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Uni apology after 'inadequate' handling of assault

Credit: ITV Meridian

The University of Sussex has issued an apology for its 'inadequate' handling of a case involving one of its former lecturers.

Dr Lee Salter was found guilty of assaulting his ex-student partner Allison Smith.

The university suspended Dr Salter 11 months after it was informed of the incident.

An independent review into the case, conducted by Durham University's Professor Nicole Westmarland, found that the university failed to follow its own policies and procedures.

Credit: ITV Meridian

It found that the university failed to communicate with the victim in a professional manner and had an inadequate risk assessment.

It also revealed that media attention appeared to have been a factor towards the university finally suspending Dr Salter on 3rd August 2016.

The case caused much controversy leading to an online petition which was signed by over 3,000 people calling for his dismissal.

His suspension came a month after he was sentenced to 22 weeks in jail as well as 150 hours unpaid work and a restraining order.

He was charged with assault and criminal damage.

An appeal against his conviction is due in April.

On behalf of the University of Sussex, I am very sorry for the failings identified in Professor Westmarland's report. I am grateful to Allison for taking part in the review. We will continue to offer her whatever support she needs." "The university is now bringing in a series of major initiatives in response to the recommendations."

– Professor Adam Tickell, University of Sussex new Vice-Chancellor

School crossing patrols given bodycams to tackle abuse

It's their job to make sure parents and children get to and from the school gates safely, but they're often verbally abused and even driven at by angry motorists.

Now, school crossing patrol staff will be given body cameras to capture threatening behaviour and dangerous driving.

The idea is being tried out at primary schools in Sussex, as Malcolm Shaw reports.

Interviewees: Beverley Morley, School crossing patrol Louise Bishop, West Sussex County Council


More than half of parents rely on school breakfast clubs

One in five working parents admit they never sit down and have breakfast with their children. That's just one of the findings in a survey of more than 2,000 people into the effects of our increasingly pressurised lifestyles.

Many schools are finding increased demand for their breakfast clubs where mums and dads can drop their children off before school and still be confident they're getting a healthy start to the day.

Wesley Smith reports:

  • 60% said that their child's school breakfast club was very important for their day-to-day life
  • Over half (58%) said that the breakfast clubs enabled their children to have breakfast in the morning without being rushed
  • Over a third (33%) stated that they or their partner would have to give up work if it were not for the school breakfast club
  • Almost a third (28%) said that the breakfast clubs saved them on average between £10 - £25 per week

Our reporter, Wesley Smith, has interviewed: Theresa Pooley, Mother Minara Begum, Mother Simone Roberts-Lawlor, Mother Oli Burton, Organiser

Oxford rejection turned into art

Painted rejection letter Credit: Claudia Vulliamy

Classics student Claudia Vulliamy turned a rejection letter from Oxford University into a thing of beauty.

She told ITV Meridian that she was disappointed not to be accepted but had the urge to turn the important letter into something.

She said: 'It was quick and intuitive - I suppose it was a therapeutic way of handling important news. I was shocked to find that it went viral!

"People have been so nice about it. I think it’s because it cheers people up to see something positive made out of rejection, especially for those who have just received similar news."

Claudia, who's from London, has been offered a place at Durham University. Her letter appeared on her instagram account. (flamboyant_aesthete)

Sussex schools say they'll be worse off under new fair funding proposals

Scores of schools in West Sussex say new proposals to make funding fairer won't solve their problems. Under current arrangements schools in the county are some of the lowest funded in the country.

But they say changes in the pipeline won't be enough to prevent them having to continue to lose staff, and increase class sizes. They've already lobbied parliament for 20 million pounds of interim funding. The Department for Education says schools in the county will get a 3.5 per cent uplift under new rules.

But now 300 headteachers have written an open letter to their members of parliament - and they're calling on schools minister Nick Gibb - who is also the Bognor Regis and Littlehampton MP to answer five questions.

Open letter to parents and MPs

The letter has been written by headteachers Credit: ITV

An open letter is being sent to hundreds of MPs and thousands of parents about the so-called funding crisis in schools in West Sussex.

Penned by headteachers, it questions why there is no emergency funding in place and where should they make cuts and savings required to balance their budgets. Last year some schools proposed reduced hours and increased class sizes.


Railway handed more than a million pounds to 'show off' its steam gems

The Bluebell Railway line in Sussex has been an obsession for its army of volunteers for almost sixty years, and it now takes passengers on 140,000 journeys every twelve months.

Meanwhile its collection of steam engines is thought to be one of the best outside London - and it's just been awarded £1.1million of Lottery funding to show them off.

Andy Dickenson reports and speaks to the railway's Roger Kelly.

Headteacher sends home 20 pupils for short skirts

Parents have complained after the headteacher of Ebbsfleet Academy in Kent turned away girls who wore short skirts, that sit more than 5cm above the knee.

Alison Colwell made headlines two years ago when she took over at the school and banned children having mobile phones.

She's now said uniform policy must be enforced.

Luke Hanrahan reports.

Luke spoke to mother Clare Lupton.

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