Live updates

Plans to launch 'library lego clubs' for children

Libraries in Essex have launched an appeal for unwanted lego Credit: PA

If you have any lego at home that the kids are too old to play with then why not donate it to a library in Essex.

The County Council have launched 'library lego clubs', where children can play and learn together, as well as take part in challenges against each other.

Anyone who would like to donate Lego can do so by taking it to their local library.

Children of all ages love Lego, but it also has a real educational quality helping the development of motor skills and creativity, and learn about problem solving skills.

If we are successful in gaining enough Lego, then we will be looking to launch a series of Lego clubs across the county where children can come together to take part in activities and Lego based challenges.

– Cllr Anne Brown, Essex County Council


Norfolk gets fifth Children's Services boss in three years

The Children's Services department faced with a string critical Ofsted inspections has appointed its fifth new director in a little more than three years.

Matt Dunkley will join Norfolk County Council as interim director of Children's Services in February.

Mr Dunkley worked in East Sussex for eight years and is also a past President of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services

Matt Dunkley is the fifth director of Children's Services in Norfolk in a little more than three years. Credit: Norfolk County Council

"In Norfolk, I am keen to build on the ‘green shoots’ of recovery highlighted by both Ofsted and the DfE commissioner in their recent reports, as well as responding to the issues of pace of improvement in leadership they identified.

“There is clearly much improved practice in many parts of Norfolk children's services and staff in the service have been working hard on improvement and deserve recognition for what they have already achieved."

– Matt Dunkley

Mr Dunkley will take over from the current interim director Andrew Bunyan who took over in November 2016.


Teacher to be sentenced for having sex with teenager

Simon Ball. Credit: Terry Harris/

A former Cambridgeshire school teacher is due to be sentenced later for a string of sexual offences against pupils.

Simon Ball, who's 42 and from Gloucestershire, was arrested last February following reports he'd been having a sexual relationship with a girl he taught at Kimbolton School.

He's due before Peterborough Crown Court.

University of Bedfordshire develops new way to teach PE

The University of Bedfordshire has come up with a new way of teaching PE to get more primary school age children active.

The 'Playmakers Programme' - developed with Virgin Active - has been trialled with 7,500 children in 30 schools across the UK over the last year.

The idea is to move away from traditional sports, which focus on winning, and encourage children to create their own original games.

Poorer students falling behind in the classroom

Poorer pupils are falling behind wealthier students.

Research has found that less well off students in areas including Norwich are falling well behind in the classroom.

The charity Ambition School Leadership says poorer children make nearly two years less progress at GCSE level compared to wealthier pupils.

The study follows an earlier Government announcement naming Norwich as one of six 'opportunity areas' that would get extra funding to give youngsters a better start in life.

James Toop, CEO of Ambition School Leadership, said: "We're ambitious for every child to achieve their potential but seeing how far students are falling behind in Opportunity Areas means we have to support their schools to improve."

Load more updates