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Special school sets up online appeal for new facilities

Ash Lea School Credit: ITV News Central

Our Education Correspondent has spent the day with staff and pupils at Ash Lea School in Nottinghamshire.

Here is his report:

A rundown special school in Nottinghamshire is so desperate for new facilities it's set up an online appeal to raise a million pounds.

Ash Lea School in Cotgrave has 78 pupils aged from three to 19 with a range of physical and learning disabilities. Many are taught in three portable classrooms which staff say should have been scrapped several years ago. Nottinghamshire County Council plans to replace these in the near future.

The school is also struggling with a lack of space - the doorways and corridors are narrow for wheelchairs, and it's difficult to fit all the pupils into the hall. In addition, there are no fixed hoists for lifting children and the school has no sensory room or hydrotherapy pool.

Earlier this year, Ash Lea failed in a bid for a new build as part of the Government's Priority School Building Programme. The school was judged to be in a "reasonable" state of repair. Deputy headteacher Jane Moore says the web appeal is a last resort as they have to do something for the sake of the children.

The Department for Education says funding for the Priority School Building Programme is targeted where it is needed the most and according to the size and condition of individual school blocks.

Ash Lea School Credit: ITV News Central


SATs week for children across the Midlands

Pupils taking their exams Credit: David Jones/PA Wire

Children across the Midlands will begin their SATs this week.

In the Midlands 12% of children are too nervous before an exam to eat, according to a study. A fifth of parents also said that their child's behaviour gets worse during SATs week.

The study by Kellogg's also found 59% of children said they feared that not getting a level 4 or higher would impact their future.

Speeders Shamed by Schoolchildren

School children taking part in a previous campaign Credit: West Midlands Police

School pupils in Birmingham and Coventry will be shaming speeders into slowing down when they join police teams for a week of road safety initiatives.

Youngsters from Stivichall Primary Eastern Green Primary in Coventry will team up with local officers on today and Friday, respectively, on Speed Watch operations in streets surrounding their schools.

And pupils from Chilcote Primary and Hall Green Primary schools in Birmingham will also be out with their neighbourhood police teams today and tomorrow to try to persuade drivers that “20 is plenty" near school gates.

It's part of UN Road Safety Week which, as well as tackling speeding, will address inconsiderate parking around schools, clamp down on mobile phone use at the wheel, and stress the importance of ensuring child passengers are buckled up.

PC Julie Lyman from the Central Motorway Police Group said that the number of children killed or seriously hurt in road crashes has risen for the first time in two decades - and is attributed to child passengers not travelling safely.

"There is a growing problem of child car seats being bought online, from other countries or second-hand, which do not meet UK safety standards and could put a child’s life at risk.

“We’ll be highlighting this issue during UN Road Safety Week…and also getting pupils on board to raise awareness of the dangers of speeding near schools.

“We’ve found in the past that when children speak to speeding drivers, explaining how they cross the road they’ve been caught speeding on, it really has an impact - much more so than simply being spoken to by an officer or handed a fine."

– PC Julie Lyeman, West Midlands Police
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