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Why are hundreds of places unfilled at new £10 million schools?

An investigation by ITV Meridian has revealed that more than 250 places remain unfilled at three new University Technical Colleges in the South. One of them - UTC Buckinghamshire in Aylesbury - is only half full. The schools are particularly struggling to recruit younger pupils aged 14 and 15. So is it just teething troubles or an early sign the model isn't working? Our social affairs correspondent Christine Alsford has this special report.

Why are younger pupils not opting to study at new type of school that aims to make students Credit: ITV Meridian

Touchdown! American Football comes to Canterbury

English football - soccer as they call it in the States - is now part of the American sports scene. The World Cup's been held in the USA, and interest is growing all the time. It seems only fair then, that American football's made the return journey, and landed on the green and pleasant playing fields of England. With more than 14 million fans over here, the game's proving so popular that former NFL stars from the US are now coming over here to coach British youngsters. Andrea Thomas has been to their first American Football camp, being held this week in Canterbury.


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Headteacher: 'Best for children to be in school'

It is "best for children" to be in school during term time and not flout the ban on holidays when they should be in class, a primary school head teacher told Good Morning Britain.

Susan Papas sympathised with parents the difference in cost between peak and off-peak holidays had become "so extreme", but if they wanted the best for their child, they would leave them in school.

Councils call for overturn of ban on term-time holidays

The Local Government Association (LGA) is calling for tough new rules on term time holidays should be overturned, leaving headteachers to decide whether to allow pupils to be taken out of school.

At present under the new regulations, school leaders can only grant permission for trips in "exceptional circumstances". The LGA has said the restrictions fail to recognise that family life is not simple, and that there may be times when parents need to take children out of lessons for legitimate reasons.

Calls for term-time holiday ban to be relaxed Credit: PA


Hundreds of places unfilled at new Thames Valley schools

Hundreds of places remain unfilled at three brand new schools in the Thames Valley that are at the forefront of a pioneering government education policy. A special investigation by ITV Meridian has discovered that University Technical Colleges in Aylesbury, Reading and at Heathrow have more then 250 empty spaces between them - one is only just over half full. Those in charge of running UTCs - which have strong links with employers and aim to fill the skills gap - say the idea is new and they're confident numbers will continue to rise. Christine Alsford talked to Bev Flanagan, Principal, UTC Buckinghamshire; Paddy Marshall, National Union of Teachers, South Region; and Joanne Harper, Principal, UTC Reading.

Beer to celebrate 150 year of Oxford Brookes

A beer has been brewed specially to mark Oxford Brookes University's 150th anniversary.

Beer named after former principal

The India pale ale was created by former graduate Ed Murray and has been named after the institution's former principal and "spiritual founder," John Henry Brookes.

The beer will be launched this week ahead of the anniversary celebrations in 2015 with just 600 limited edition 750ml bottles available.

"We decided to recreate an authentic 1865 recipe so the beer would reflect what beer tasted like when Oxford Brookes was founded," said Mr Murray, who now runs Shotover Brewing Company, in Horspath, Oxon.

"We did some research and found an 1864 export IPA recipe which we have produced as closely as we can."

Oxford Brookes, which opened in 1865 as Oxford School of Art, officially became a university in 1992.

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