East Midlands athlete and world record holder Paula Radcliffe is ending her competitive career at the London Marathon today.Read the full story ›
A grieving father whose homeless son died on a town centre bench says more must be done about cheap alcohol.Read the full story ›
A primary school in Loughborough is the first to take part in a project using local woodland to teach children about the environment.
Education secretary Nicky Morgan will launch the Woodland Trust's 'Schools into Woods' project at Outwoods Edge Primary today.
Over the next two years, the Trust aims to help 40 primary schools across the UK make the most of their local woodland.
"Teaching in woods is free, it fits in with the national curriculum, and no extra training is needed.
"It provides a really inspiring setting for learning, and not only will this encourage children to better understand and appreciate the natural environment, it will help them develop practical and social skills that will nurture self-esteem and confidence."
A 10-year-old girl is devastated after thieves stole her elderly pony Sam from the stable he has shared for 13 years with his 'best friend'.Read the full story ›
The Conservatives will protect the schools budget if the party wins the next General Election, Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has indicated.
Ms Morgan said she is "absolutely fighting for the schools budget to be protected", hinting that she had already won the battle.
Asked on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show whether the schools budget will be protected, Morgan said: "We're going to have more to say on schools funding very shortly but what I can say is that I am absolutely fighting for the schools budget to be protected."
"It goes back to the point, the announcement that we're making today, which is actually about getting the basics right really early on and that's why the investment is in the schools budget."
All schoolchildren in England will be forced to learn their times tables off by heart as well as carry out long division and complex multiplication by the age of 11, the Education Secretary has announced.
Pupils will be expected to pass tough tests before leaving primary school as part of a "war on illiteracy and innumeracy", Nicky Morgan said.
Headteachers who fail to ensure the standards are met face being sacked if the Conservatives are returned to power, she indicated.
As well as demonstrating mathematical skills, pupils will have to pass a writing test by showing they can use "accurate punctuation, spelling and grammar".
In an article for The Sunday Times (£), Ms Morgan outlined plans to make England top of the class in European league tables for English and maths by 2020, as well as in the top five internationally - a significant leap from the current ranking of 23rd.
She said: "We will expect every pupil by the age of 11 to know their times tables off by heart, to perform long division and complex multiplication and to be able to read a novel.
"They should be able to write a short story with accurate punctuation, spelling and grammar. The new tests for 11 year olds we are introducing next year will be strengthened to ensure that every young person is meeting the mark."
Here's our reporter Peter Bearne's report on the warm welcome given to netball's stars in chilly Loughborough.
Three African netball players experience life in the East Midlands, signing for Loughborough lightning in the middle of the English winter.Read the full story ›
Installing an alarm could increase the chances of a home being burgled, according to researchers at Loughborough University.
Criminologists conducted an 18-month project that measured the effectiveness of home security measures. They found alarms to be among the least effective measures against burglary.
Statistics from the British Crime Survey showed that when alarms were used in combination with other anti-intruder devices such as deadlocks and window locks, there was either no change or an increase in the risk of burglary.
External security lights and inside lights on a timer were found to be the most effective method of keeping intruders out.
"Whilst domestic burglary has reduced substantially in recent years it is still a high volume crime.
"At the start of this research we knew that the risk of becoming a victim was not equally spread across households. We now know what security devices work in what contexts."
Rainbows Hospice children and their siblings made the festive video with a twist, to wish merry Christmas.Read the full story ›