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Staff at Northumbria, Newcastle and Durham universities to strike

Newcastle University Credit: PA

Members of the University and College Union (UCU) at the universities of Northumbria, Newcastle and Durham are going on strike this week as part of national strikes in protest at pay and conditions.

Members at Northumbria and Newcastle will walk out tomorrow (Friday 1 July), while their colleagues in Durham will take action a day later on Saturday (2 July).

The strikes have been planned to coincide with University open days.


Newcastle College becomes first in UK to award own degrees

Newcastle College has become the first further education institution in the country to be given the power to award their own degrees.

NCG - the group which runs Newcastle College & 6th Form - made the announcement on their website.

Gaining Taught Degree Awarding powers is a landmark development for the sector. It’s a real breakthrough nationally and we are extremely proud to be leading the way for the whole of the further education sector.

Degree Awarding powers will enable us to be more responsive to the demand for higher level skills as well as supporting the local economy and more people into jobs.

– Joe Docherty, NCG Chief Executive


Gateshead nursery closes after teacher bitten by exotic spider

A nursery school in Gateshead has closed after a teacher was bitten by what is suspected to be an exotic spider.

The incident at Bensham Grove Community Nursery School on Sidney Grove happened yesterday as a teacher was putting bananas into a fruitbowl.

The teacher was examined by doctors at the QE hospital in Gateshead for swelling and bruising. The school say she is now "absolutely fine".

The school has been closed until further notice as the Council's Health and Safety Teams and Pest Control teams work to locate the spider.

Credit: Facebook

The nursery school is attended by children aged 0-5.

Denise Henry, head teacher at Bensham Grove Community Nursery School, and Helen Bowlby, 4Children Daycare, said:

One of our members of staff was bitten while putting bananas that had been supplied by our fruit suppliers into the fruit bowl. The member of staff was examined by medical staff at the QE Hospital and although she suffered some swelling and bruising at the time she is now absolutely fine.

The hospital suspects it is a spider bite. We are now working closely with the Council’s Health and Safety and Pest Control teams and with the food suppliers to decide upon the best way forward.

The safety of our children is paramount and the school and daycare will therefore remain closed until we are satisfied that the situation has been dealt with and there is no risk to our children. Alternative provision for the daycare has been made available to parents in the meantime.”

– Denise Henry, head teacher at Bensham Grove Community Nursery School
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