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"Why I no longer play truant"- teen tells how knocks at the door changed his life

Last year Peter had a school attendance record of just over 60 per cent. This year he's been in lessons every single day. He tells Christine Alsford why he stopped playing truant - and how he's turned his life around since a minibus that tours the locality chasing up absent pupils came to call.

  1. Christine Alsford

Every Day Counts: Why does the headteacher keep a jar of stones on his desk?

For the last few days we've been featuring the work of an inspiring secondary school in a challenging part of the South. We've been out on their attendance bus, chasing up truants - and we've seen how a special unit at Redbridge Community School helps pupils at risk of exclusion. Tonight our Social Affairs Correspondent concludes her series Every Day Counts with a report on the headteacher - and finds out why he keeps a pot of stones on his desk.

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Fresh start for students at risk of exclusion

The number of pupils being excluded from school is on the rise with last year's figures up by more than 10%.

A school in a part of Southampton has been bucking that trend and achieving remarkable results by running a special unit aimed at turning life around for some of its most challenging students.

Our social affairs correspondent Christine Alsford was given exclusive access to the unit and its groundbreaking work.

Here is the second of her three special reports about a school working hard to ensure Every Day Counts:

Christine spoke to pupils Paige Masters and Mikey McCann along with teacher Laura Streeter from Redbridge Community School.

Click here for Christine's first special report.

Nits: how schools are getting to the root of the problem

It is a recurring problem for two thirds of schools in the Thames Valley

Nine in 10 primary schools in the Thames Valley have experienced head lice outbreaks.

Yattendon School in West Berkshire is doing all it can to avoid the itchy problem with a 'Nit Buster Weekend'.

Each child will be given a special pack containing a free nit comb along with official information on detection and treatment.

Parents will be encouraged to check their children's hair to prevent the problem.

  1. Christine Alsford, Social Affairs Correspondent

Teachers using truancy bus to round-up absent pupils

A Hampshire school is taking drastic measures to encourage students not to play truant.

The headteacher and his assistant drive around in a mini bus, confronting teenagers who should be in class - and trying to persuade them to accept the offer of a lift to school.

Attendance has long been right at the top of the government's education agenda.

Statistics point to the strong link between being in lessons and achieving well. Pupils with the lowest absence rates are nearly five times more likely to get at least five good grades including English and Maths at GCSE.

Our social affairs correspondent Christine Alsford was given exclusive access to a school's attendance bus and its groundbreaking work in Southampton.

Here is the first of her three special reports about a school working hard to ensure Every Day Counts:

Crash exercise highlights dangers of texting at wheel

Firefighters are teaching students about safety

Hampshire Fire and Rescue are carrying out a car crash cut-out exercise today in Winchester to highlight the dangers of texting behind the wheel.

The event at Peter Symonds College is part of the college's week long Stay Safe at Christmas campaign.

Additional activities will include beer goggle basketball and Scalextric text racing.

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