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Breeding hen harriers found at RSPB Geltsdale

Hen harrier chicks Credit: PA

Wardens at RSPB Geltsdale, near Brampton, have confirmed that they have a breeding pair of hen harriers.

A visit to one of the licensed nests found a female harrier incubating five eggs.

It's believed to one one of only three in England this year, and if the eggs hatch it will be the first time there have been hen harrier chicks at RSPB Geltsdale for a decade.

The hen harrier nest is believed to be one of only three in England this year.

The birds of prey are on the verge of extinction and in 2015, there were only six successful nests in the whole country.

“We’re delighted that we have hen harriers breeding on the reserve once again. It’s an incredibly nerve-wracking time but we’re crossing our fingers that we’ll see fledged young in a few months time.

“Staff and volunteers are watching the nest around the clock to prevent unnecessary disturbance, and we have spoken to our neighbouring estates about the birds so they can play their part in helping to ensure that the birds are safe when they leave our reserve to hunt.”

– Steve Westerberg, Site Manager, RSPB Geltsdale

Last year, a pair bred at Geltsdale but the nest failed during the incubation period after the male suddenly vanished while hunting away from the nest.

Faced with the prospect of starvation, RSPB Geltsdale say the female had little choice but to abandon her eggs.

Villagers club together to keep only shop open

The village's only shop. Credit: ITV Border

Villagers who have been fighting to save their only shop from closure have become its new owners.

The former Co Operative store in Hallbankgate near Brampton, closed in the summer after 140 years.

A community group made up of local residents has now bought it after raising around £70,000, and they're busy refurbishing the shop.

They hope it will re-open in the spring.

School: concerns with uniform 'resolved'

William Howard School have released the statement. Credit: ITV Border

The head of William Howard School says "all our students have now had any outstanding concerns with uniform resolved".

The school released this statement today:

The first day of term saw only eighty students not complying with the advised uniform guidelines. This was a small percentage of our overall student number and more than half of the discrepancies were resolved that day.

Today we have continued to provide help and assistance to the small number of students who arrived at school this morning with minor uniform infringements.

I am now pleased to confirm that all our students have now had any outstanding concerns with uniform resolved at William Howard School and all have settled into the new academic year with enthusiasm.

Students, parents and staff reacted quickly and positively to resolve any problems and I would like to express my thanks to everyone involved.”

– Domenic Volpe, Head of William Howard School

Pupil misses lessons because 'trousers too tight'

The school uniform debate is continuing today, with tens of parents, and pupils, contacting ITV Border about being excluded from lessons at William Howard School.

The school says that 80 pupils were spoken to about their uniforms on the first day back from term, and that it's helping parents to ensure their children have the right uniform.

Hollie Coopey, 14, is a pupil at the school. She was told her trousers were too tight:

Well, apparently they're too tight, and they're not the same length all the way down.

It's ridiculous, it's not fair. It's just frustrating, because they're saying they teach us like individuals and they've always taught us to express ourselves, but they're practically saying that we can't express ourselves any more."

– Hollie Coopey, pupil at William Howard School


Photos: Tour of Britain races through Brampton

The Tour of Britain has passed through Brampton, on its way to the finish line at the summit of Hartside Fell.

People from the town were out in force to welcome the riders:

The Tour races through Brampton. Credit: ITV Border
The Tour races through Brampton. Credit: ITV Border
The Tour races through Brampton. Credit: ITV Border
The leaders race through Brampton. Credit: ITV Border
Yellow bikes are out in force. Credit: ITV Border

School uniform debate: your views

School uniforms are sparking a fierce debate. Credit: ITV Border

Parents say hundreds of pupils at William Howard School, in Brampton, were put in isolation because of problems with their school uniform.

The Head at the school denies this, and says 80 pupils were spoken to on the first day of term, and 40 the following day.

You've been posting your views on our Facebook page, and there's been a mixed response, with many parents speaking about their own children's experiences:

If the school has a uniform all pupils should wear it properly, it's the parents that should supervise the children's dressing before they leave the house."

– Trudi Harris on Facebook

A lot of these students have their own minds and no matter what the parents say they are going to do what they want.

Why don't the teachers wear some sort of uniform, if the kids have to. It will show that they can follow rules too. It's all about learning not what they are wearing or what they look like surely."

– Hazel Barnes on Facebook

Over 400 children at William Howard put in isolation yesterday including my 12 year old daughter, for 6 hours, because her trousers were too tight fitting over her thighs.

Went in and demanded a meeting with the head. They gave me new trousers."

– Anna Stewart on Facebook

My granddaughter had spent the day in isolation as her trousers were too tight, why did they take four hours to phone parents?

400+ pupils taken out of lessons is outrageous, some children were in there because they had the wrong socks on!!"

– Sue Atkin on Facebook

Parents know what the uniform is, they buy it. No skinny trousers, charcoal grey means just that! It's your fault just buy the correct uniform."

– Nicola Woodmass on Facebook

School: only '80 pupils' spoken to about uniform

The school has hit back. Credit: PA

The head of William Howard School has rejected claims from parents that hundreds of pupils were sent home, or put into isolation, because of their uniform.

Domenic Volpe says that 80 pupils were "spoken to" about their uniform on the first day of term, and 40 students the following day.

He says no pupils have been excluded, and "no students were sent home as a result of uniform policy".

William Howard is one of the highest performing secondary schools in the county, with 1500 students. We pride ourselves on fostering a positive working environment offering not only academic success but also opportunities for students to experience a whole range of exciting activities. The school has always set high standards in all areas, including uniform. Our expectation is that all students should attend school in the approved uniform.

In July 2015, in preparation for the new term, a letter was sent out, reminding parents of our expectations in relation to school uniform. This was overtly welcomed by many parents. Students were also reminded of the school policy at assemblies prior to the summer break. This was followed up in our welcome assemblies on Tuesday, 8 September when we reiterated our expectations about uniform to the students.

On the first day of term - Tuesday 8 September - there were 80 students, mainly in the upper school, who unfortunately did not return with the correct uniform. After the morning assembly, these students were spoken to about the lack of conformity with the policy. The school then made every effort to resolve any issues, including assistance with providing school uniform including shoes.

Today, Wednesday, 9 September, the numbers have dropped to 40 students who are still not wearing the correct uniform. This rapid reduction has been achieved because of fantastic support from parents and carers who have been working with the school to endorse our uniform policy.

The school will resolve the small number of outstanding concerns with parents in the next couple of days.

During this period any students affected have been given appropriate work to complete. The aim is to get students fully integrated back into the school community as soon as possible. This approach has been warmly welcomed by the vast majority of the school community. I would like to thank all parents for their support.

No students have been excluded from school while the uniform issues are being resolved.

No students were sent home as a consequence of the uniform policy.

– Domenic Volpe, Head of William Howard School
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