Sope Peters: accidental death verdict

An inquest into the death of Sope Peters, who died after falling into a river on a night out, has recorded a verdict of accidental death.

MTV to 'pimp up' university ball

Teesside University is to have its summer ball ‘pimped up’ by MTV. It clinched the prize after 'tweeting' two millions times.

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Video flying through space shows how universe would look to Captain Kirk

On the day scientists in the United States announced they may have detected echoes of the Big Bang at the start of the universe, researchers in the UK showed off a unique image of the cosmos in more recent times.

The team from Durham University used data from telescopes and satellites to put together a detailed map of thousands of galaxies, which Dr Peder Norberg compared to the view Captain Kirk and his team in Star Trek would have from their flights around space:

Plans for Wynyard Church school announced

The Anglican Diocese of Durham has started consultation on plans for a new Church school. It would be on the edge of Wynyard, near Billingham, Teesside, and be part of a new housing development.

“There is a major new housing development planned for the area. We have been talking to the developers and the development will need a school

“We want to be part of this and we think we can deliver a really good school. Hopefully, people will see this as a good thing and want to get on board.

“We educate more than 14,000 children in the Diocese so have a good track record and can bring a lot to the table.

“This is a great proposal and working in partnership with the local community is crucial. We want this to be a neighbourhood school.”

– Archdeacon of Sunderland the Ven Stuart Bain, Chair of the Diocesan Board of Education

Applications for the new Wynyard Church of England Primary School will be welcome from local children of any faith or none.

“We need to show the Department for Education (DfE) that there is sufficient demand for our proposed school."

– Archdeacon Stuart

It will be a Church of England school, operated by the Diocese of Durham.

Once the consultation is completed, the application will be sent to the Department for Education in May and, if successful, the school will open in September 2015.


Councillor: "Middlesbrough schools need very fast improvement"

Councillor Brenda Thompson said she accepted Ofsted's report, which said Middlesbrough Council needs to take urgent action to improve opportunities for school pupils.

She said that although the inspection took place at the end of January 2014, it largely reflected a bad set of results the year before, and that the council has made changes this year that should help schools to make progress.

Ofsted inspectors warn Middlesbrough Council to take urgent action over schools

More than half of secondary school pupils in Middlesbrough go to a school rated less than good, according to Ofsted. It says pupils' performance at every stage is below the national average, and children fall further behind the older they get.

Inspectors are warning the authority to take urgent action to improve opportunities for pupils.

Lucy Taylor reports.


Middlesbrough Council reacts to Ofsted criticism

Middlesbrough Council has released a statement following criticism from Ofsted. An Ofsted inspection was carried out from January 27 to January 31, 2014, during which support was found to be ineffective.

“It is disappointing that Ofsted found the authority’s arrangements for supporting school improvement to be ineffective.

“The need to improve support to schools has already been recognised within the authority, which led to the creation of the Middlesbrough Achievement Partnership.

“What is important now is that we continue to implement the improvements we have ourselves recognised through MAP and to incorporate those highlighted by Ofsted.

“The report outlines six areas where swift action is necessary and these have already been made a priority to be acted on."

– Councillor Brenda Thompson, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Children’s Services

“We are confident that the direction we are taking with our school heads and governors will lead to significant improvement in results for our children.

“Therefore our children can be assured that we remain determined and resolute to give them the best education that we can.

“In recent years, schools in Middlesbrough have achieved a steady increase in standards of attainment.

“Therefore to get the best outcomes possible for the children and young people of Middlesbrough, we recognise the need to increase the pace of improvement in partnership with all schools and academies in the town.”

– Councillor Brenda Thompson, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Children’s Services

Ofsted on Middlesbrough: 'Urgent action must be taken'

Nick Hudson, Ofsted’s Regional Director for the North East, Yorkshire and Humber, has spoken of his concern for education in Middlesbrough.

'The poor performance of the authority to ensure all young people receive a good quality education is very concerning. Urgent action must be taken so that pupils are given the opportunities they need to succeed and to improve their life chances.

'Ofsted’s role does not end here; we will continue to work with the council and local schools to help them improve and we will re-inspect the council in the next nine to 12 months to make sure actions have been taken to improve the quality of education for young people.'

– Nick Hudson, Ofsted’s Regional Director for the North East, Yorkshire and Humber

Ofsted concern for Middlesbrough schools

A third of pupils overall, and over half of secondary-aged children, attend a school in Middlesbrough that is less than good, says Ofsted.

Ofsted carried out an inspection of Middlesbrough council’s arrangements for school improvement between 27 and 31 January this year. This was in response to concerns about the achievement of pupils in primary and secondary schools and the quality of education for young people in training aged 16-18.

In Middlesbrough, attainment at each key stage remains well below national averages and progress slows as pupils get older. The proportion of school leavers not in education, employment or training is almost twice the national average.

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