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Students pay up to £10,000 in rent

Now how much would you be prepared to pay for your son or daughter's university digs? How about ten thousand pounds a year? Providing top quality halls of residence is now being seen as one of the most effective ways to attract students who pay rent of hundreds of pounds a week on top of tuition fees.

In the Meridian region in the last three years alone more than three thousand extra rooms have been created for rent. And it's so lucrative, some private companies are even getting in on the act - one block has just opened in Southampton that charges rent of around £250 a week for its most exclusive student apartments. Our social affairs correspondent Christine Alsford spoke to students at the University of Reading, the university's Vice-Chancellor Sir David Bell, University of Sussex student union representative Mark Segalov and student Shlok Sachar who lives in a Vita Student apartment.

How many new rooms for students in the South?

Universities across the South are investing heavily in student accommodation.

Good quality halls of residence are being seen as a key battleground in the fight to attract students.

Here are details of how some of our universities are expanding provision this year: University of Oxford - 200 new rooms; University of Kent - 416 new rooms; Buckinghamshire New University - 180 new rooms; University of Reading - 649 new rooms.

Many universities are investing heavily in new student accommodation Credit: ITV Meridian

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School relives the wartime experience

The whole school is taking part in a week long commemoration of World War 1, there are various activities taking place all week. Activities include performances and workshops presented by the Groundlings Theatre Company and the creation of a piece of artwork made of a clay that will serve as a permanent commemoration.

Children ended the week by taking part in football matches to recreate the Christmas Day truce. The week started with the whole school dressing up in period costume for assembly. In the grounds of the school children had the opportunity to experience what life in the trenches was like, with a mock up of a section of a trench system. There was also a large military marquee turned into a museum featuring artefacts from WW1.

More schools needed in Southampton, says parents

Nearly 80% of Southampton parents have said they want a new school in the city, a new poll has revealed.

Over 100 parents responded to the poll carried out by New Schools Network, which found:

  • 54% felt schools could do more to adjust the curriculum to pupils' needs
  • 71% rated the lessons in local school as either good or very good
  • 63% thought their local school was good or very good at helping children succeed in exams
  • 49% felt schools could do more to maximise chances of pupils getting into university or getting a good job
  • 80% would welcome a new school in their community

Natalie Evans, Director of the New Schools Network, said:

Over 500 primary school places will be needed in Southampton by next September and the secondary school age population is expected to grow by 1,600 by 2019.

Despite this, Southampton currently has just one open free school. Rosewood Free School is a brilliant example of how free schools use their independence to provide a brilliant education to local children that is in keeping with the needs of their local community.

– Natalie Evans

Duke of Gloucester to visit Primary School in Bracknell

Pupils and teachers at Crown Wood Primary School are preparing for a special visit from The Duke of Gloucester next week.

His Royal Highness, who is the grandson of George V and a first cousin of The Queen, will be given a tour of the recently refurbished and extended primary school on Tuesday November 18.

The Duke will be shown the new facilities, which include four classrooms, an extended dining room and much improved teaching accommodation and play areas.

The Dukewill be given a tour of the recently refurbished and extended primary school. Credit: PA

Janette Karklins, Director for Children, Young People and Learning, said:

Following extensive improvement works as part of the council’s Education Capital Programme, we are delighted to be welcoming The Duke of Gloucester to Crown Wood Primary School.

The improved facilities have already proved a hit with pupils at the school and they can’t wait to have a VIP in the building.

– Janette Karklins

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Kent school opens memorial garden on Armistice Day

The Robert Napier School has opened a memorial garden

The Robert Napier School at Gillingham in Kent opened its memorial garden to day to mark Armistice Day. The garden has 64 remembrance crosses to commemorate the First World War. Students did the planting and the individual form classes raised money for a cross each.

The opening was done by the school's Junior Leadership Team, led by Head Girl Louise Parker and Head Boy Ryan Filtness.

Members of the school's Junior Leadership Team opened the garden

Record number of applications for Surrey schools

Surrey County Council has received a record number of applications for secondary school places.

Nearly 11,000 people applied for spots for next September - up more than 300 on last year.

It is the highest number since the online application system launched in 2004.

The council says unprecedented demand for extra places has left them facing a £215m funding gap.

Surrey receives record number of secondary applications

Surrey County Council has received a record number of applications for secondary school places.

The 10,975 submitted by last Friday’s closing date (31 October) for places next September was the highest number since the launch of the online application system in 2004.

That figure was also nearly 300 more than the number submitted last year, early admissions figures indicate.

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