Coming to a school near you? The four-and-a-half-day week

A number of UK schools have taken the decision to move to a shorter working week because of funding shortages – and nowhere more so, it would appear, than in Birmingham. More than 20 schools in the city now plan to save money by sending children home at Friday lunchtime. Emma Jane Kirby visited one to learn more about the financial pressures they face. It’s even more of a squash than usual in the Bellfield Junior School hall this morning and small, scuffed knees knock against each other as the children sit cross-legged on the herringbone parquet floor. For the first time in their academic life, year two infants have been given special dispensation to join junior assembly. Come the …

How Ian Brady got access to teenagers in jail

As he lost weight, he was moved to the prison hospital. He was allowed to stay there even after he began eating again, in a room on the Mental Observation Landing, known as G2. Image copyright PA Image caption Brady was keen to leave the Wormwood Scrubs segregation unit The staff had had to move boys off the landing to get them away from him, he added. But despite numerous objections made by staff and others over the years, arguing that Brady should be moved, he stayed on the Mental Observation Landing, and his privileges steadily increased. Brady was allowed to watch television with other patients and given duties that enabled him to move beyond the landing, cleaning toilets and …

NHS to help gambling addicts as young as 13

Jack Ritchie, from Sheffield, started gambling with his dinner money at the local bookies when he was 17. Seven years later, he took his own life. His parents Liz and Charlie, who founded the charity Gambling with Lives, say the seriousness of Jack’s situation was not recognised. Teenagers ‘bombarded by gambling advertising’ Betting links on junior football fan pages They said their son saw his gambling habit as “a bit of fun” at the beginning. But it soon got out of control. “But in the end he thought it controlled him.” Gambling ‘doesn’t discriminate’ Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionLiz and Charlie Richie’s son took his own life after becoming addicted to gambling Liz Ritchie welcomed the …

Should bike-sharing schemes provide helmets?

Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas, who launches the defence of his title next month, has backed calls to make helmets compulsory. Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Do the health and environmental benefits of promoting cycling outweigh the risk of putting people off with legislation? Nearly 4,000 cyclists were killed or seriously injured in the UK in 2017, latest figures from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) show. Studies show more than 70% of fatalities had moderate or serious head injuries. Most serious accidents happen in towns and cities where bike-sharing schemes have helped boost cyclist numbers. Nextbike has been so successful in Cardiff that it has announced plans to double its network with 500 more …

Purr-thday celebrations for village cat

Image copyright Lesley Harper Image caption Wilbur’s fans take photos of him and post them on his official Facebook page Cathy Appelbee, Wilbur’s original owner, explained he “took umbrage, packed his bags and left home” about five years ago when she brought home a pair of rescue kittens. Image copyright Nicola Burton Image caption Wilbur has admirers wrapped around his little paw She calls him “Six Dinner Sid” after the children’s story about a cat who has six meals a day from various owners. “I do miss him a lot but it’s nice to see the community embracing him,” she said. “One lady came down from West Yorkshire to visit her grandson and said ‘I’ve come to see Wilbur’.” Ms …

Hundreds more cases in baby deaths review

The independent review, being led by midwife Donna Ockenden, was already investigating 250 cases. Latest news from the West Midlands It initially focused on 23 cases in which maternity failings were alleged. But by March, 250 families had come forward, although it is understood not all the cases related to death or serious harm. What do we know about the review? Baby death investigation ‘not watered down’ Temporary new boss for under-fire trust The trust, which was put into special measures in November, was also made subject to “further urgent action” in May amid safety concerns over emergency and maternity services, following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). Analysis By BBC Social Affairs Correspondent Michael Buchanan NHS regulators …

Demolition plans for polluted road

Life on Wales’ most polluted road – Hafodyrynys, Caerphilly Residents told to stay on most polluted street There have been many proposals for improving air quality, including buying and demolishing the houses and businesses, which would cost about £4.5m. This was the Welsh Government’s preferred option. Related Topics UK air pollution Housing Pollution Welsh government Crumlin Caerphilly County Borough Council Original Article : HERE ; This post was curated & posted using : RealSpecific

Motorway cut to 50mph to reduce pollution

A Welsh Government spokesman said nitrogen dioxide levels were above legal limits and “must be reduced”. “It was established that a 50mph speed threshold alone was the measure that would achieve compliance in the shortest time possible,” he said. “The current speed limit in place will be retained through permanent traffic regulation orders and remain in force to maintain air quality standards.” M4 and us: How traffic is set to rise on south Wales motorway Swansea and Llanelli see biggest M4 traffic rise Gwynedd couple battle for parking space on A470 In January 2018, the Welsh Government conceded a case brought by environmental campaign group Client Earth which said ministers had failed to meet EU targets to cut pollution. Their …

Tory leader hopefuls to face second vote

The final two names will then be put to a postal vote of the 160,000 Tory party members, beginning on 22 June, with the winner expected to be announced about four weeks later. Johnson tops first Tory leadership poll Tory leadership candidates grilled by media Former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson remains the clear frontrunner in the race after topping the first ballot earlier this month with 114 votes. Current Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, who came second with 43 votes, and Environment Secretary Michael Gove, who was third with 37, should make it through to the next ballot on Wednesday if their support holds firm. Former Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab, who received 27 votes, and Home Secretary Sajid Javid, who received …

Could KFCs vegan burger challenge chicken?

