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Book festival underway in Carlisle

The book festival gets underway today. Credit: PA

Borderlines Book Festival returns to Carlisle today, with a series of writers' workshops and talks from authors.

Last year's event saw more than 1,300 people attend.

The four-day event runs from 3 to 6 September, and is organised by Cumbria County Council's Library Service, Tullie House Art Gallery and Museum, and Bookends Bookshop.

There will be 27 author events and 13 writers' workshops taking place at the Crown & Mitre Hotel, Tullie House Museum & Art Gallery, Carlisle Library, Carlisle Cathedral, Waterstones and Bookcase.

This year's festival has a wonderful, eclectic mix of speakers who will appeal to a broad range of festival-goers.

We'll have a lively weekend for those who love literature, history, art, music, poetry, politics, sport, humour and the great outdoors.

Hopefully, published authors will also inspire would-be authors to guarantee many more festivals in the future."

– Festival chair Gwenda Matthews

Scottish Government: 'We fully expect to resolve these issues'

Students look at the provisional plans for the Dumfries Learning Town Credit: ITV Border

The Dumfries Learning Town project aims to create a "cohesive town-wide solution" to problems with educational facilities.

Eleven schools, including four secondary schools will be involved in the project.

The development will be done over two phases.

Phase 1 of the project Credit: ITV Border

Phase 1 In phase one of the development there will be a brand new school in North West Dumfries with Maxwelton High School being demolished.

Two local primary schools and Langland Special school will be closed and become part of the new North West Campus on Lochside Road.

St Joseph's college will undergo refurbishment.

There are also plans for a brand new education hub to be built which will offer all schools unlimited access.

Phase 2 of the Dumfries Learning Town project Credit: ITV Border

Phase 2
Dumfries High School will be demolished and rebuilt as part of Phase 2.

There will also be a full refurbishment of Dumfries academy.

Both schools will benefit from the addition of local primary schools.

Phase two is due to begin in 3 years time, with a hope of being completed by 2020.

Dumfries and Galloway Council have voiced their concerns over the funding of the project, but the Scottish Government insists all issues will be dealt with and delays kept to a minimum.

European rules that govern our wider Non Profit Distributing programme - part of our infrastructure building programme - have changed. As a result we are working through a number of complex issues. We fully expect to resolve these issues but there has been some impact on a small number of projects in the interim."

– Scottish Government spokesperson


Fear of delays to 'Learning Town' project due to funding

Fears have been raised that a scheme to transform education in Dumfries could be delayed.

Dumfriesshire MSP Elaine Murray is seeking assurances the Scottish Government remains committed to paying for improvements to school buildings in the town following concerns over its funding plans.

The Scottish Government says it is still fully behind the project.

Read more about the plans for the 'Learning Town' here.

WATCH: New school for Dumfries students

A new school has opened in Dumfries for young people who've become detached from mainstream education.

The RAF themed education and training centre is based in Catherinefield industrial estate and can cater for 18 young people who've come from challenging backgrounds.

Young people interested in the school are invited to have a tour of the facilities, and see if this new learning centre is the place for them.

Lori Carnochan Reports.

GCSE: What's next?

GCSE Results 2015 Credit: ITV Border

GCSE students across the region have collected their results today and will be considering which step to take next.

By law, all students will have to stay in education or training at least part-time, until they are 18 years old.

There are many options available to young people which doesn't necessarily mean that they have to stay in school.

Sixth Form

One option on offer to year 11 students is Sixth Form, either at their current school or at college.

Many will offer AS and A2 levels in academic subjects such as science and English. Other sixth forms and further education colleges may offer a wider range of courses, including vocational qualifications.

To search the courses available in your area click here

There is plenty of information available online for students considering sixth form, but why not talk to other students, teachers, friends or family.

You can also learn a lot by attending open days.

The learning environment of sixth form is similar to that of secondary school but students are expected to motivate themselves to do their work in their own time.

More information about what to expect in sixth form can be found at the Nation Careers Service website.

GCSE students collecting their results Credit: ITV Border

Vocational qualifications

Vocational courses offer qualifications that are different to GCSEs and A-levels. They allow people to learn in a workplace environment. These qualifications are awarded in different levels, from entry level to level 7.

Level 2 is the equivalent of A*-C grades at GCSE with level 3 being an equivalent to an A-level.

This type of qualification equips students with particular skills that are needed for a specific job.

This can be for jobs in a number of sectors such as construction, business management or hair and beauty.

They're often assessed by practical assignments rather than exams.

Find out more about vocational qualifications on the UCAS website.

Credit: PA


Another option for students who do not wish to continue in an education environment is to sign onto an apprenticeship.

They offer the chance to get out of the classroom and into the workplace.

They can take between one and four years to complete and cover a number of different job roles, from veterinary nursing, engineering or financial advice.

If a student lives in England, are over 16-years-old and not in full time education, they can apply.

It won't cost anything providing the student is under 24-years-old and could earn around £170 a week.

You can find lots of information about apprenticeships here.

To search apprenticeships and training schemes available in your area, click here.

A student undertaking a vocational traineeship Credit: PA


If you don't quite feel ready for an apprenticeship, perhaps a traineeship is for you.Traineeships give people a chance to build up work experience and skills.

There is plenty of opportunity with around 170 industries and 1400 different job roles that offer a traineeship or apprenticeship.

They offer work experience and training as you work, including developing skills for a future job such as time-keeping, interview skills and job searching.

Traineeships tend to last between six weeks and six months.

Although most traineeships are unpaid, the 16-19 Bursary Fund could help but depends on circumstances.

Click here to read up on traineeships.

Credit: PA

Supported internships

Supported internships are for 16-24 year-olds with learning disabilities or learning difficulties.

It allows students to learn in a workplace, study for qualifications or other training and gain skills needed for work.

Although internships are unpaid, they prepare students for applying for a paid job at the end of the programme.

They are normally at least six months long.

More information about supported internships can be found on the UCAS website.

GCSE Results Credit: PA

There is plenty of information and advice to be found online. You can take a look at the options available to you at the following websites:

If you haven't got the results you were hoping for today, the main thing is to keep calm. There are plenty of options available to you.

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