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Firefighters tackling a blaze at school in Bangor

Firefighters are tackling a blaze at Ysgol Ein Harglwyddes in Bangor. The fire is in a detached classroom building.

North Wales Fire and Rescue Service were alerted to the incident at the school on Ffordd Caernarfon at just before 7.30 pm this evening.

Fire engines from Bangor and Menai Bridge are currently at the scene and are tackling the blaze which is believed to have spread to the roof.

At this time it is unclear as to how the fire began and an investigation into its cause will be undertaken.


New report highlights progress made in Welsh lessons

Progress has been made in children learning Welsh, says report Credit: PA

More than 80 per cent of children aged 3 to 7 are making good progress in learning Welsh as a first language in Welsh-medium schools.

A report out today by education watchdog Estyn also reports standards in pupils' language, literacy and communication skills are similar to those in English-medium schools, and are in line with the expected level at that age.

The new report, Welsh in the Foundation Phase, considers standards in developing language in Welsh-medium schools taking into account whether pupils come from a Welsh-speaking home or not.

It also considers the balance between formal language development and informal activities which is a core part of the Foundation Phase approach to teaching and learning.

Fixed penalties for parents of truants will 'hit morale'

Fixed penalties for parents of persistent truants will "hit morale" according National Union of Teachers (NUT) in Wales.

Assembly Members will debate the detail of plans this afternoon, before voting this evening.

Under the plans, parents would be fined £60 if their children play truant, rising to £120 if the fine is not paid within 28 days.

But Owen Hathway, Policy Officer at NUT Wales, has warned against fixed penalties being introduced.

"We know that the best way to tackle truancy and long term absenteeism is to have a healthy relationship between the parent and the school," he said.

"Our concern is that if you start introducing truancy fines, there's going to be a breakdown in that relationship and it's going to be even harder to engage families in this issue.

"We often know as well that many parents are trying their very best to bring children to school and they're trying every initiative they can.

"If you start fining them it's going to hit the morale of those parents; it's going to hit their engagement with schools and it's going to cause perhaps even greater problems."

Grangetown Welsh-medium school rally in Cardiff

A rally is being held at City Hall in Cardiff today as part of a campaign calling on Cardiff Council to honour their pledge to establish a Welsh-medium school in Grangetown.

Campaigners say access to Welsh-medium education is especially difficult for many in the Butetown, Riverside and Grangetown communities, with some children having to face round trips of up to 8 miles a day with no financial assistance for transport.


Parents protest over compulsory school bus pass

Parents in Merthyr Tydfil are unhappy about paying a term fee. Credit: Nicola Hendy / ITV News

Parents in Merthyr Tydfil are protesting over the local council's decision to introduce compulsory bus passes for school children. Instead of paying 60 pence per day, parents must now pay £39.50 per term.

Many parents say they cannot afford the payout and have no choice but to allow their children to walk to school.

In a statement, Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council said the bus pass scheme implemented was "a way to improve the safety of pupils."

Previously, there was "no way of being able to clearly identify potential pupils, on any of our contracted buses, in the event of an incident", it said.

Metal thieves cause 20 thousand pounds damage at Valley school

20 thousand pounds worth of damage at Tonypandy Primary School after metal theft Credit: Rhondda Cynon Taf Council

Metal thieves have caused 20 thousand pounds worth of damage at a school in Rhondda Cynon Taff after stealing lead from the buildings roof.

Torrential rain overnight has seeped into class rooms at Tonypandy Primary School ruining books and equipment.

Boy escapes with cuts and bruises after manhole fall

Tom Halfpenny escaped with very minor injuries Credit: Athena Picture Agency

A four-year-old boy is recovering after falling down a six-foot deep manhole while playing football near his home in Swansea.

Tom Halfpenny was having a kick around near his home at Llangyfelach when he disappeared out of sight.

His uncle Glan, 48, and brother James, five, found him down the manhole in the middle of the grass, and managed to pull him to safety.

His mother Kerry said ""He felt himself falling down and was only stopped from dropping further because the manhole cover became wedged in the shaft."

The manhole is situated in the grounds of Daniel James Community School - which says the area is not open to the public. An investigation is underway into how it was left unsecured.