvement.
"In 2012 the school was named the seventh
most improved in the UK and the most improved
school in London - making an improvement of 61
per cent points in just three years. That was
achieved through pure determination and clear
vision, offering a rich educational experience
based around the creative arts."
Mr Jackson will work closely with BMAT chief
executive and Burnt Mill headteacher Helena
He said: "Of course I want children to be
able to read and write to the very best of their
ability but I also want them to stand out in a
crowd, to be confident and very employable in
"We will be offering our children a wide
range of experiences, getting them out whenever
we can to the theatre, galleries, museums, into
London and further afield and inviting visitors
in to work with them."
Mr Jackson is keen for best practise in each of
his primaries to be shared among the family of
schools, reassuring his teams: "My role is
going to be very much about getting some
stability and listening to the strengths which
already exist, building on these strengths and
sharing them. It won't be about going in and
making sweeping changes, but every minute we
waste is a minute of our children's education
wasted and that's not acceptable.
"We want to provide the very best for our
children; the best teachers, the best facilities
and the best curriculum so they can become
world-class. It is a big ask, but we have no
choice but to achieve it."
Father-of-two Mr Jackson added: "The idea
of having a secondary school linked to its
feeder primaries and to watch children from the
age of three right through their educational
journey is really exciting.
"It will enable us to provide an even
smoother transition from primary to secondary;
working in true partnership and not just at the
end of Year 6 but throughout a child's primary
"I believe this is a model which will be
replicated in the future."
Of his unique new role, he said: "This
feels like the natural next step for me; the
next challenge. I'm really excited about working
with enthusiastic heads of schools; passionate
people who can make a real difference.
"I can't wait to work with the staff to
drive the schools forward and to have an impact
on children from similar working class
backgrounds to my own."
Woman charged over burglary
8.40am - 1st
A WOMAN was due to appear in court
yesterday (Monday) charged with a burglary at a
woman's home in Harlow.
The break-in happened when a woman and a boy
entered a flat near Broadfield shortly after 3pm
on Friday claiming to be relatives of
A handbag and mobile telephone were later
A 16-year-old boy was arrested at his home in
Harlow on Friday evening in connection with the
burglary. He is on police bail until Saturday,
September 19, pending further enquiries.
Unemployed Sarah Lodge, 35, of no fixed address,
was arrested on Kitson Way, Harlow, on Saturday and has been charged with one count
She was being detained in police custody prior to
her appearance at Chelmsford Magistrates Court.