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A lesson in pre-school care for the childcare minister Liz Truss, but should nurseries really be more like schools?

The way our pre-school children learn has been in the spotlight since education watchdog Ofsted said nurseries needed to be more aligned with schools to better prepare youngsters for their education.

Today, the Childcare Minister Liz Truss visited a nursery in a deprived area of Ipswich and urged the country's pre-schools to follow its lead.

Click below to watch a report from ITV News Anglia's Serena Sandhu

Liz Truss urges UK's pre-schools to follow lead of Ipswich nursery

Liz Truss at the Buttons and Bows nursery this morning.
Liz Truss at the Buttons and Bows nursery this morning. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Childcare minister Elizabeth Truss visited a nursery in a deprived area of Ipswich today - and urged the country's pre-schools to follow its lead.

Last week the Norfolk MP sparked more controversy when she said nurseries needed to be more aligned with schools to better prepare youngsters for their education.

But as she visited the outstanding-rated Buttons and Bows nursery this morning, she insisted there was still a place for fun and play.

Ms Truss believes there's a big gap between children on the lowest incomes and the highest incomes.
Ms Truss believes there's a big gap between children on the lowest incomes and the highest incomes. Credit: ITV News Anglia

"Sometimes there's a false argument presented that we want two-year-olds sat in mortar boards doing trigonometry," Ms Truss said.

"That's not what this is about. It's all about children developing important, early language because at the moment when they get to school there's a big gap between children on the lowest incomes and the highest incomes."

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Dutch Tall Ships make unscheduled stop in Ipswich

The ships in Ipswich today.
The ships in Ipswich today. Credit: ITV Anglia

A fleet of Tall Ships have made an unscheduled stop in Ipswich after a change in the wind prevented them from docking in the Hague in Holland.

The 22 ships are part of a Dutch university sailing challenge with hundreds of students manning the armada.

The ships are due back in the Netherlands by Sunday.
The ships are due back in the Netherlands by Sunday. Credit: ITV News Anglia

They are all due back in the Netherlands by Sunday.

More than £2 billion to be spent on rail improvements in the Anglia region

Billions to be spent improving rail services in the East. Credit: ITV Anglia

More than £2 billion pounds is to be spent on improving our rail network in the Anglia region over the next five years.

Network Rail is planning to spend up to £200 million pounds on improvements between Felixstowe and Ipswich to ease congestion.

There will also be major re-modelling work at Ely to increase capacity there, while £50 million pounds will be spent on a signalling upgrade between Norwich, Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft.

And a new operations centre will open at Romford in Essex next year to take control of the regions signalling.

£247 million pounds of that will go towards increasing capacity on the East coast Main line which runs through Peterborough.

The Bedford to Sheffield line will be electrified for the first time and work will start on the east west rail scheme which is a new line linking Milton Keynes and Bedford to Oxford.

The money comes from a national pot of £38 billion pounds.

Investment for local hospitals

It's been revealed that some of the region's biggest hospitals will benefit from new investment to help them cope with huge increases in the number of patients.

The Norfolk and University Hospital is to spend 20 million pounds over the next few years, while there are plans to create an urgent care hub at Ipswich Hospital and possibly one at Bury St Edmunds.

Click below to watch Malcolm Robertson's report

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Man wanted for Ipswich assault

Do you recognise this man? Credit: Suffolk Police

Police have issued an artist's impression of a man wanted in connection with an assault in Ipswich.

The incident happened on a footpath in Chesterton Close at around midnight on Thursday 13 February.

A 23-year-old man was assaulted by a male offender who approached him from behind, and then ran off. The victim sustained swelling to his arm, knee and cheek as a result of the incident.

Masked men carry out armed robbery in Ipswich

Police in Ipswich are investigating a robbery by masked men at a convenience store in the town. At approximately 8pm last night (Saturday 15 March) a masked man came into the shop on Clapgate Lane and threatened a member of staff with a knife.

Two or three further masked men entered the shop, telling a group of customers to stay at the front of the shop whilst they stole money from the till and alcohol before leaving. All of the men wore dark clothing and balaclavas or masks over their faces. No one was injured during the robbery.

Officers are very keen to hear from anyone who was in the Clapgate Lane area (near to Mildmay Road) last night, who may have any information in relation to this incident.

Calls should be made to Ipswich CID on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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