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Record number of students secure University places

Record numbers of students are heading to university this year, with more than 400,000 already accepted on to degree courses.

Credit: PA

As of midnight, 409,410 people had been accepted on to higher education courses in the UK, up 3% - around an extra 13,000 students - compared to the same point last year.

This is the highest number of acceptances recorded on A-level results day, admissions service Ucas said.

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Romans and gladiators come to Chesters Fort

The Ermine Street Guard had a quacking good time

Members of the Ermine Street Guard Roman Reencactment Society popped in to Chesters Roman Fort on Hadrian’s Wall to take a look at the roman bathhouse this weekend.

This Saturday and Sunday they’ll be swapping rubber ducks and bubbles for artillery and shields as they set up for battle at the fort as part of a Romans and Gladiators event.

Visitors will be treated to a spectacle which includes in a cavalry show, an Ermine Street Guard display and a Gladiator display.

Teesside College scoops Prince's Trust award

Students at the college with The Prince's Trust Award Credit: Stockton Riverside College

Stockton Riverside College has received national recognition for its work helping young people get back into education or employment.

The college, which works closely with The Prince’s Trust, has been named winner of the youth charity’s North East Team Programme Delivery Partner Award.

The accolade comes as The Prince’s Trust marks the 25th anniversary of its Team programme, a personal development course for unemployed young people, aged 16 to 25.

Gillian Hutchinson Stockton Riverside College’s Head of Department Prince’s Trust said:

“We are delighted to receive this award and are so proud to have delivered the Team programme to so many young people. It is credit to the staff who have worked hard over the years to help young people achieve their full potential and to the amazing young people who have taken part.”

– Gillian Hutchinson, Stockton Riverside College

"The purpose of the Delivery Partner Awards is to celebrate both the Team programme and our fantastic delivery partners from the past 25 years. We’re thrilled to be able to recognise the huge impact Stockton Riverside College has had on the lives of young people and their communities.”

– Anna Barker, The Prince's Trust


NSPCC say Sunderland Council's slow progress in dealing with vulnerable children is 'unacceptable'

A report released today by Ofsted has criticised Sunderland Council's children's services, pointing to major inadequacies in the way it deals with vulnerable children.

The NSPCC has said in a statement that pressures on council budgets should not be used as an excuse for delivering poor services.

The local authority must take urgent action to ensure children at risk of harm get the protection they need. Problems with staffing levels can increase the strain on services but this cannot be an excuse for jeopardising child protection. It is unacceptable that some cases have been caught in a bottleneck for many months.

High quality and effective child protection services are a non-negotiable part of what local authorities must provide and this should include a high level of support for frontline workers. Keeping children safe from harm is everyone’s responsibility, from local communities to councils and statutory agencies and we welcome the council’s development of an improvement plan to improve these services as soon as possible.

– NSPCC Spokesperson

Sunderland Council leader: clearing backlog of cases is main priority

Leader of the Council Paul Watson gave an interview to ITV Tyne Tees in which he accepted the failings in Sunderland Council's children's services highlighted by today's Ofsted report.

The main challenge facing the authority is clearing the large backlog of cases involving children at risk of neglect and abuse.

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