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Apprenticeships instead of higher education?

There will be the usual scramble for places at university. But, increasingly, many young people are considering an apprenticeship instead of higher education. The latest research shows that two out of five 15 to 19 year olds have thought about some sort of paid training scheme - and most students don't think it would harm their long-term earning potential if they don't go to university. Richard Slee reports.


A-level students prepare for the big day

It's an anxious time for tens of thousands of teenagers who are awaiting their A level results. It comes amid ongoing controversy over the future of the exams - they've already been made more rigorous and further reform is on the way. This year there are warnings that grades could show greater variation than normal because of a crackdown on resits - and greater emphasis on final exams. Our social affairs correspondent Christine Alsford reports.

Woman's terror after she is confronted by burglar

The hot night's mean many homeowners are sleeping with windows open. But now police are warning that that could be an invitation to burlgars or intruders.

In Sussex, three women in the past few days have woken to find intruders in their bedroom. One woman, from Bexhill-on-Sea, has told Meridian she found the experience so terrifiying, she's now thinking of leaving her home.

Watch Nashreen Issa's reports. She spoke to Jane Howden and Detective Sergeant Paul Graham.


Preparations hot up for free school meals

Hundreds of schools are preparing to provide free school meals for every child aged four to seven.

But some councils say they haven't been given the money they need to upgrade kitchens - one says they are having to make up a shortfall of three million pounds to ensure pupils get a hot meal.

Several schools elsewhere say they'll only be able to offer sandwiches because they don't have the space or right facilities.

Our social affairs correspondent Christine Alsford reports.

Bournemouth needs extra 1,800 school places

Bournemouth council are meeting today as part of a discussion into finding nearly 2000 extra school places.

The new places are needed from September 2018 as a continued rise in pupil numbers is expected - due to both an increased birth rate and immigration.

The plan to increase secondary school places will be discussed by Bournemouth councillors to cater for the extra pupils.

Forecasts show that over time the increase in pupil numbers that we have seen at primary age will transfer to secondary and we are already working hard to put in place suitable measures to ensure that there are enough secondary school places in Bournemouth in the future.

We anticipate that around 1,800 extra school places across year groups 7 to 11 will be needed from 2018 and so it is important that we start early, working closely with the secondary academies and their governors to look at possible options to expand as well as seeking appropriate funding."

– Councillor Nicola Greene, Cabinet Member for Education and Children's Services

Kent schools still waiting for rebuilds

It's four years since the government scrapped a major programme to rebuild hundreds of schools. Some transferred to a replacement scheme, but for several in the region no plans have been drawn up - and they don't know when work will actually begin.

In total - 13 schools in poor condition are due to be rebuilt in Kent - they include Smarden Primary, Westlands Primary and Aylesham Primary.

Kent cabinet member for education, Cllr Roger Gough, says progress has been slow - and things would have progressed much more quickly if rebuilds had been organised locally.

The government though says work is ahead of schedule and all schools will be completed by 2017. Our social affairs correspondent Christine Alsford reports on the conditions some school are having to cope with while they wait.

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