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Crumbling school buildings need urgent work

Four years after a major rebuilding programme was scrapped, schools in the South are still waiting for urgent work to begin.

Nine schools in our region have been accepted onto an alternative rebuild programme after being identified as a high priority. But many remain in a poor condition with no plans drawn up - and no idea when exactly work will begin. They include King Richard's in Portsmouth, Wyvern College in Salisbury and four on the Isle of Wight.

Of those, so far work has only started at The Cedar School in Southampton and Montacute Special School in Poole. The government says work is ahead of schedule and that all schools will be completed by 2017.

Montacute is now finally looking forward to a six million pound purpose-built building - they've been desperate for a new school for as long as 20 years. Their current buildings leak, there are cracks in the walls and pupils who use wheelchairs struggle to negotiate narrow corridors.

Our social affairs correspondent Christine Alsford spoke to headteacher Jill Owen and the school's Chair of Governors, Pam Henderson about their long wait.

Start date for building work at school "keeps moving on"

Four years since the government scrapped a major programme to rebuild hundreds of schools, and many still have no idea when work will begin. In total, 10 schools across the south which are in poor condition were earmarked for a re-build.

The Government says work is ahead of schedule and that all schools will be completed by 2017.

ITV Meridian spoke to head teacher of Bitterne Park School Susan Trigger.


Swindon teacher jailed for two years for abusing position

Thomas worked as a secondary school teacher in Wiltshire and systematically abused the position of trust he was in. Police say he preyed on vulnerable, underage children for his own sexual gratification.

The court heard that he groomed his victims and encouraged them to engage in sexual acts after gaining their confidence and trust. Thomas refused to take any responsibility for his actions and has forced his victims to relive their suffering and give evidence in court.

Rethink Cancer - calls for awareness classes in schools

by Kerry Swain

Kris Hallenga is living with cancer after repeatedly visiting her doctor & being told she was too young to have breast cancer. She started a charity called Coppafeel, It aims to persuade young people to take responsibility for their own health checks. You can find out more about her charity here.

Kris was 23-years-old when she was diagnosed. Soon after she set up a Coppafeel to make young people aware that they too can be affected.

Not satisfied with just one project - Kris is now turning her attention to the curriculum. She's calling for prevention and detection to be taught in schools and has been supported in her quest by the Steve Brine, MP for Winchester. She's been talking to our reporter Kerry Swain.


New cancer awareness campaign launched for schools

A woman who is living with cancer has launched a campaign for children to be taught about the disease in school.

Kris Hallenga, who's 28, has been speaking to pupils at three secondary schools in Winchester today. She was only 23 years old when she developed breast cancer, and by the time it was diagnosed it had spread. Kris wants lessons about cancer to be introduced to the national curriculum.

The campaign launched today is called Rethink Cancer.

Amy Winehouse drugs scheme to launch in schools

The Amy Winehouse Foundation is to launch a drug and alcohol awareness initiative for secondary schools in Bournemouth.

The foundation has teamed up with the charity, Addaction, to help educate students, teachers and parents about the underlying issues connected to substance abuse.

The foundation was set up in memory of the singer who died nearly three years ago.
The foundation was set up in memory of the singer who died in July 2011. Credit: PA

Through the Resilience Programme, teachers will be helped to better identify with students at risk, to improve attendance at school, increase attainment and build resilience to peer pressure, with assistance from recovering addicts.

The foundation was set up in memory of the singer who died nearly three years ago.

Read: Amy Winehouse sculpture unveiled in Bournemouth

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