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Parents campaign for special needs school

Parents of pupils at a special needs school ranked as outstanding by inspectors, have started a battle to keep it open. Gosden House near Guildford specialises in teaching children with complex special needs.

But there are plans to turn it into a secondary school, only for pupils with one type of autism. Ruth Banks has been to meet those who insist it suits the community as it is.

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Private tuition on the rise for London school pupils

London students more likely to receive private tutoring Credit: PA Wire

The proportion of young people saying that they have received private tuition has remained high over the last year. Londoners are most likely to have had extra teaching, according to a new Sutton Trust survey.

Nearly one in four 11-16 year olds at state schools in England and Wales indicated that their parents had paid for them to have extra help with their lessons.

Polling by Ipsos MORI for the Sutton Trust shows that 24% of all young people in 2013 said they had received private or home tuition at some stage in their school career, compared with 18% in 2005 and 23% in 2012.

London council considers split shifts for primary schools

Primary schools in Barking and Dagenham may have to run split shifts to accommodate pupil Credit: PA

Some schools in London could radically change the way they operate, as the demand for primary places continues. Schools could be forced to run in two shifts to accommodate the growing demand for pupil places.

In the east London borough of Barking and Dagenham, a 50% rise in the number of under-fours since 2001 means its primary schools are bursting at the seams.

Deputy council leader Rocky Gill says if the council does not receive the money it says it needs to accommodate its growing numbers of pupils, it will have to go for this "radical option".

Mayor's office respond to hunger statistics

Boris Johnson's food advisor Rosie Boycott is leading an initiative to try and combat worrying levels of food poverty in the capital.

New plans include ensuring that every school in the capital has a vegetable garden to grow fresh produce and providing cookery lessons for parents and pupils.

The vegetable gardens will be partly funded by an a £800,000 Big Lottery Grant.

Additional projects include breakfast clubs for 5,000 children in London's most deprived boroughs, 2,000 new urban spaces for growing food in communities and fruit and vegetable discount vouchers.

Hillingdon Council gives libraries a boost

The Libary is a public service that has suffered in recent years with closures but one council seems to be bucking that trend.

The borough of Hillingdon has 17 of them and their council has announced that it will be investing money in every single one of them.

Hillingdon Council buck the trend of the dying library
Hillingdon Council buck the trend of the dying library Credit: PA

Hillingdon Council have already reduce running costs whilst at the same time protecting libraries from closure, retaining staff, extending opening hours and increasing stock levels of books and digital resources.

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Two schools in London to lose their playing fields:

Two schools in London are losing their playing fields, after the Education Secretary ignored his independent advisors to push through the closures.

After the Olympics, there is the argument that these playing fields are more important than ever to get children involved in sport.

The Mayor of London says it is vital to protect these areas, but could more than two in the capital be a risk in the future?

Nick Thatcher's report contains flash photography.

New Technical Colleges for London

The Government has given the go-ahead for fifteen new University Technical Colleges. The state-funded colleges will be linked to businesses and specialize in a local industry or trade.

Firms already signed up include Jaguar Land Rover and Virgin Atlantic.

A University Technical College near Heathrow airport will center on aviation engineering. Elstree University Technical College inHertfordshire will train 600 pupils in two specialism’s - entertainmenttechnologies and crafts, and electronic engineering and digital technology.

Other sites include Bluewater, Barking and Dagenham and Harlow.

I am verypleased to be announcing another wave of strong UTC proposals. Right around thecountry there is a lot of enthusiasm from employers, universities, pupils andparents for high quality rigorous technical education.

"Theyprovide more choice for children as well as helping provide the kind of highlyskilled technicians our economy needs.

"Theresponse from employers to UTCs speaks for itself."

– Schools Minister, Lord Hill

Head charged with fraud

The ex headteacher of a London school has been charged with fraud.

Sir Alan Davies, former head of the Copland Community School in Wembley has been charged with conspiracy to defraud, money laundering, conspiracy to commit false accounting and fraud by abuse of position.

He will appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Tuesday 12 June.

Six other people arrested in connection with the enquiry have been bailed to return on various dates in May pending further enquiries.

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