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Schools rely on parents to pay for basic equipment

Growing numbers of primary and secondary schools are relying on parents to pay for basic equipment their children need for school.

Despite being told that record amounts of money is being spent on children's schooling by the Government.

As budgets become increasingly tight, schools are reluctantly asking mums and dads for cash.

Our Social Affairs Correspondent Christine Alsford reports.

Christine spoke to Headteacher Pat Kerton, Steve Gray from the Parent Teacher Association and Emma Knights, the CEO National Governors' Association.

Surrey teacher awarded for 'dedicated' work

Yolanda de la Fuente (second from left) with Roger Coupe partners James Britton (left) and Edward Norman (right) and Jigsaw pupils Credit: The Star Awards

A teacher from Surrey has been awarded for her 'dedicated' work supporting youngsters with autism.

Yolanda de la Fuente was recognised for her willingness to volunteer "for anything" and her "unfailing dedication" at Dunsfold-based specialist school Jigsaw.

Yolanda was put forward for the Roger Coupe Star Award by her colleagues.

The 41 year old has been teaching Year 1 pupils aged between 4-19 for 18 months.

Working with the pupils at Jigsaw is wonderful; to be with them, to understand and play with them and to work with them – that’s the world for us. It’s all about the pupils and how we can help them to make their way in society.”

– Yolanda, Award winner

Our Star Awards aim to recognise and celebrate all those working in and around Cranleigh who go above and beyond for their communities. Teachers do an extremely important job helping to mould, motivate and educate the next generation so we felt they deserved their time in the spotlight."

– Edward Norman, partner at Roger Coupe

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Schools at breaking point and "outlook is bleak"

Headteachers across the South say their schools are at breaking point and the outlook is bleak. They're urging the government to think again over funding cuts - saying the proposed new formula is deeply flawed.

One headteacher says if the plans go ahead, money will be taken away from those that need it most - with deprived communities like hers the biggest losers. Our Social Affairs Correspondent Christine Alsford reports.

Interviewees: Sarah Bennett, Headteacher; Peter Woodman, Headteacher.

Click here to view the Department for Education website.

Decision day for school threatened with closure

A decision is due today on whether to close a secondary school in Basingstoke which is seen as underperforming - and merge it with another 3 miles away.

Pupil numbers at the Fort Hill Community School in the Winklebury area have dropped - with just 38 applications for 145 places for the next academic year starting in September.

There were more than 900 responses to a public consultation earlier this year over the proposals for the closure and a potential merger with the Cranbourne Business and Enterprise College (CBEC). Parents say closing the Fort Hill site would mean there is no local secondary for the children in their immediate area.

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Headteacher says '... we'll pick ourselves up and move forward' after school fire

A school in Sussex is due to reopen again today after a suspected arson attack. The Yapton Church of England Primary School near Arundel was shut after an outbuilding was set alight on Saturday.

The Sussex Police and the fire service are investigating. The headteacher, Nick Sharp, thanked the local community for its support and said the school would open today, and the reception classes would be moved to the hall instead.

A statement on the school website said that there are fenced off areas on the way onto the school grounds and reception class children will need to be dropped off at the main hall doors on the playground.

Head resigns amid row over school's future

The headteacher at the centre of a damaging row about plans for the future of her school has resigned.

Jane Robinson had planned to turn Simon Langton Girls Grammar School into an academy but an investigation was launched after accusations that she had failed to follow proper procedures - and complaints were received about her leadership. Sarah Saunders reports from Canterbury.

Drivers to lose jobs after being caught in mobile crackdown

Credit: PA

Almost one hundred drivers have been caught using their phone at the wheel in week-long crackdown across Dorset.

Officers issued ninety-two fixed penalty notices during the campaign which ran from Wednesday 1st to Tuesday 7th March, with offenders being handed six penalty points and a £200 fine.

From 1st March 2017, the government double the penalties for the offence from three penalty points - to six - and from a £100 to a £200 fine. In addition, drivers are no longer eligible for a driver awareness course and have to either accept the penalty or take their case to court. New drivers now have to retake their test if caught within two years of getting their licence.

We began the campaign week with a targeted operation involving a team of 12 traffic officers who caught 42 drivers in just six hours. This enforcement involved the use of both marked and unmarked vehicles, and spotters in plain clothes a distance away from our check point.

As a result of using their phone at the wheel, several drivers will now be losing their licence and a few people will even lose their jobs.”

– Sergeant Joe Pardey, Dorset Police traffic unit

Headteacher warns of school 'funding crisis'

An Oxfordshire headteacher has warned that her school and others like it face a funding crisis that will mean bigger class sizes and extra work for teachers.

Catharine Darnton, of Gillotts School, in Henley-on-Thames, says she's already made huge cutbacks.

Teachers today raised their concerns at the Association of School and College Leaders conference, saying they may have to move to a four day week, or ask parents to donate cash.

Sam Holder takes a look at what it means for schools and their pupils.

Sam spoke to the headteacher at Gillotts School, Catharine Darnton, science teacher Simon West and the headteacher of Forest School Mary Sandell who was speaking last month.

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