Vale Mail website is moving


Vale Mail is changing its web address to Tyburn Mail.
The new address is: http://tyburnmail.com/

The new Tyburn Mail website starts on Monday 2nd July. It will report on news  and events covering the Tyburn ward, including Birches Green, Castle Vale, Pype Hayes and Erdington Hall.

College Principal to carry torch for Brum


The Olympic torch arrives in Birmingham this evening. Christine Braddock, 57, the principal of Birmingham Metropolitan College, will be one of the torchbearers as it makes its way around the city.
Peter Moss, 19, from Castle Vale, will be carrying the torch through Smethwick.

Volunteers needed to check on police cells


West Midlands Police Authority is looking for volunteers to serve as custody visitors. Custody visitors make random surprise visits, in pairs, to police cells. They talk to people who are being detained by police, and then write a short report on their visit for the Police Authority. The purpose of the visits is to ensure that decent standards are being maintained, and correct procedures being followed.
Volunteers attend a one day initial training event. They then conduct a one hour custody visit every six weeks.
Custody visitors must be more than 18 years old and live in the West Midlands. No special skills are required as full training and support is provided. They are expected to be good listeners, non-judgemental and capable of making unbiased observations.
Anyone interested in volunteering should contact Paul Norton on 0121 626 5685 or email p.norton@west-midlands.police.uk. The closing date for applications is Friday 13th July.

CTC and Grace Academy both flooded out


Thunderstorms have caused flash flooding across the Birmingham and West Midlands area. Grace Academy in Chelmsley Wood has been closed for the day because of a serious roof leak. The CTC in Kingshurst has closed this morning because of serious flooding. It will remain closed tomorrow. Smiths Wood School also closed for the afternoon because of flooding.
The A38 Aston Expressway was closed at lunchtime because of flooding. The Met Office says that rain will clear later this afternoon. Friday’s weather will be more settled.

Castle Vale School: changes on the way


Charlotte Blencowe, the new headteacher of Castle Vale School, told a public meeting tonight that an outstanding education is “a right, and not a privilege.” She spoke briefly to the audience of around 40 people in the school hall: parents, teaching staff and members of community organisations.
AET (Academies Enterprise Trust) regional director David Kershaw fielded most of the questions about the school’s future.
“Teachers will undergo three days of intensive training,” he said. “Within a matter of weeks, there will be absolute clarity about what is expected.”
“Every youngster will achieve. Every youngster has to behave,” he told the audience.
There will be a focus on teaching standards and pupil behaviour, but they do not envisage an increase in pupil suspensions or expulsions. They will promote ‘discipline with dignity.’ They expect significant improvements in GCSE results in future years. Senior teaching staff will be appointed to the English and maths departments for September.
AET hope to be running the school by September, when Miss Blencowe officially takes up her position as headteacher, though they may have to wait until October or November for final approval from government.
Despite the major changes to the school’s governance, Charlotte Blencowe advised that changes will not be instant or dramatic. “System change is like filo pastry,” she said. “It has to happen layer by layer, slowly.”

Olympic Torch to light up Brum this weekend


The Olympic torch is due to arrive in Birmingham this Saturday, 30th June. Irish Pipers will welcome the torch bearers at 6.52pm on the Dudley Road. There are major events at Summerfield Park, The Mailbox, Calthorpe Park and Cannon Hill Park (torch arrives at Cannon Hill Park approx 8pm) to mark the event.
The torch leaves Birmingham for the next stage of its journey at 5.45am on Sunday morning, from Victoria Square.

Castle Vale School: academy public meeting tonight


AET (Academies Enterprise Trust) will be consulting with the public tonight about their proposals to run Castle Vale School as an academy. The meeting starts at 6pm, in the school hall.