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North East sees biggest rise in GCSE passes

Pupils at Durham Johnston School collect their GCSE results Credit: ITV

North-east England has seen the biggest year-on-year rise in the number of GCSE candidates receiving grade C or above, up 1.5% to 67.2%.

The number of students who achieved A* to C grades has increased 7.5 times more than at national level. In England, the number of candidates receiving grade C or above rose 0.2% to 69%

The number of North East students who achieved A* to A grades has risen 0.2% on 2014 to 17.6%. However, the region has the lowest rate of students achieving grades A* to A, alongside Yorkshire and Humber.

Nationally, the number of candidates who achieved A* to A grades fell by 0.1% on 2014 to 21%.

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North East culture campaign launches 15-year vision

A campaign has been launched to make the North East the UK's leading cultural capital.

The 'Case for Culture' manifesto outlines the region's cultural vision for the next 15 years. It says investment in culture will benefit people, places and the economy in the North East, helping to build and sustain a better future for the entire region.

The 'Case for Culture' manifesto has been launched by the North East Culture Partnership, which is formed of 12 local authorities alongside arts and cultural organisations, sport and tourism, and businesses and educational organisations.

The partnership aims to spread the benefits of arts, culture and heritage across the region by reaching an extra 500,000 people per year, boosting economic growth and job creation.

It is hoped the campaign will increase access to culture for young people across the North East.

The partnership says they will achieve their aims by increasing the planned funding from £100 million to at least £300 million over the next five years.

North East unemployment falls by 11,000

Unemployment has fallen by 11,000 in the North East Credit: PA

Unemployment in the North East has fallen by 11,000, official figures have revealed.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), 100,000 people were unemployed in the region between December and February.

The unemployment rate for the North East remains the highest in the UK, at 7.7%

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Tonight's Around The House

Around The House, tonight at 10.40pm on ITV. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Our political correspondent Paul Brand is joined by four new election candidates for a lively debate on immigration and the economy.

Paul Brand and guests (l to r): Lib Dem Julie Pörksen (on screen), Tory Will Goodhand, Lee Sherriff (Labour) and Phillip Broughton (UKIP) Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Around The House is on ITV tonight (Thursday 5 March) at 10.40pm.

GP drives patient to hospital to avoid "two hour wait" for ambulance

It's emerged a Darlington doctor drove a patient with a heart condition to hospital himself after being told there'd be a two hour wait for an ambulance car. The GP says he's seriously concerned about the mounting pressures on paramedics. The North East Ambulance Service says it's investigating.

Watch Frances Read's report:

Clegg: "It is crucial that we invest properly in education"

The Government has announced that 16 North East schools will benefit from a £140 million grant under the Flagship Priority School Building Programme.

Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg said:

?It is crucial that we invest properly in education, so that every child has a fair start in life.

Thousands of pupils will benefit from better, brighter, warmer classrooms thanks to this ?funding.

Children can't learn and teachers can't teach in schools that are cold and have leaking roofs.

To create a stronger economy we have to invest in a fairer society so that our young people can be successful in the future.

– Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister
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