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Teacher suspended for 'taping pupils mouths shut'

Danesfield School in Williton, Somerset. Credit: Danesfield school website

A teacher in Somerset has been suspended following claims that tape was put over the mouths of several pupils.

Parents claim that a teacher at Danesfield School in Williton, Somerset, said the pupils were being too noisy.

The school said it was "thoroughly investigating" and that "a member of staff has been suspended whilst the investigation continues".

Avon and Somerset Police confirmed they have spoken to a family involved, but will be taking no futher action.

£1.2m cost to flood-hit Somerset businesses

Flood-hit businesses in Somerset have lost over £1.23 million in just six weeks as a result of lost productivity, a new survey suggests.

Somerset Chamber of Commerce said the flooding at costs businesses an average of £17,352, and warned that the figures are "only going to increase" as the impact of the crisis becomes clear.

Somerset has been hit by the recent flood crisis. Credit: PA Wire

Trade in Somerset is estimated to be down around a quarter on average, while 70 per cent of those surveyed said the flooding had impacted on their businesses.

David Cameron pledged £10 million to help flood-hit businesses, but chief executive of the commerce Rupert Cox warned that the figure is only "going to scratch the surface".

Read: Insurers have 'critical role to play' in aftermath of floods

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Police launch 24-hour boat patrols on Somerset Levels

Police have launched 24-hour boat patrols to help residents and prevent crime on the flooded Somerset Levels.

Avon and Somerset Police will work with Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service and the RNLI to run the patrols:

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We're now patrolling flooded areas by boat 24/7 offering help, reassurance and a visible deterrent to would-be criminals #somersetfloods

Two inflatable lifeboats have been provided by the RNLI, while 15 volunteers from the Welsh RNLI Flood Rescue Team have travelled to Somerset to provide help.

PM will 'try and learn lessons' from flooding crisis: Latest updates

Environment Agency 'used all of the resources we can'

The Environment Agency's flood risk manager said they had "used all of the resources we can to temporarily put in measures to protect places".

Asked whether homes in the Somerset village of Burrowbridge could have been protected if further flood defences had been built years ago, Kath Evans said, "It would be hard to say at the moment ... I don't have that information to hand":

Offenders help fill flood sandbags for Somerset Levels

Groups of offenders have been drafted in to help residents on the flooded Somerset Levels by filling hundreds of sandbags.

The Probation Service is supervising the work, which is being carried out by offenders on Community Payback schemes.

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Here's that Community Payback team at work filling sandbags. 600 yesterday, more today #somersetfloods http://t.co/ucq4iULuz5

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Seven offenders shifted 14 tonnes of sand and filled 600 bags on Saturday, while a group of five filled 750 today.

"It is very hard work and everyone's doing a fantastic job," Community Payback team manager Denise Day said.

PM will 'try and learn lessons' from flooding crisis: Latest updates

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Flooding 'likely to get worse' despite drier weather

The flooding crisis caused by devastating storms this winter is likely to get worse, despite forecasters predicting a welcome break in the weather for the coming week, David Cameron said.

The Prime Minister said while the weather was due to improve, the volume of rainfall over recent weeks meant groundwater levels would keep rising in many places.

Parts of southern, south west and central England remain at risk of flooding due to high river levels following the recent heavy rainfall.

The flooded Somerset Levels.
The flooded Somerset Levels. Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

Mr Cameron said: "Thankfully, it does appear that we will see less rain and wind over the next few days.

"However, after so much rain over recent weeks, groundwater levels remain very high and in many places will continue to rise."

Pumps moved into place on River Parrett

A number of large pumps are being moved into place on the banks of the River Parrett at Dunball near the Somerset town of Bridgwater in an attempt to relieve weeks of flooding.

Read: Home protected by clay wall has 'days' before flood hits

The Somerset Levels house that became an island

Sam Notaro built a giant wall of clay and soil to protect his home in the village of Moorland on the Somerset Levels in a battle to stem rising flood waters.

For a while it looked as though the wall was holding, but five days after pictures of the house that had become an island appeared, the water has found its way to the Notaro's door.

Gallery: Somerset resident battles to save his house from flooding with huge wall

ITV News reporter Dan River has been back to see how Sam is keeping the water at bay, as he continues to build up the wall and protect his house.

Sam says that as the water continues to rise up to six inches every day: "I reckon we've got two days, max.

"Anything's possible, you've just got to be a bit more determined. We're lucky to be in the position to do it. Friends, family and everyone, keeps you driving on."

Asked about the rest of the village, he says: "My heart goes out to the villagers. Terrible, terrible. For me at the moment it's about looking after my home. My partner and my baby's away, I just want them to come back to a home. "

Asked if he thought it might have been easier to wait and let the insurance sort out the house once the water had receded Sam said: "In hindsight that'd probably of been a lot easier, but once you start you've got to finish it haven't you? Anyone would."

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