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Brecon High School placed in special measures

Brecon High School has been placed in special measures, after the education watchdog judged it had not made enough progress on "important weaknesses" at the school.

Estyn visited the school in February and found continued problems with GCSE results, attendance, marking and management at the school.

Inspectors will now monitor Brecon High every term.

Estyn judged Brecon High School to have made 'insufficient progress' since it was inspected in 2012. Credit: Google Street View

Chair of Governors, Councillor David Meredith, said the school "has already drawn up an action plan to ensure that Estyn’s concerns are addressed as a matter of urgency. The school has had a difficult history in recent years, and I am confident that this is now firmly behind us."

Another Powys secondary school - John Beddoes in Presteigne - was placed in special measures in December 2012, and will soon be closed.

Estyn says that, around Wales, there are currently eight primary schools, eight secondary schools and five pupil referral units in special measures.


Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal section drained for repairs

Members of the public are being invited to explore part of a two-hundred-year-old canal that's being restored in mid Wales.

A lock in the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal at Llangynidr has been drained while the work is carried out.

Our reporter Alexandra Lodge dons her wellies and takes a look at the construction taking place at this historic waterway.

Engineers remove canal lock gate at Llangynidr

A crane removes the lock gate from the drained-out section of canal Credit: Alexandra Lodge/ITV News

Engineers have removed a one-and-a-half tonne lock gate from the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal.

The section of canal at Llangynidr has been drained to carry out restoration work, and allow members of the public to understand the engineering that went into building the canal.


Pictures: Families join protest outside Foreign Office

More than 20 families travelled to London for the protest

The mother of a Welsh backpacker murdered in Thailand is supporting a protest by families who have had loved ones murdered abroad. The protest is over the way families say they've been treated by the Foreign Office.

The Foreign Office says it's looking at how it can do more to support families

Foreign Office looking at how it can 'do more'

The Foreign Office says it "offers particular support" for the families of people murdered abroad, but is "now identifying new ways in which we may be able to do more."

The FCO offers particular support to the families of those who have been tragically murdered abroad, working with a range of partners including the police and coroner services.

We also provide direct funding for some of our partners, including Victim Support's Homicide Service and Missing Abroad, to enable them to provide additional specialist support where we cannot.

We regularly review our policy, seeking feedback from specialist NGOs such as SAMM Abroad as well as from families themselves.

We are now identifying new ways in which we may be able to do more, as part of our focus on the most vulnerable under the new Consular Strategy.

– Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesperson

Sue Jones: Diplomacy getting in way of help for families

Sue Jones, the mother of murdered backpacker Kirsty Jones from Brecon, says the Foreign Office "needs to concentrate more on actually helping the families that have lost their loved ones - rather than being so concerned about diplomacy relations."

She told ITV News that she hopes today's demonstration will make an impact - and that the Foreign Office needs to "re-think the way we deal with things when people are lost or murdered or die abroad."

Mother of murdered Kirsty joins Foreign Office criticism

The mother of a Welsh backpacker killed in Thailand is supporting a demonstration by other families who have had loved ones murdered abroad, about the way they are treated by the Foreign Office.

Kirsty Jones was raped and strangled at a guesthouse in Chiang Mai in August 2000.

Kirsty Jones' killer has never been found. Credit: Family photograph

Her mother Sue Jones is upset that about how her Freedom of Information request, to have files on the investigation into Kirsty's murder released, has been treated.

She says that the Foreign Office keeps telling her it is still considering her request, six months later, citing concerns that diplomatic relations may be harmed by the release of the information.

More than 20 families from around the UK are travelling to London to demonstrate outside the Foreign and Commonwealth Office today.

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