I’ve come to KFC’s Gloucester Road, London restaurant, one of 20 KFC branches across the UK trialling the Imposter Burger over the next four weeks, to see what customers make of it. Made from Quorn, a fungus-based meat substitute, it is the chain’s first attempt at a vegan alternative to its chicken burger. Jordan’s colleague Laura, a vegetarian, is delighted that she’s finally being catered for. She and Jordan both work for the police and KFC is a regular meal break outing for staff. “I felt like I was missing out,” she says. “Everyone would go there and I’d just get chips or beans.” Image caption Mujahid Ali had sold 80-90 non-chicken burgers by midday KFC, best known for its …

Matt Hancock quits Tory leadership contest

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionMatt Hancock withdraws from leadership race Matt Hancock has quit the contest to become Conservative leader – and prime minister – a day after coming sixth in the first ballot of the party’s MPs. The health secretary did not endorse any of his former rivals, but told the BBC he was “talking” to them all. Mr Hancock, who had been the youngest contender, said he was “focused on the future” but the party needed a leader to succeed in “the here and now”. Boris Johnson won the first Tory MPs’ ballot by a big margin, with 114 votes. His nearest rival, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, got 43 votes. Report End of Twitter …

Give 16-year-olds more choice – employers

Short-term politics ‘harms skills training’ First T-level colleges announced In a consultation that has just closed, the government has asked for views on withdrawing public funding from qualifications for 16 to 19-year-olds that overlap with either A-levels or T-levels. Any qualifications that aren’t proven to help teenagers get into further study or work would also be under threat. While there is support for the principle of a simpler system, with strong technical options for students, many organisations are expressing concerns about too much change too quickly. Image caption City and Guilds is one of the longest established bodies for trades and crafts David Hughes, chief executive of the Association of Colleges, said it was important to remember that 40% of …

Johnson to take part in BBC TV debate

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionJohnson: I want grown-up discussion Boris Johnson has said he will take part in Tuesday’s televised Tory leadership debate on the BBC. The frontrunner in the contest to replace Theresa May said the programme, which will be shown after the second round of MPs’ voting, was the right forum to debate the big issues. Rival candidates have accused Mr Johnson of avoiding media scrutiny. He said he was “very keen” on TV debates but viewers might not like too much “blue-on-blue action”. Mr Johnson, however, will not be taking part in Sunday’s debate on Channel 4, with his team reportedly having reservations about its proposed format. He added: “We don’t necessarily need …

‘I always feared Id go mad, and when I had my son I did’

Image copyright Jen Wight The first time she went into hospital she was there for nine months. I would go and visit her in the psychiatric ward at Homerton Hospital, but a combination of the very strong medication she was on and the illness itself had completely taken her personality away. My beautiful, kind, loving, creative sister was gone. So on 15 March 1993, three years to the day since Jo had been sectioned, I spent the whole day in bed crying at my student house in Brighton, waiting for it to happen to me. I was 18, as Jo had been, and I felt so sad. The funny thing is, I’m a rational person – I was doing a …

‘We can’t continue the way we are’

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionIt costs £26 billion a year to run Northern Ireland, but only £17 billion is being currently raised NI’s health service funding model is unsustainable, according to the health department’s top civil servant. It costs £26 billion a year to run NI but only £17 billion is being raised. The amount needed to maintain the health service goes up each year. Continuing this model for 20 years would mean spending NI’s entire budget on health, warned Richard Pengelly, the department’s permanent secretary. “We can’t continue the way we are,” he said. “We have enough money to run a world class health service, but we don’t have enough money to run this health …

Large parts of London without water

Image copyright @CabbagePatchPub Image caption People were spotted stocking up on large amounts of bottled water in Twickenham Surrey County Council also confirmed six schools had closed in Sunbury-on-Thames because of the issue. Hounslow and Richmond Community Healthcare NHS Trust said all planned clinics and sessions at Teddington Memorial Hospital and Teddington Health and Social Care Centre were cancelled. The evening fixture at Kempton Park Racecourse in Surrey has also been abandoned and, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, Chiswick Library and King Street in Hounslow are shut. Ealing, Hounslow, Shepherds Bush and Hammersmith and Fulham have all been affected. Image copyright Chelsea Willis Image caption Chelsea Willis was unable to bathe her daughter, who has eczema Mayor of …