Gertrude Bell was an explorer and spy in the First World War.

Traditional names 'dying out'

No more Gertrudes or Berthas and say goodbye to Cecil as traditional names are in danger of dying out.

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Your views: 'No sympathy' for teacher strikes

As teachers announce plans that could result in strike action there seems to be little support for any walk outs with parents reacting angrily to the plans.

  • Helen Nellie Chadwick: Surprise surprise think parents should unite as one to stop the fines for taking kids out as its prejudice as it doesn't apply to the disruption that strikes cause let alone the poor pupils about to do their exams.
  • Gypsy Bluebell: Outrageous. Parents can't take children out of school because of disruption to the rest of the class... I have no sympathy with them, whatsoever.

Read more: DfE: Strike action 'will damage teachers' reputation'

  • Ron Lock: Why don't they have their strikes in August, as a nurse I am getting fed up with this... Maybe we should refuse to treat teachers when they go on strike!
  • Tracy Trotter: Find a different way than walking out. It not only hurts the gov it hurts every parent and costs [them] to find childcare.

Tell us what you think on the ITV News Facebook page

DfE: Strike action 'will damage teachers' reputation'

The Department for Education has hit out at the National Union of Teachers over proposed strike action in June, saying it will "damage the reputation of the profession".

A spokesperson added that it was up to headteachers to ensure their staff have manageable workloads.

Ministers have met frequently with the NUT and other unions and will continue to do so. Further strike action will only disrupt parents’ lives, hold back children’s education and damage the reputation of the profession.

It is important that teachers work closely with school leaders to ensure that their workload is manageable. We trust the professionalism of our headteachers to monitor their staff's workload and address any issues.

Read: Teachers announce plans for further strikes

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Teachers share support for summer strike action

Teachers have taken to Twitter in support of the news that summer strike action has been approved by the National Union of Teachers (NUT).

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#Solidarity to our #NUT friends & colleagues who once again are standing up for education and teachers. #standup4edu #NUT2014 #GoveMustGo

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#NUT2014 so pleased that we have passed the stand up for education motion. Loved the fact that everyone stood up and clapped at the end!

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#NUT2014 Strike action isn't certain, it is an OPTION, to be taken if the Govt won't negotiate. The Govt can prevent it, if they want to.

Read more: Teachers announce plans for further strikes

NUT votes for fresh teacher strikes

The National Union of Teachers has voted for a series of fresh strikes, starting with a national walkout in June.

Teachers taking part in industrial action in March of this year Credit: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

The action relates to a long-running dispute over pay, pensions and working conditions.

Read more: Teachers announce plans for further strikes

Flagship free school due to shut

Discovery New School in Crawley, West Sussex, is due to close its doors today amid concerns about the standard of education it offered - it is the first time this kind of action has been taken.

Read more: Failing free school told to close

Discovery New School in Crawley, West Sussex, is due to close its doors today.
Discovery New School in Crawley, West Sussex, is due to close its doors today. Credit: Chris Ison/PA Wire

The school has around 70 pupils who will all have to find new schools.

Explaining the decision when the closure was announced, schools minister Lord Nash said that "none of the school's teachers were delivering good lessons and all were still consistently inadequate or required improvement".

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Charity calls for swifter action to protect children online

A children's charity is calling for a change in the law to help better protect children from being targeted by predatory sex offenders.

A report published by Barnado's and Labour MP Sarah Champion urged the Government to close a "legal loophole" preventing police from taking quicker action when they suspect a child is being groomed for sex.

File picture: A children's charity is calling for a change in the law to help better protect children.
File picture: A children's charity is calling for a change in the law to help better protect children. Credit: Peter Byrne/PA

Under current legislation someone must make contact with a child at least twice before a meeting takes place, with the intention of abusing them, in order to be arrested for 'meeting a child following sexual grooming'.

But the charity is demanding that police should only need to prove one incidence of contact if there is also a clear intention to meet and abuse the child.

Government insists 'reforms improve lives of poorest'

A Department of Work and Pensions spokeswoman responded to criticism from the Children's Commissioner on how poorest families are paying the price for the government's welfare reforms.

Read: Children 'pay price' for austerity

The spokeswoman insisted the reforms would improve the lives of some of the poorest families by "promoting work and helping people lift themselves out of poverty."

Our reforms will improve the lives of some of the poorest families in our communities by promoting work and helping people to lift themselves out of poverty.

Universal Credit will make three million households better off and lift up to 300,000 children out of poverty.

There are a lot of misleading stories about our reforms, but the truth is that we spend £94 billion a year on working age benefits and the welfare system supports millions of people who are on low incomes or unemployed so they can meet their basic needs.

Children 'pay price' for austerity

A generation of youngsters are "paying the price" for the Government's austerity measures, the Children's Commissioner for England has warned.

Maggie Atkinson said the poorest families were being hit by welfare cuts, but children were also affected by library closures and reductions in spending on leisure facilities.

Government spending cuts are affecting children's lives, said Maggie Atkinson. Credit: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire

In an interview with Total Politics magazine the commissioner said local government cuts had also hit after-school and holiday clubs for children.

She said: "There are children now who are paying the price in England, not only for the reduction in welfare spending, but in libraries, in leisure facilities, in early intervention, in after-school clubs or holiday clubs.

"All of those things have been under such severe pressure in local government that many of them have stopped doing them."

School to teach English as foreign language to all pupils

A secondary school, where more than three-quarters of its pupils do not have English as their mother tongue, plans to teach English as a foreign language to all of its students.

The City of Leeds School teaches 300 children from 55 different countries but says its new approach will also apply to those whose first language is English.

Headteacher Ms Sale said pupils will receive one extra 50-minute English lesson each week. The school hopes the extra tutition will "boost their fundamental English skills and improve their basic spelling and grammar."

File Photo: A Leeds school will start teaching all pupils English as a second language in a bid to boost GCSE results.
File Photo: A Leeds school will start teaching all pupils English as a second language in a bid to boost GCSE results. Credit: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

In an interview with the Yorkshire Post, Ms Sale said many of her pupils struggled to read and write even in their native language.

Ms Sale told the paper: "Many of our pupils are not only new to English but they are not even literate in their own language. In some cases we are the first people to put a pen in their hand."

The move is a strategy aimed at reversing the school’s GCSE results which saw only 26% of pupils achieving the crucial five A* to C grades last year.

The school plans to introduce the lessons to all pupils later in the year.

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