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SATs boycott: Darlington school children enjoy day of arts and crafts

There are events taking place across the North East today for children who have missed school in protest of SATs exams.

Approximately 30 children and their parents attended a SATs boycott event at Brafferton Village Hall in Darlington.

Instead of a normal day in the classroom the children took part in arts, crafts and a nature walk.

The Department for Education is reminding parents they should only take their children out of school in exceptional circumstances.

Children taking part in arts and crafts at Brafferton Village Hall, Darlington Credit: ITV News
Children on a nature walk in Darlington Credit: ITV News

8 year-old Sonny Campbell-Critchley told us how he sometimes gets nervous before school tests.

His mum Emma Campbell-Critchley explained why she kept her children out of school today:

Children on a nature walk Credit: ITV News
Children taking part in arts and crafts at Brafferton Village Hall, Darlington Credit: ITV News


Unconfirmed reports RAF jets have escorted a plane to Newcastle Airport

There are unconfirmed reports a civilian plane has been escorted to Newcastle Airport by RAF jets.

Dozens of people took to social media shortly before 10pm on Monday evening to report hearing loud bangs.

Two loud explosions were reported across parts of North Yorkshire.

It has been confirmed the bangs were sonic booms from RAF jets.

Quick reaction alert Typhoon aircraft were launched today from RAF Coningsby to identify an unresponsive civilian aircraft.

Communications has been re-established and the aircraft safely landed.

– RAF statement

Families of North East men in Indian jail to meet Foreign Office Ministers

Families of three North East men, who are serving a jail term in India, say they're angry that more isn't being done to secure their release.

The former soldiers were sent to prison, with three others, after courts ruled the armed security ship they were working on was not properly licensed, and had entered Indian waters illegally.

Watch Frances Read's report:


Police appeal to trace missing Gateshead woman

Sandra Oni Credit: Northumbria Police

Police are appealing for help in tracing a missing Gateshead woman.

Sandra Oni, aged 21, from Dunston in Gateshead was last seen at 4.45pm on Saturday 30th April at AMF Bowling on Westgate Road, Newcastle.

She is described as a black woman, 5 feet 1" tall with shoulder length red dyed hair and brown eyes.

She was wearing a grey blouse, black leggings, cream coloured fur coat, long gold earrings, a blue coloured ring and carrying a small shoulder bag.

She is believed to have two mobile phones.

Sandra has been spoken to by officers. It is believed she had been to Manchester and is now thought to be back in Tyne and Wear but officers would like to ensure she is safe and well.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Northumbria Police.

Red kite volunteers urge people to report persecution

A red kite Credit: ITV News

A volunteer group, which protects and monitors red kites in the Derwent Valley, is urging people to report any incidents of persecution of the birds.

It comes after it was revealed that a red kite was found dead with shotgun wounds in Chopwell Woods, on the edge of Gateshead, over Easter.

Now Friends of Red Kites is asking members of the public to get in touch if they see, or suspect, similar incidents.

Red Kites were re-introduced to the Derwent Valley between 2004 and 2007. Since then, the bird has become established in the area, attracting many visitors.

Red kites are protected by law.

Volunteers from Friends of Red Kites Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees
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