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What does future hold for students?

When thousands of students collected their GCSE results last week it gave many the chance to go to sixth form college to further their education.

Enrolments onto academic courses have been taking place all week but, with a huge shortage of skills, are enough young people following a vocational route?

Our social affairs correspondent Christine Alsford reports. Christine talked to Luke Wills, apprentice; Bradley Anslow, apprentice; and Katy Quinn, Eastleigh College, Deputy Chief Executive.

Students celebrate GCSE results

Students have been celebrating receiving their GCSE results. Overall it's a stable picture with passes slightly up - and top grades very slightly down. Our social affairs correspondent Christine Alsford rounds up the events of the day across Sussex and Hampshire - and asks pupils faced with ongoing exam reforms how they coped with sitting as many as 29 different papers this year.

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  1. National

Awards body: 'Little change in this year's GCSE results'

The head of the Joint Council for Qualifications has said there is very little change in this year's GCSE results but education policies are continuing to impact on entry patterns and results.

At a national level there is very little change in this year's results but we do see educational policies continuing to have an effect on entry patterns and results at a subject level. This is particularly the case in English, mathematics and the sciences.

– JCQ director general Michael Turner
  1. National

GCSEs: More achieve grade C or above but top grades fall

More student are achieving a grade C or more in their GCSEs Credit: PA

The proportion of GCSEs awarded at least a C grade has risen again this year, but top grades have fallen for the fourth year in a row, according to official figures.

They also reveal:

  • In total, almost seven in 10 (69%) entries were awarded A*-C, up 0.2 percentage points on 2014.
  • There was a 0.1% point drop in A* grades - the fourth year running that there has been a fall - with 6.6% of entries given the highest mark this year.
  • 73.1% of girls' entries awarded at least a C grade, compared to 64.7% of boys'.
  • The numbers of students taking languages at GCSE has fallen.Entries for French were down 6.2%, German entries were down 9.2% and Spanish down 2.4%. But grades for languages have improved.

Students prepare to receive GCSE results today

Students will receive their GCSE results today Credit: ITV

More than half a million students across the Meridian region are set to receive their GCSE results this morning. It comes amidst growing pressure on teenagers and ongoing exam reform. Less coursework and fewer opportunities mean many teenagers are sitting more than 20 different papers.

Decision on free school site after long-running row

A crucial decision has been made in the long-running row over the site of a new free school in Reading.

Heights Primary school has been two years in planning, it's cost more than a million pounds, and it's led to angry protests by residents who don't want the school near them.

Now it has been announced that the school will move to Mapledurham playing fields.

But that is an open space owned by a trust on behalf of local people, and some people aren't happy about the decision to build there.

Watch Mel Bloor's report:

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Flood damage closes Sussex nursery school

Horsham Nursery School and Children and Families Centre will be closed on Monday and Tuesday following serious water damage.

The building, in Harwood Road, was flooded overnight on Friday as a result of the heavy downpours. It is hoped that the building will re-open on Wednesday.

Parents who use the centre can visit another local centre - locations can be found at www.westsussex.gov.uk if people search Find a Children and Family Centre - or call the Needles Children and Family Centre on 01403 213590.

Please visit the Horsham Nursery and Children and Families Centre website at www.horshamnursery.w-sussex.sch.uk/ for further information and updates.

World record attempt for balancing books on heads

Practicing is underway in the world record book balancing challenge Credit: Gosport Discovery Centre

The call has gone out for volunteers to help in a world record attempt in Hampshire. Gosport's Discovery Centre is hoping to bring at least one thousand and one hundred people together on Saturday 15th August - to simultaneously balance a book on their heads and cover five metres either on foot, or for people with disabilities, in wheelchairs or mobility scooters.

The organisers say that would-be record breakers need to be in Walpole Park by 11.15am and bring a book of a minimum 23cm x 15cm (9in x 5.9in) and maximum 31cm x 23cm (12.2in x 9in). That's because the size of the book are very important to ensure the record is valid.

'We need 1,100 people to join us in this world record attempt if we are to succeed - so I'm really hoping that people will come from far and wide and make a day of it. Gosport's got a lot to offer for a day out, and taking part in a world record attempt is not something you get the chance to do every day.

'Practising here at the Discovery Centre, I am pleased to see so many young readers taking part in the Summer Reading Challenge, for which this year's theme is Record Breakers. The challenge is proven to help young people keep up their reading skills during the long summer break. Now I just hope they can be persuaded to take on an extra challenge - book-balancing in Walpole Park!'

– Cllr Peter Edgar, Hampshire County Council, Executive Member for Education
One would-be participant gets into the spirit of things with a pirate theme Credit: Gosport Discovery Centre

The current record for the most people balancing books on their heads is 998 - it was broken in Sydney, Australia in November 2012. For more information you can visit the Gosport Discovery Centre online.

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