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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.

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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:

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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Parents "missing out" on favourite schools

Parents are missing out on their 1st choice of secondary school Credit: pa

Parents in Liverpool have seen the biggest drop in their first choices for secondary schools for their children. Government data for 2015 showed a seven per cent drop in preferred options.
A spokesman for Liverpool City Council said the reasons why included an increase in the city's population and a rise in admissions, a trend expected to continue for the next few years. And he said the conversion of independent schools to academies in 2013 has affected how parents approach their selections.

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