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More children leaving primary school 'with better reading, writing and maths'

More children are leaving primary schools with better standards in reading, writing and maths. That's according to official figures released today. The government raised the bar this year in what it expects 11-year-olds to achieve. Our social affairs correspondent Christine Alsford reports.

Childline expecting deluge of calls over Christmas

Christmas, of course, is a time of peace and goodwill, but sadly there are exceptions. The Children's helpline service, Childline, says it's expecting a call from a young person every four minutes around the festive period. That service is run by the NSPCC, and to try to raise funds ahead of the Christmas holiday it's organised a charity event - very appropriately, a bobble hat day. Michael Sibert reports


Children receive equipment to be seen on dark roads

Police with the children at Malmesbury Park Primary School Credit: Dorset Police

The road safety day at Malmesbury Park Primary School was organised by officers from Charminster and Queens Park Safer Neighbourhood Team. Police Constable Jo Murphy and Police Community Support Officer Rich Frew visited the school and gave a presentation on road safety and awareness.

All students at the school were also issued with a flashing reflective light to wear while travelling to and from school.


What age should children start saving?

We all worry about money from time to time. But just how young should children be before they learn to save? Well a new survey suggests as young as eight and possibly even younger, should be saving more than £100 a week to buy the things they need by the time they're eighteen.

In the south east three out of four parents say they worry about their children futures - so is it important to make sure they learn to save and not spend from a young age.

David Wood reports.

Give a child a home

Today is the start of National Adoption Week and West Sussex County Council is encouraging more people to come forward to offer a child a home. It says it's currently trying to find families for thirty five children.

The feelings you experience when you see photos and then meet your child for the first time are incredible. I don't think we've ever cried so much - all happy tears. It's been an amazing experience. The process to adopt our first child took around 13 months and you get a lot of support along the way - our social worker was fantastic and has really become a part of the family.**

– Sue, Adur District Council

Plans to close children's centres in Kent are 'not a done deal'

Kent County Council has to save two hundred and forty million pounds. It says cuts by central Government leave it no choice. Today councillors met in Maidstone to consider areas where cutbacks could be made.

But as Andrea Thomas reports, any choice they make will be unpopular with some taxpayers. And noisy demonstrators fighting plans to close children's centres were there to make their voices heard.

She spoke to some of those demonstrators and Jenny Whittle, cabinet member for children's services at Kent County Council.

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