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Northampton school having to be creative to cope with demand for places

A rise in demand for school places in Northamptonshire has forced the county council to convert existing office blocks into schools - because new ones can't be built.

The county's seen an increase in pupil numbers of almost 40 per cent in ten years.

One school in Northampton's so keen to make the most of existing space, it's planning to turn its rooftop into a playground.

Click below to watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Stuart Leithes.

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Parachute from space balloon falls to earth

Students have found a parachute from a high altitude balloon they sent into the Near Space region of the earth's atmosphere.

The balloon on its ascent to Near Space Credit: ITV News Anglia

Pupils at Fakenham Academy in Norfolk launched the balloon from Elsworth in Cambridgeshire, and it rose to more than 26,000 metres.

The balloon burst, as planned, when it reached high altitude and the parachute with a computer and camera attached came down at Bourne near Peterborough.

Councillors to discuss fate of more than 20 children's centres in Northamptonshire

Northamptonshire County Council could close eight children's centre to save money. Credit: ITV News Anglia.

Proposals to close eight children's centres in Northamptonshire and relocate more than a dozen others to the county's libraries will be discussed today.

Councillors say they need to cut funding by £3m because of "unprecedented demand" on services and big reductions in government funding.

This afternoon, Northamptonshire County Council's cabinet will consider the proposals which would include closing three children's centres in Northampton, two in Wellingborough, two in Kettering and one in South Northamptonshire.

"Children's centre services will still be available across Northamptonshire, but financial pressures mean that we will be using a larger proportion of the funding available for services in areas of greatest need, such as Northampton East and Central, Corby and Wellingborough."

– Cllr Matthew Golby, cabinet member for learning and families.

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Up, up and away ..... students send balloon into near space

Fakenham students send high altitude balloon into the atmosphere Credit: Steve Randall

Students from Fakenham Academy in Norfolk have launched a high altitude balloon nearly 30,000 metres into near space.

A previous attempt in February had to be postponed because of poor weather but today's conditions were perfect.

The balloon took off from Elsworth in Cambridgeshire with a computer and a camera attached.

It was hoped they would be safely parachuted down after the balloon burst on reaching high altitude.

But they lost sight of the parachute over Peterborough. A search is currently being carried out near Bourne where they thought the parachute would land.

Click below to see Steve Randall's pictures of the launch

Children kept out of school in protest over SATs for six-year-olds

Children in Cambridge engage in outdoor learning instead of going to school today. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Parents have been keeping their children out of school today in protest over controversial tests for six and seven-year-olds.

The "Let Our Kids Be Kids" campaign argue children shouldn't be tested at such a young age, and should instead focus on developing "essential" skills such as reading, writing and grammar.

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Children and parents in Norwich also joined in with the protest. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Many schoolchildren in Cambridge and Norwich among other places have missed class today as part of the protest against the SATs tests.

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