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School changes policy after complaint from transgender pupil

A school in Kent has been forced to change its policy after a transgender pupil complained she wasn't allowed to wear the official girls' uniform.

Lily Madigan, who's 18, was sent home after arriving for lessons in a female top.

St Simon Stock Catholic School in Maidstone initially told her she was breaking school rules. Governors have now apologised after Lily started a petition. Tom Savvides has the details.

Should parents be fined for taking children out of school in term time?

Should parents be fined for taking their children out of school in term time? There have been far fewer fines since May but, depending on where you live, there are still penalties.

Recently, the High Court agreed with parent Jon Platt that he should NOT have to pay a £60 fine for taking his child out of class for a holiday. But the case may still go to the Supreme Court.

Nevertheless, in England and Wales, 114,000 fines were issued to parents in the last academic year. Kevin Ashford reports


New plan to run schools receives mixed reaction

There's been mixed reaction to a government idea to get universities to help run schools. The new proposals would see all Higher Education organisations having to sponsor a local academy or set up a free school if they want to charge higher fees. But several of our vice chancellors say Universities should stick to what they do best. Our social affairs correspondent Christine Alsford reports. Interviewees: Prof Clive Behagg Vice Chancellor, University of Chichester Sue Patrick Headteacher, Berewood Primary School Sir David Bell Vice Chancellor, University of Reading Prof Joy Carter Vice Chancellor, University of Winchester

Pupils & teachers call for 'fairer funding' for schools

Pupils and teachers from West Sussex have taken their fight for fairer school funding to Downing Street.

Campaigners say schools in their area receive £44 million pounds less than the national average. Some headteachers say they face having to lose staff and increase the number of children in their classes. They're calling for £20 million pounds to be made available.

New grammars - how would they work?

Government's proposals for a new generation of grammar schools are already proving highly controversial.

New selective schools are still a long way off - but in a second special report Christine Alsford looks at what the future might hold - and how it would impact on the education system as a whole.

She spoke to George Wright, a pupil at Bournemouth School, the headteacher Dr Dorian Lewis, Executive Principal of the Canterbury Academy Phil Karnavas, and leader of Portsmouth City Council Donna Jones (Conservative).

Sussex celebrates 950th anniversary of 'Britain's most famous battle'

Today marks the 950th anniversary of possibly the most famous battle on English soil.

On this day in 1066 at least 20,000 men decided the fate of our nation - when William the Conqueror defeated King Harold on the fields of Sussex.

The Battle of Hastings will be recreated once again in Battle itself this weekend, while a bonfire procession will be among the celebrations in Hastings. But why is 1066 so important?

Andy Dickenson speaks to Sam Stones of English Heritage, Nick Lynas of Hastings Bonfire Society and 1066 walker Nigel Amos.


Should our region have more grammar schools?

Thousands of families began finding out today whether or not their children will get to go to grammar school next year..

More than 14,000 pupils took the 11-plus this year in Kent. Just under a third will end up with places at schools that select on academic ability - the rest either live too far away or failed to pass. It comes as the government plans to relax the rules allowing new grammars to be set up.

But the issue remains as controversial and divisive as ever, as Christine Alsford outlines in the first of two special reports.

'You just want to survive' - Syrian refugees begin a new life at school that says we need to do more

A year ago they were two teenage boys from Damascus - often too scared of the bombings and gunfire to go to school or even take their exams.

But now Sulaiman Wihba and Elias Badin have begun a new life at a public school in Sussex, trying to put the horror of their childhoods behind them.

They are thought to be the first Syrian refugees to be offered such a scholarship, but their teachers say we have a duty to do more - comparing their plight to that of children caught up in the conflicts of World War Two.

Andy Dickenson has been to meet them and also speaks to Steve Marshall-Taylor of Brighton College.

Police Commander is one of the role models being recognised this Black History Month

A Hampshire Police Commander is one of a number of Black role models in the south being recognised during this year's Black History Month.

Superintendent Alison Heydari has spent her police career on the beat in Hampshire, working her way up through the ranks over the years. She is now one of the highest ranking black female officers in the country.

Black History Month runs throughout October to acknowledge the contributions of black people today and throughout history. The organisers say these histories often 'overlooked' by the school curriculum and throughout the year. Its theme this year is Role Models and throughout the south there will be a series of events including art exhibitions, lectures and concerts.

Superintendent Alison Heydari joined us in the ITV News Meridian studio to talk about Black History Month, serving the Southampton community and to offer advice to anyone wanting to join the Constabulary:

Hambledon Primary School celebrates new classroom

Improvements were also made to the outdoor part of the school. Credit: Hambledon Primary School

A brand new extension onto Hambledon Primary School was celebrated yesterday afternoon.

The school changed its age limit from seven to 11 in September 2013 and has since been expanding. This is the first year the school will have full classes up to year six.

Honoured guests and members of the local community joined pupils and staff in celebrating the new learning space yesterday.

The new classroom provides a wonderful environment for learning and will help our growing school provide the very best education for our pupils.”

– Paul Davies, Head Teacher
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