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Marking boycott at Bristol and Bath universities

An assessment and marking boycott at the Universities of Bath and Bristol will begin today.

University and College Union members will stop marking work and conducting examinations - but will continue to carry out other academic duties.

The dispute is over changes to staff pensions. Staff from 67 other universities across the country will also be taking part in the boycott.

Wills Memorial Building, Bristol University. Credit: PA

Ian McKellen gives students exam advice

Lord of the Rings actor Sir Iain McKellen had some stern words for the pupils at Chew Valley School near Bristol during a recent visit. He was visiting the school to celebrate their work promoting human rights, opposing bullying and homophobic language and behaviour at school.

They recently addressed a Stonewall Conference in London and were made Stonewall Champions. Stonewall is an organisation set up by Sir Iain McKellen promoting equal rights.

But Sir Ian had some stern words for the students at the school, warning them of what might happen if they failed to revise for their exams....


Sickness bug closes South Gloucestershire school

Two Mile Hill Primary School is due to re-open on Monday after a deep clean Credit: ITV News

A South Gloucestershire primary school's been forced to closed after dozens of children and teachers came down with norovirus.

Two Mile Hill School in Kingswood will be closed until Monday to allow for deep cleaning.

Two Mile Hill Primary School in Kingswood Credit: ITV News

Motorists in Bristol not stopping for lollipop people

Safety campaigns warns drivers to keep a look out for lollipop people Credit: PA

A new safety campaign has launched in Bristol to remind drivers to look out for lollipop people. A report by School Crossing Patrols has found an increasing number of motorists are failing to stop at crossings. The city's Mayor George Ferguson is supporting the initiative.

Weston College to run a new Free school in Bristol

Dr Paul Phillips OBE, Weston College Principal and Chief Executive, Credit: Weston College

A new Free School for Bristol, backed by Weston College has been given the go-ahead by the government.

The Bristol Futures Academy will be part of the multi-academy trust created and sponsored by the College. It will aim to give new opportunities to pupils who have found the education system challenging and will hope to motivate them and raise their ambitions.

In the first phase, 25 pupils aged between 14 and 16 will attend BFA. This is expected to rise to 100 pupils as the provision develops. At the moment a site for the BFA has not been identified, but College managers will now begin the process of looking for a suitable building in Bristol.

"This is excellent news, both for the College and the Bristol pupils we will now be able to support. We believe that all young people are entitled to an inspiring and engaging education which will enable them to aspire to and achieve meaningful and productive futures, both in terms of careers and in personal independence and an ability to make a positive contribution to society."

– Dr Paul Phillips, Weston College Principal and Chief Executive,


College principal 'desperately sad' over failure

Personally and professionally this is really upsetting. I feel desperately sad we've let these students down. That's why I'm concentrating on the students to try to make it right for them.

I've launched an investigation to find the root cause of this. When that's concluded I'll be talking to the Chair of Governors to see where we go from there.

– Lynn Merillion, Principal of City of Bristol College

Student has nothing to show for two years' study

Tom Sarney Credit: ITV West Country/Richard Payne

Tom Sarney should be on his way to a career in aeronautical engineering. Instead he has nothing to show for two years of studying.

The 19-year-old from Falfield in South Gloucestershire was one of 26 students on a course at the City of Bristol College who've just discovered their work hasn't been marked.

There's nothing to show for two years which have been wasted. I have no paperwork to show I was there. Nothing to show to potential employers.

– Tom Sarney

Tom says others pulled out after just a year, so disillusioned were they by the standard of the course.

We had tutors disappearing with work. One tutor with our hand written work just disappeared. None of us have back-up copies of the work. Every time we asked what was happening we were told 'if it hasn't been given back to you assume it's been marked'. That was it.

– Tom Sarney

Tom's stepfather says he raised concerns with the college over a year ago and is now considering legal action against it.

I'm just shocked t the way the course has been run. The total lack of commitment to the students and the attitude that 'we know there's a problem, we're trying to sort it out'. You never got a straight answer from them.

– Tom's stepfather

Bristol City College lets down students

Aeronautical engineering student is one of many who haven't received their qualifications Credit: ITV West Country

A major inquiry is underway tonight at the region's largest further education college after it emerged some students have not received qualifications for the work they've done.

External assessors are refusing to issue grades because of concerns over the quality of teaching offered by the City of Bristol College.

ITV News has heard allegations that some work wasn't taught properly nor correctly marked. Some staff even failed to turn up for lectures. The college's principle has admitted the students have been badly let down.

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