Parents asked to pay as ‘crisis’ hits Newry school

Parents asked to pay as ‘crisis’ hits Newry school

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No education budget means parents will have to pay for after-school activities and music provision, the principal of one Northern Ireland primary school has warned. Kevin Donaghy, from St Ronan's Primary School in Newry called the situation faced by the school a "crisis". In a letter to parents, he said politicians had failed to "put aside old animosities and work for the benefit of our children". He also warned of "devastating cuts". "It was widely hoped that the different political parties would, for the betterment of all, be able to put aside their differences," he wrote. "Unfortunately we see that this continued failure to reach an agreement means that education will now not have a budget." The letter - headed "schools in financial crisis due to NI Executive failure to…
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Term-time holiday dad loses court battle over school fine

Term-time holiday dad loses court battle over school fine

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A father has lost his legal challenge against a fine for taking his daughter out of primary school on an unauthorised holiday during term time. The Supreme Court ruled against Jon Platt, who had won earlier legal battles against a £120 fine in a case brought by the Isle of Wight council. Mr Platt said the decision, over a trip to Florida, meant the "state was taking the rights away from parents". But Prime Minister Theresa May said it was for schools to decide on absences. "It's right that the individual head teacher has that flexibility to make that decision," she said. The judges ruled that the interpretation of "regular" attendance, at the centre of this long-running dispute, should be decided by the school. The decision makes clear that parents…
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University’s three-legged cat ‘relieves exam stress’

University’s three-legged cat ‘relieves exam stress’

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A three-legged cat adopted by a Cambridge University library is being used to help relieve students' stress during the exam season. Jasper, a five-year-old ginger tom, belongs to the deputy librarian at the Marshall Library of Economics. He became a hit with students after his owner took him to work, and a recent "tea with Jasper" event attracted 140 moggy-lovers. Similar events are planned as Jasper is now the library's "official mascot". Jasper lost his left hind leg in a car accident and was abandoned by his owners. He was adopted by deputy librarian Simon Frost from a rescue centre.
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