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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

North Yorks 'horse whisperers' help Japanese families

A mother and daughter team from North Yorkshire are building an international reputation for helping children with autism better their communication skills, by using horses.

Autism affects the way a person relates to, and communicates with others. By pairing the young people with a horse, the aim is to break down those barriers.

Thanks to the success of the programme, the centre is attracting families from as far away as Japan.

Claire Montgomery reports:


Working with horses 'helps build communication skills'

Sarah Shearman is a renowned horse whisperer who runs a residential centre specialising in using horses to help young people with autism.

The school in North Yorkshire is helping Japanese students to better their communication skills through working with animals.

The centre is run by mother and daughter, Sandra Kreutzer-Brett and Sarah Shearman, who are experts in reading the body language of horses and their riders.

Sarah says working with the animals can help build their confidence and self-esteem.

North Yorks 'horse whisperers' help Japanese students

Students from Japan are among those travelling to a training centre in rural North Yorkshire to help better their communication skills.

The residential centre specialises in using horses as therapy to help young people with autism.

The visit a joint venture between a mother and daughter, who're experts in reading the body language of the animals and their riders to help students achieve their full potential.

During their visit, families will learn to work together to tack up a horse and use leadership skills to guide the animal.

Over the years, Sandra and Sarah have helped many families. They believe the animals can help break down barriers.

Free school to address skills gap in the North East

It's one of the biggest economic challenges facing the North East: the skills gap in manufacturing and engineering.

But now, a multi-million pound school has opened its doors on Tyneside and claimed it will address the problem.

Pupils who go to the Discovery School can expect to operate high-tech machinery, work office hours and swap the school desk for industry-style bays.

It's all possible because it's a free school - which can deviate from the curriculum.

Education Correspondent Dan Ashby reports:

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