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Knowsley 'will provide more detail of plans to drive up standards in education'

Credit: Press Association

"Knowsley Council is today launching its Education Commission, bringing together local and national leaders in education to identify and address the reasons behind long term underachievement in our schools.

"Some of the findings of this report will form part of that discussion within the Commission.

"However, the Council questions the credibility of the report when its authors are now saying something completely different to when the report was published a few months ago. "In particular, the authors are now making references to grammar schools which were not included in the report in May.

"To be absolutely clear, the Council fundamentally disagrees with the suggestion that grammar schools might be part of the solution to the challenges we face in the borough."

– Knowsley Council

Report author: "white working class children have been left behind by an education system which is not working properly"

The study, which was commissioned by Knowsley Council, described "poor, white working class children" as "bottom of the class" and are likely to stay there.

Those behind the report say children in Knowsley have little contact with others from different social backgrounds.

They say changes are needed at a national-level to ensure children are not left behind.

Phillip Blond is the report author:

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College walkout in North West over pay

Anger over plans to freeze wages Credit: PA

Thousands of staff at further education colleges across the North West are set to walk out today in a row over pay.

Lecturers and support workers are angry over plans to freeze wages.

They claim it'll mean a 17 per cent pay cut in real terms for some staff.

Claims some staff could see 17 per cent cut in pay Credit: PA

Mayor's bursaries help 1800 students

Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson Credit: PA

More than 1800 students have been able to continue their studies thanks to a bursary scheme funded by the Mayor of Liverpool and the city's further education college. The bursary was set up three years ago after the Education Maintenance Grant was scrapped by the Government. Students aged between 16 and 18 whose families receive financial support are eligible for grants worth £20 per week.

Mayor Joe Anderson will visit the City of Liverpool College today to meet students who have benefitted from the scheme. He says "it's really important for the City that we are developing the right skills in the right sectors and that all young people have access to learning.

Elaine Bowker, the principal of the City of Liverpool College, says over the past three years the bursary scheme has "eased the impact of cuts in education funding and helped support learners with some real financial challenges."

Grandmother collects wartime degree

A 90-year-old woman has finally graduated 70 years after she gained her degree.

Gene Hetherington achieved her BA in Commerce in August 1943 but was unable to attend her ceremony at the University of Manchester because she was involved in the war effort.

Following her studies she immediately went to work as an auditor in aircraft factories.

A subsequent busy work life as a buyer for the Lewis's department store and then starting a family meant she did not have time to pick up her accolade.

Today, she finally graduated and the occasion was made more poignant as her granddaughter, Rachel, 23, collected her law degree in the same ceremony at the university's historic Whitworth Hall.

The ceremony was wonderful and I was so pleased to see my granddaughter Rachel receive her degree, for which she worked so hard."

– Gene Hetherington

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North West schools get military style lessons

A crack team of ex-army elite from Greater Manchester is being drafted in to schools across the UK. 'Commando Joes' based in Leigh have been awarded £600,000 by the governement to help hard to reach children.

The former commando's implement military style fitness and mentoring sessions to tackle truancy, poor attendance and health inequalities in some of the country’s most deprived areas.

Funding from the Department for Education means the company can train 30 new instructors.

I think why we engage young people so well is the instructors are all ex-military personnel – they are role models and kids look up to and aspire to be like them. When we go to a school playground children hang on every word."

– Founder Mike Hamilton
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