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Drive to improve school attendance.

Credit: pa

Businesses in Liverpool are being asked to help in a drive to reduce truancy and improve attendance in some of the area's schools.

An Attendance Charter – backed by Liverpool and Sefton Chambers of Commerce – will see firms promoting the importance of regular schooling with their staff.

Truancy Patrols, involving council staff and Merseyside Police, will be reintroduced to find pupils who are skipping school and tackle parents who keep their children off school without a good reason.

Businesses will help promote good attendance in schools Credit: pa

Recent figures show the effect of missing school on children's education:

  • A child who is 10 minutes late misses 32 hours a year of lost education.
  • A child who misses one day a week loses two months a year of education.
  • Half a day a week missed throughout school life equates to one full year of lost education.

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Merseyside MP raises concerns over Knowsley A-level provision

Merseyside MP Maria Eagle has raised concerns in parliament that there will be nowhere for young people to study A-levels in Knowsley later this year.

She challenged the Government over the closure of the area's only sixth form to offer A-Level courses. Halewood Academy is due to close in August. The Department for Education approved its closure last summer.

Watch: Can childcare trial be a success when rolled out

When it was launched last year the Government said its long term aim was to help mums and dads go back to work if they want to.

Wigan is one of the areas that was chosen for a pilot scheme, where the hours of free child care have been doubled to thirty.

It's been welcomed by many, although some nurseries have serious concerns about what will happen when the scheme is extended.

With the trial in Wigan at its halfway stage, Mel Barham has been investigating:

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In the footsteps of George Orwell

George Orwell, author of Animal Farm and 1984 Credit: pa

The son of George Orwell will retrace his father's footsteps 80 years on from the publication of the Road to Wigan Pier

Wigan will host a week of celebrations to mark the 80th anniversary of the publication of the Road to Wigan Pier.

George Orwell's landmark journalistic masterpiece on the plight of the working class in 1930s England was first published on March 8th 1937.

To mark the anniversary the Orwell Society in collaboration with Wigan Council and organisations throughout the town are hosting a number of events.

Members of the Orwell Society from as far away as the US will be travelling to Wigan, including the son of George Orwell, Richard Blair.

He will hear Wigan school children read their own poems inspired by his father's work.

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