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Manchester chemistry teacher 'never supported Isis'

A 30-year-old chemistry teacher who admitted to planning to travel to Syria to fight against president Bashar al Assad will be sentenced in December.

Jamshed Javeed, 30, from Levenshulme in Manchester, pleaded guilty to two counts of engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts at Woolwich Crown Court in south east London.

He admitted going to Syria to support the rebels opposing the Assad regime, but insisted he "never supported and does not support the aims of Isis as now revealed and understood".

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A third of parents struggle to help children with maths

Credit: PA

Over a third of parents struggle to help their children with maths, a poll has revealed.

Long division, fractions and percentages were the hardest for parents to get their heads around.

While half of those asked could not answer a maths question designed for 10-year-olds.

The survey, commissioned by Pearson with Carol Vorderman's online maths school The Maths Factor, also found one in four were not confident in solving a maths problem without the help of a calculator.

And 6% said they would have difficulty helping with times tables.

Vorderman said: "Maths skills are essential in everyday life and it's perhaps concerning to see a divide opening up between those who have the confidence to help their children and those who don't.

"As a parent myself, I know how busy life gets, but with a bit of support we can all easily become confident with numbers."

Cheaper holidays not reason to take children out of school

So far 60,000 fines have been handed out to parents who took their children out of school. Credit: Tero Sivula/STT-Lehtikuva/Press Association Images

Cheaper holidays "don't fit the bill" as a reason for taking children out of school, the leader of the headteachers' union has said.

Russell Hobby said the body would be issuing new guidelines on what constitutes "exceptional circumstances".

Under the new rules, absences for funerals, weddings, religious events and seeing parents return from duty within the Armed Forces will be granted.

Time off will also be allowed for children with disabilities or special needs or those suffering a family crisis.

But Mr Hobby said taking time off to go on holiday "just didn't fit the bill".

Writing in the Sunday Times, he added: "It's not a good enough reason to damage an education. You cannot easily make up the lost learning at home, and falling behind in class can put children at a permanent disadvantage.

"Those who work in schools share your pain. Many are parents themselves and pay these prices, too. We must tackle this. The Government should work with the holiday industry to find a way through."

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