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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.

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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

Parents calls on government to change school holidays

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 says many parents can not afford the higher cost of holidays during school breaks, and says the decision should remain with head teachers. The Department for Education says children miss out on valuable learning time if taken out of school.

Mark Anderson is a Headteacher and told ITV News Central children will not learn as much if they are out of education.

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Astley Castle wins prestigious architectural award

A castle in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, has won a prestigious architectural award.

Astley Castle, a 13th-century fortified manor house has been named the Stirling Prize winner for 2013.

The award showcases the best building in the UK by the Royal Institute of British Architects.

The castle was rescued from dereliction by the Landmark Trust in 2012. They worked with architects to help save and protect the ancient castle.

We are absolutely thrilled that Astley Castle has been awarded this most prestigious prize, and hope it will encourage others to consider imaginative solutions for important historic buildings.

Astley Castle is a new departure, both for the Landmark Trust but also in the approach to ruined historic buildings. We are tremendously proud of a scheme which represents an original way of reviving a ruined building.

– Dr Anna Keay, Director of the Landmark Trust

Midlands RSPCA centres unable to take in cats

Some branches of the RSPCA in the Midlands are unable to take in any more felines due to large numbers of cats needing care, a report has found.

The RSPCA has around 1,700 cats in care in its regional centres Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Archive/Press Association Images

The charity now has more than 1700 cats in care in its regional boarding centres, including the RSPCA Coventry, Nuneaton and District branch, which is full to capacity with 200 cats on a waiting list for places.

Reasons for the crisis include owners who can no longer afford to keep their pet, un-neutered cats having unexpected litters, and owners of un-insured cats giving their pet up due to expensive vet bills, the charity said.

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