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Midlands university lecturers to begin 48-hour strike over unresolved pay row

Lecturers at universities across the Midlands are joining a UK wide 48-hour strike today after talks failed to resolve a pay row.

Credit: PA

Protests are planned around the UK with rallies taking place in Nottingham, Birmingham, Brighton, Belfast, Cambridge, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield.

Members of the University and College Union (UCU) will also refuse to work overtime, set additional work, or undertake any voluntary duties like covering timetabled classes for absent colleagues.

We will have more updates from the picket lines through the day.

Derbyshire school headteacher: 'Deep clean was the best thing to do to eradicate the bug'

A primary school in Derbyshire has been closed for the day after more than one in six children went down with sickness and diarrhoea.

Council cleaners are disinfecting St John's C of E Primary in Belper from top to bottom. It's the second deep clean this week at the school where 86 pupils and three staff have been taken ill. The source of the bug is unclear.

Roger Averis Headteacher told our reporter Peter Bearne Public Health England used the word 'viral' and explained the bug had come into the school:

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Northampton school having to be creative to cope with demand for places

A rise in demand for school places in Northamptonshire has forced the county council to convert existing office blocks into schools - because new ones can't be built.

The county's seen an increase in pupil numbers of almost 40 per cent in ten years.

One school in Northampton's so keen to make the most of existing space, it's planning to turn its rooftop into a playground.

Click below to watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Stuart Leithes.

  1. Anglia

Parachute from space balloon falls to earth

Students have found a parachute from a high altitude balloon they sent into the Near Space region of the earth's atmosphere.

The balloon on its ascent to Near Space Credit: ITV News Anglia

Pupils at Fakenham Academy in Norfolk launched the balloon from Elsworth in Cambridgeshire, and it rose to more than 26,000 metres.

The balloon burst, as planned, when it reached high altitude and the parachute with a computer and camera attached came down at Bourne near Peterborough.

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Telford father to appeal after high court ruling on term-time holidays

Stewart Sutherland and his family went to Rhodes during term time Credit: ITV Central

A father from Shropshire who was fined for taking his children out of school to go on holiday says he will now seek to appeal his conviction, after a ruling in the high court.

Stewart Sutherland from Telford and his wife Natasha were ordered to pay fines and costs of almost one thousand pounds after they took their three children to the Greek island of Rhodes during term time in 2013.

Today the high court ruled in another case that taking a seven day absence still amounted to regular attendance.

Campaigners say today's case could redefine the way the law is applied.

  1. National

Dad wins landmark term-time holidays case

The High Court has ruled in favour of a father who took his daughter out of school to go on holiday.

Jon Platt refused to pay £120 for taking his six-year-old to Disney World Florida last year and because of her regular attendance, Isle of Wight magistrates ruled he had no case to answer.

But the council asked the High Court to rule on whether taking a seven-day absence amounts to regular attendance.

The ruling raises the prospect of similar challenges from parents of children in English state schools, for which tightened rules on authorised absences were introduced by the government in 2013.

  1. National

Poll: Should parents be able to take their kids on holiday during term-time?

A father, who refused to pay a fine for taking his six-year-old daughter out of school for a family trip to Florida, has won a ruling in his favour at the High Court.

The court ruled that because of his daughter's regular attendance, Jon Platt had no case to answer.

What are your thoughts on the issue? Take our poll.

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