Category Archives: Uncategorized

Children in the North behind in their achievements

New findings have revealed that children in the North of England are showing lower levels of achievement than their Southern counterparts. The Children’s Commissioner for England, Anne Longfield, herself a Leeds-based mother, believes this is because parents in the south tend to be pushier and to spur on their children more.

Findings were actually more positive for children in primary education, with 56% of children in the North-East reaching the expected standard at age 11. This compares well to London with 57% of children reaching expected standards. It is when children enter secondary education, that the gap becomes more apparent. This is highlighted in the discovery that school leavers from London and the south-east are more likely to go to competitive universities than those in the north, disadvantaged pupils in London are more likely to get 5 good GCSEs than their counterparts in the north, of the 10 English cities with the lowest employment rates – 8 are in the north.

The Commissioner’s Growing up North research on children’s prospects in the north will be launched on Tuesday as a response to the discoveries. Ms Longfield speaking ahead of the launch said: “As northern parents, we need to be aware of these inconsistencies and variations in secondary schools and push hard for our schools to show how they are improving and helping our children to achieve.

“One of the real drivers of improvements of schools in London has been the demand for good school results from parents and children. There is much we northern parents can learn about this parent power.”




Oxbridge student dies in Alps

Matt Smith, a 22-year-old student from Oxbridge, has been found dead whilst on a University ski trip to the French Alps.

Emergency services were called to his chalet after he was found unconscious by friends. No information regarding cause of death has been released however, it is suspected that the youngster died of cardiac arrest.

Oxford University has released a statement, in which the institution said:

“We would like to express our deep sadness at the tragic death. While we await the findings of the official investigation we are offering support to students who may have been affected. “

Friends and family of the deceased took to Facebook to leave their condolences. One user, Eóin Barrett-Fulton wrote: “Still don’t believe it, he was taken far too soon. We all thought he was invincible. I’ll always love you Matt and I hope you’re resting better now. You’ll forever be one of my oldest and greatest friends.”

Smith’s father expressed that his son ‘died doing what he loved.’ He said:

“We don’t know anything more at the moment about what caused his death. We are just thinking of Matt and what a wonderful man he was and what a wonderful friend.”









Government appeal over Brexit powers to be heard by Supreme Court

The Supreme Court will be hearing from government officials on Monday their appeal over last month’s ruling which made it compulsory for there to be a parliamentary vote on the triggering of Article 50 in the Brexit process.

The hearing is expected to play out over the course of four days, with the final judgement to be announced in January 2017. The case has generated a lot of public interest, and in response, extra seating is being provided for 115 members of the public as well as 70 journalists from around the world.  In a statement on the Supreme Court website, the justices said they were “aware of the public interest in this case and the strong feelings associated with the wider political questions of the UK’s departure from the EU, which we stress are not the subject of this appeal”.

It is hoped by the government that the appeal will be successful. However, in the case that the court continues to reject Mrs May’s appeal to “prerogative powers”, the Conservatives do have a back up plan. A 16-word bill is being prepared which could be fast-tracked though Parliament, asking MPs and peers “to give permission” to the government to trigger Article 50 in time to meet the March deadline.

It seems that all signs are pointing towards a Brexit after all. As the Labour Party has similarly announced it has no plans to atop the Brexit process. Rather they propose a soft Brexit instead of a hard one, with the UK maintaining access to the single market and the protection of worker’s rights. Shadow Attorney General Baroness Chakrabarti stated:

“We have been completely clear that we are democrats and respect the outcome of the referendum, even though many of us – myself included – campaigned in the opposite direction.

“So this will happen, pursuant to the will of the people. But there is not a simple question of ‘in and out of the European Union’, there are many questions that Parliament has to scrutinise about what happens next.”



Italian PM Matteo Renzi to resign following failed referendum

The Prime Minister of Italy, Matteo Renzi, announced his resignation this morning in the wake of the referendum results yesterday. The country voted on a constitutional reform that Mr. Renzi hoped would bring stability to Italian politics. His detractors maintained that it would instead do away with numerous safeguards that protect the democratic system. The proposition was shot down, with “No” gaining 59.1% of the votes.

The Prime Minister said he took “full responsibility for the defeat” in a speech to the country, and assured he would “greet [his] successor with a smile and a hug, whoever it might be”.

The Euro plunged compared to the Dollar following the announcement of the results yesterday evening, but has since climbed back to previous rates. Italy’s third largest bank, Monte dei Paschi di Siena, also suffered from the results, as its shares fell by 7 percent before returning to a 1 percent decline.

Matteo Renzi had campaigned for his reform against practically all the opposition parties in Italy, but the clear winner of the referendum was the anti-establishment 5-Star Party, led by Beppe Grillo. Luigi Di Maio, believed to be the party’s candidate for the prime minster’s declared that, “from tomorrow, we will start work on putting together 5-Star’s future programme and the team of people that will make up a future government”.

Matteo Renzi is expected to hand in his resignation to President Sergio Mattarella later today.

Adele adds two more shows to Wembley

With the initial concert dates selling out within minutes, Pop sensation Adele has added two further dates at Wembley arena to her World tour which begins next year. The star has only recently finished her 107 date Adele Live tour, which spanned over 10 months.

Her dates at Wembley will mark the ‘finale’ of her tour and see her play to more than 300,000 fans. Tickets for the additional dates – 28th June and 2nd July – will go on sale on December the 7th. Prices for highly desired the tickets range from £45-175.

You’re fired: Lord Sugar fires TWO male hopefuls after shameful performance, leaving the show at a female advantage

Dillon St. Paul and Sofiane Khelfa were the most recent contestants to be fired from the BBC One show last night, leaving the remaining candidates with a substantial female advantage of – 5-1.

Last night’s Apprentice episode saw the contestants plunged into virtual reality, with each team tasked with developing their own virtual reality game. The teams scrapped to come up with game ideas, with Trishna Thakrar taking the role of project manager for team Nebula and Sofiane Khelfa for team Titan.

With novelty gift shop owner, Courtney Wood, and Fashion entrepreneur , Jessica Cunningham in charge of designing team Nebula’s video game – no wonder it ended up with the bizarre name, “Gordon’s lost his Badger” and equally confusing concept: an astronaut  who’s lost his pet badger in space. Despite the wacky choice of name, with project manager Trishna branding it ‘rubbish’and confused feedback from the Comic Con test audience, Team Nebula managed to receive the greatest  support from their pitch and securing their position for another week.

Team Titan however, struggled to work cohesively, with project manager Sofiane placing Dillon in charge of making the game, despite the fact that he has extensive experience in the branding field.  Aide to Lord Sugar, Claude Littner, noted Sofiane’s error, remarking that: “Clearly Dillion should be on the branding side. But where’s he actually ended up? Not there.” Following this hiccup, Team Titan went on to produce what test subjects referred to as a ‘childish’ game which focused on an underwater character collecting shells for a puzzle.

In the Board Room, whilst disappointed with both teams effort, Sugar bought Sofiane back to the board room for his team’s loosing attempt, accompanied by Dillion and Grainne McCoy. Sofiane argued his corner, saying of Dillon: “If i was in your shoes i would have made a better game.”

Ultimately, Sugar chose to firstly fire Dillon for his performance telling him: “Whilst you are a very nice guy, I don’t think you have the potential to become my business partner.” The Millionaire mogul then turned on project manager, Sofiane, announcing: “I’m finding it difficult to believe that you are a potential winner.”

This leaves the final 6 hopefuls at five-to-one for the women, making a female business partner highly likely for Lord Sugar. The last female Apprentice winner was former Doctor, Leah Totton in 2013.