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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."

Difficulty recruiting teachers at schools in the East

The latest report from NAHT shows schools are still struggling to recruit teachers Credit: PA

Recruiting teachers to this region continues to be a problem - with up to a quarter of posts going unfilled.

According to a survey by the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT), schools in the East said they'd failed to fill one in four jobs for teachers on the main and upper pay scales.

Almost nine out of 10 headteacher roles were a struggle to recruit for, and two thirds of newly-qualified teacher jobs.

Dippy the Dinosaur's Jurassic tour

Dippy the Diplodocus is off to Norwich Credit: PA Images

One of the most famous dinosaurs in the world is on the march to Norwich.

Dippy the Diplodocus is seen by millions of people every year in the central hall of the Natural History Museum in London.

The 70ft plaster-cast sauropod replica has been on display there since 1979 but sets off next year on a national tour to seven towns and cities ending up at Norwich Cathedral in 2020.

We wanted Dippy to visit unusual locations so he can draw in people that may not traditionally visit a museum. Making iconic items accessible to as many people as possible is at the heart of what museums give to the nation, so we have ensured that Dippy will still be free to view at all tour venues.

– Sir Michael Dixon, Natural History Museum

Dippy will spend at least four to six months at each location because he will have to be taken apart and reconstructed at every stop on the tour. A total of 1.5 million people are expected to see him.

The replica dinosaur was cast from original fossil bones discovered in the US in 1898.

Jurassic tour: 1.5 million people will be getting close up to Dippy on his tour of the country. Credit: PA Images


New Corby school would meet rising demand for SEN places

Northamptonshire County Council wants to create a new free school for children with special educational needs. Credit: ITV News Anglia.

A new school for children with special educational needs could be created in Northamptonshire to meet a rising demand for places.

The county council has revealed plans for an all-through free school in Corby.

It follows a 9.3% increase in the number of children attending a special education needs (SEN) school between January 2014 and January 2016.

Red Kite Academy, which would be built on part of the former Beanfield Community School, would provide places for up to 100 pupils aged four to 18.

A planning application is due to be submitted later this month and building work could start next June.

"We know there are an increasing number of children in Northamptonshire attending special educational needs schools and this new school will help us to meet demand and provide local places for local children.

“I would encourage people in Corby to come along to our consultation event to find out more about these exciting plans.”

– Cllr Matthew Golby, Northamptonshire County Council.
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