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Education policies a controversial topic in General Election run-up

Parents all want the most promising future for their children. But which policies will ensure that they get the very best education? Free childcare hours, free school meals or free schools and grammars?

In the second of two reports, Christine Alsford looks at the proposals from the politicians during this election campaign that are giving parents food for thought.

Watch Christine's first report here.

Christine Alsford spoke to campaigners Sarah Shilling, Simon Werner and Jo Smith.

Christine's report contains archive footage from 1950.


Retired teacher pressures politicians on funding

The Prime Minister faced some tough questions on school funding last night as part of an election broadcast.

She was challenged over promises to spend an extra £4 billion on our schools and what that really means.

Primaries and secondaries in Wokingham receive some of the lowest levels of funding in the country and the whole issue of financing our schools has been a key issue across this election campaign.

We spoke to a 100 year old retired teacher who is helping protestors put pressure on politicians to get a good deal for schools.

As our Social Affairs Correspondent Christine Alsford reports.

Christine spoke to retired teacher Len Goldman, headteacher at Tanbridge House School Jules White and parents and campaigners Janine Dotchin and Annabel Yoxall.

Police launch summer drink and drug drive crackdown

Wiltshire Police is urging motorists not to drink or drug drive ahead of their annual summer campaign launching on Thursday.

High profile checks will be underway across the county.

Officers say one in five people convicted of the offence are caught the morning after.

The force is hoping the reduction in positive breath tests during the Christmas period has continued into the summer.

Drivers can lose their licence, be fined up to £5,000 and receive a criminal record.


'At 18 I didn't understand implications of my student loan' - 2 years after graduating interest totals £4,000

Calls for more financial education

There are calls for young people to receive more financial education, especially with the high levels of debt some students owe when leaving university - having taken out loans to pay for their £9,000 a year tuition fees.

Nearly half of all young people - now go on to higher education. If Labour or the Greens win the election next month university tuition fees of more than £9,000 will be scrapped.

Other parties propose to restore maintenance grants, waive repayments for teachers who stay in the profession or even just abolish tuition fees for certain subjects. However the reality is that tens of thousands of young people currently leave University with huge debts, of typically more than forty thousand pounds.

Claims that interest on student loans "scandalous"

Interest charges can mean the debt is higher than expected

Student loans have been in the news headlines after the Labour Party released more details of its plans to scrap university tuition fees starting from September 2017, should the party win the General Election in June.

Meanwhile an ITV Meridian investigation reveals that the sum of debt owed by students could be a lot higher than they initially think - because of interest charges which start from the day the loan begins.

This is the first of two special reports from our Social Affairs Correspondent Christine Alsford.

The report contain interviews with: Estelle Clarke, campaigner and expert; Tom Woolf, Founder of EdAid; Jessie Hamil-Stewart, a first year student; and David Tyler, a Financial Advisor. There is also footage from a Student Loan information film.

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