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Education Secretary calls teachers' strike 'totally unnecessary'

Loughborough MP and Education secretary Nicky Morgan has told Good Morning Britain that she believes today's teachers' strike is "totally unnecessary".

Thousands of children and parents across the Midlands are set to be affected by the latest round of walk-outs.

Ms Morgan also backed Michael Gove as a candidate for the Conservative Party leadership, saying the next Prime Minister needed to be someone who supported leaving the European Union.

NUT acting leader Kevin Courtney said the strike action was being resorted to as school budgets were not keeping pace with rising costs.

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'Blaming schools is not the best way to help them improve'

Students take their exams Credit: PA

Earlier, Ofsted warned that education for thousands of children in the East Midlands is "distinctly Second Division" in a damning report. It has released figures showing the region to be the worst performing in the country on a range of indicators.

The largest teacher's union in the UK, the NASUWT, is the latest body to criticise the report.

Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said:

No one is complacent about standards of education, least of all teachers; however merely heaping opprobrium on schools across the region is not the best way to ensure standards improve.

Evidence from other parts of the country shows that what helps schools to improve is opportunities to collaborate with one another, with teachers and school leaders able to share ideas and experiences, along with active and involved local authorities who are able to support those schools to drive up standards.

Schools and local authorities across the East Midlands must be given the support to achieve this if standards of education are to be improved. Thought as to how to organise education in the East Midlands in order to make this happen is also needed.

– Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT

The Education Secretary responds to Ofsted’s report on the East Midlands

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has responded to Ofsted's report on schools in the East Midlands as 'the worst in the country'.

Nicky Morgan responds to Ofsted’s report on East Midlands schools Credit: Isabel Infantes / EMPICS Entertainment

“Every child deserves a great education and that’s why our White Paper has spreading educational excellence everywhere at its heart.

“The East Midlands has improved drastically since our reforms began and there are now 119,000 more pupils in good or outstanding schools than in 2010 – an increase greater than the English average. This is a testament to the hard work of teachers across the region in implementing our reforms.

"But some parts of the country are not yet good enough. That is why, in common with other areas of underperformance, we are working with groups like Teach First to place great teachers where they are needed most, returning power back to the profession through our White Paper reforms and introducing schemes like the National Teaching Service which will develop even more brilliant leaders.”

– Education Secretary Nicky Morgan

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Ofsted accused of 'sweeping generalisation' about East Midland's education

The Association of School and College Leaders has accused Ofsted of making a 'sweeping generalisation' about education across the East Midlands.

Students take exams Credit: PA

In a damning report, Ofsted has warned that education for thousands of children in the East Midlands is "distinctly Second Division" and has released figures showing the region to be the worst performing in the country on a range of indicators, including GCSE results.

But Malcolm Trobe, Interim General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders said:

It is disappointing that Ofsted has issued a press release which makes a sweeping generalisation about education across an entire region. It risks damaging the morale of staff, pupils and parents.

The majority of schools in the East Midlands are judged by Ofsted to be outstanding or good, just as they are across England. Those schools which are struggling are in this position for a variety of reasons and it is important to understand these specific factors in order to address them.

– Malcolm Trobe, Interim General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders
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Northamptonshire Police launch countywide domestic abuse campaign

A video raising awareness of domestic violence.

Northamptonshire Police have launched their countywide domestic abuse campaign.

It targets both men and women, who can be victims and offenders.

Thirteen per cent of all crime in the county last year was domestic abuse related.

That means that between January 2015 and December 2015, of the 48,167 crimes recorded, 6,308 of them were related to domestic abuse.

Derbyshire school shut for 'deep clean'

Derbyshire school shut for 'deep clean' Credit: Google street view

A school in Derbyshire was forced to close today due to blocked drains in the building's toilets.

Street Lane Primary School is now undergoing a deep clean.

Natasha Cooke, headteacher of Street Lane Primary School in Ripley, said:

We were forced to close school today due to blocked drains in the building’s toilets.

The drains have now been unblocked and a deep clean is in progress.

School will reopen following the half term holiday on Monday 6 June.

– Natasha Cooke

It comes just days after another Derbyshire school was forced to shut to eradicate a viral bug which had left many pupils and staff sick.

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