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Free school opens despite opposition from own council

A controversial free school that was opposed by its own local council has opened its doors and promises to offer a different type of education.

A free school is one that is set up by an organisation or group of individuals. It is funded by the government but not controlled by local authorities. This means that curriculum, term times and how the school is run is not determined by the government.

Stockton Council said there wasn't enough demand to justify the multi-million pound price tag of the new Ingleby Manor school in Ingleby Barwick.

The school opened this week with just 80 pupils but says it will soon become a huge addition to the area.

Education Correspondent Dan Ashby reports:


  1. Calendar

Scarborough Council bids to run university campus

Scarborough Borough Council has announced that it intends to submit a joint bid with Coventry University College to run the university campus in Scarborough.

Scarborough Campus, University of Hull

Earlier this year the University of Hull announced its intentions to pull out of the Scarborough campus to focus on its larger educational base in Hull and since that time, the council and local partners have been looking at ways to secure university education in the town.

The council says the proposed collaboration with Coventry University would create a university campus aimed at providing high quality, industry responsive education at a reasonable price with sustainable student numbers.

The ambition is to develop the campus so that it is sustainable in its own right and as such has realistic opportunities to achieve full university status for Scarborough, which would see it teaching and awarding its own degrees.

This is a defining moment in Scarborough's history and a paradise in educational standards. It will be an enormous boost to the economy and will give Scarborough the wow factor. It will enable the international, national and regional businesses at Scarborough Business Park to recruit higher level apprentices and graduate level personnel.

– Peter Wilkinson, Chairman of Scarborough Business Ambassador Forum

PCC calls for schools to teach about domestic violence

Vera Baird QC GB Labour MP Redcar Credit: The Labour Party/Press Association Images

The Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Vera Baird, is today calling for schools to teach children about domestic violence.

Speaking at an event at Northumbria University, she aims to voice the importance for young people to learn that non-violent relationships are healthy and normal.

Vera Baird is working with the Labour party to propose changes to the national curriculum.


Newcastle school means business with new curriculum

A pioneering new school with strong links to local businesses has opened in Newcastle.

Pupils at Studio West will have regular placements at local companies to compliment their academic courses.

Businesses in the area will have a direct input into the school's culture and curriculum to help bridge the gap between education and work.

David Pearmain, a Trust Chief Executive at the school, says most of the classwork will be based on real life projects:

Detention for over 50 students wearing 'wrong' trousers

A school in Newcastle has been forced to apologise after it threw more than 50 children into detention for wearing the wrong trousers.

Pupils at Heaton Manor School were placed in separate rooms after being seen to disobey school uniform rules.

Christine Reid, whose daughter was thrown in detention, says she is "absolutely livid".

She was in that room for eight hours yesterday and she was deeply distressed. I'd understand if she'd behaved badly, but this is punishment for a pair of trousers the teachers don't like.

She's in Year 11 and she's studying for her GCSEs. She's lost two days' education because of this ridiculous rule and I'm absolutely livid.

– Christine Reid

Lynne Ackland, Headteacher at Heaton Manor, said they had been tightening up their uniform rules but had not anticipated the number of different trouser styles that the pupils would wear:

The school has been consulting for a long time about plans to tighten up our uniform rules. This included a request to parents for 'tailored' black trousers as opposed to very tight-fitting trousers, leggings, 'jeggings' or cargo pants.

However, we had not anticipated the many different styles we would be confronted with on the first day of term and we have clearly been overzealous and inconsistent in our response to this.

We have apologised and will apologise again to the pupils we wrongly put into detention and to their parents.

– Lynne Ackland, Headteacher at Heaton Manor

McDonald's plans to build near Kenton School rejected

McDonald's plans to build a restaurant next to Newcastle's biggest school have been rejected.

The fast-food chain wanted to open a two-storey 'drive-thru' at the junction with Kenton Lane and Ponteland Road.

Kenton School, which has 2,000 pupils, is just a few minutes' walk away.

McDonald's promised the move would create 75 jobs, but the global company has been refused planning by Newcastle City Council on three different grounds:

  • Pedestrian safety
  • Impact on healthy eating due to the proximity of a school
  • Poor, bland and uninteresting design on gateway to the city
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