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Prince Harry gives support to Atlantic rowers

Prince Harry has spoken to the athletes taking part in a challenge to row across the Atlantic, wishing them luck on their journey, and having 'playful banter' with the crew.

Prince Harry is currently on an expedition in the Antarctic Credit: Anwar Hussein/Anwar Hussein/EMPICS Entertainment

Scott Blaney is a former serviceman from Nuneaton, who lost his leg while in Afghanistan, and is one of four men attempting to row across the Atlantic in the Row2Recovery team.

Prince Harry is currently on a challenge to walk to the South Pole. He has been joined by Kate Philp, from Worcestershire, in the Walking with the Wounded trek.

The Prince contacted the rowers via satellite phone yesterday.

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Ex-serviceman to set off in Atlantic rowing challenge

An former servicemen from Nuneaton, who lost his leg in Afghanistan, is due to set off from the Canary Islands today in a rowing challenge across the Atlantic.

Scott Blaney (centre of boat) sets off today Credit: ITV News Central

Scott Blainey's four-man team were due to set off on Monday, but they were delayed because of bad weather. It is expected to take them six weeks to reach Antigua in the Caribbean.

Fire at Hindu temple in Nuneaton

Officers from Warwickshire Police were called to a fire at a property in Upper Abbey Street, Nuneaton at about 04.40hrs this morning.

The fire, at the Shri Hindu Gujarati Samaj temple, is not believed to be suspicious at this time.

A number of local residents were evacuated to the Holiday Inn, Nuneaton, and road closures were in place in Upper Abbey Street, the Roanne Ringway, Queens Road and Corporation Street.

The fire has now been brought under control by Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service, road closures have been lifted and residents allowed to return to their homes.

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Father hands in petition for holidays during term-time

A parent from Warwickshire has delivered a petition with more than 126,000 signatures to the Department for Education calling for the Government to reverse a ban on pupils taking time off in term-time.

Craig Langman says many parents can't afford the higher cost of holidays during school breaks, and says the decision should remain with head teachers.

DFE: 'Children lose out on learning if not in school'

The Department for Education has said that children lose out on valuable learning if they are not in school.

It comes as a parent from Nuneaton has delivered a petition with more than 126,000 signatures to Downing Street, calling for the Government to reverse a ban on taking schoolchildren on holiday during term time.

Craig Langman said parents should not be made to feel like criminals for taking their child out of school for a holiday.

Read more here.

If children aren't in school they lose out on valuable learning time and have to waste more time catching up. That's why children shouldn't be taken out of school during term time unless absolutely necessary.

Children who attend school regularly are nearly four times more likely to achieve five or more good GCSEs than those who are regularly absent.

That is why we have encouraged schools to tackle poor attendance earlier, and toughened the law on term time holidays.

– A Department for Education spokeswoman

'Parents should not be made to feel like criminals'

Parents should not be made to feel like criminals for taking their child out of school for a holiday, a campaigner said today.

Craig Langman, from Nuneaton, has delivered a petition with more than 126,000 signatures to Downing Street, calling for the Government to reverse a ban on taking schoolchildren on holiday during term time.

Under changes introduced last month, headteachers can no longer grant any absence outside of school holidays unless there are exceptional circumstances.

This rule takes away that ability to talk to the school and discuss your child's education with them.

If my son was ill a lot and then I say that they're better now and I want to take him on holiday, the teachers have got every right to turn around and say your son is hardly ever here we have to decline it.

If my son has a good attendance rate why shouldn't I be able to discuss it with them, I'm not talking about a guaranteed one or two weeks every year.

– Mr Langman
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