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146-year-old working men's club to close tonight

Britain’s oldest working men’s club, The Grade II-listed Anstice Memorial Institute in Madeley Credit: Newsteam/SWNS

Britain's oldest working men's club in Telford is closing down tonight.

The Anstice Memorial Institute in Madeley opened in 1868. It has been run by members ever since, but women have never been allowed to become full members.

In 2010, club members were told they needed to raise thousands of pounds for repair work on their grade II listed building but they were unable to get funding due to archaic rules on membership.

Susan Colley, 43, has been the manager of the bars but never allowed to sit on the board Credit: Newsteam/SWNS

Tonight, the final pints will be pulled in the club which has four bars, a snooker room, pool room and ball room.

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Parents fined a total of £630 for term-time holiday

Parents Stewart and Natasha Sutherland have been fined a total of £630 for taking their children on holiday during term time without authorisation. They will have to pay a total of £993 including costs and a victim surcharge.

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Couple could face jail for taking children on holiday during term time

A couple from Telford could face jail after taking their three children on an unauthorised holiday during school term time and refusing to pay the subsequent fine.

Stewart and Natasha Sutherland were initially given a fine of £360, that they refused to pay, which then doubled to £720 after 21 days.

Under the new guidelines introduced last year, any parent that knows their "child is failing to attend regularly at the school and fails without reasonable justification to cause him to do so" is liable on conviction to:

  • A fine not exceeding level 4 on the standard scale (up to £2,500)
  • Imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months
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DoE: Parents should 'not discount' school penalty notice

Poor attendance at school can have a hugely damaging effect, and 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 given schools more power to tackle poor attendance and allowed them to intervene much earlier. We have also increased the amount parents can be fined for unauthorised absences and cut the amount of time they have to pay.

Parents should never simply discount a possible penalty notice from the cost of a cheaper holiday, because this is a criminal offence and when doing so they are always risking prosecution.”

– Department of Education spokesperson
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Council defends action over family's term-time holiday

Telford & Wrekin Council have issued a statement in relation to the case of a couple taken to court for refusing to pay a fine after taking their children on holiday during school term-time.

The decision to not authorise an absence request from parents during term is taken by a school or an academy and not the Council. The school or academy will then instruct the Council to issue the fine notice and legally this has to be done by the Council.

If the fine is not paid the Council must take further legal steps, as it has in this case.

The Council’s policy on absence has been developed to reflect the national and local priority of raising the educational achievement and attainment of pupils and the Government’s view that parents should not take their children out of school during term time and follows changes in legislation that clearly indicate that absences during the term time can only be authorised by heads in exceptional circumstances.

– Telford & Wrekin Council statement
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Couple in court over holiday taken in school term time

A couple are due in court today after taking their three children on an unauthorised holiday to Greece during the school term time and refusing to pay a subsequent fine.

New guidelines introduced last year, under Section 444 of the Education Act, 1996, mean schools are not obliged to give pupils leave during term, except in "exceptional circumstances".

Stewart and Natasha Sutherland were initially given a fine of £360, that they refused to pay, which then doubled to £720 after 21 days.

The couple face a fine of up to £2,500 and/or a three month prison sentence when they appear in court. Credit: ITV News Central

Mr Sutherland told the Daily Mail: "I informed the school after the summer holidays that we were taking the children out for six days. At that point, I wasn’t even aware of the new legislation.

"We had a letter back warning that as the time off was not authorised we could be fined, but the holiday was already booked and paid for - what could I do?"

In a statement, Telford & Wrekin Council said the school involved had instructed it to issue the fine notice and "legally this has to be done by the Council".

“If the fine is not paid the Council must take further legal steps, as it has in this case".

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