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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 130

Date:- 20 December 2003

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Any football or rugby fan knows
Report With Thanks to UKSEDS.

ESA this week told the media that "On the 19 December 2003, Mars Express must, like an expert rugby player, ‘pass’ Beagle 2 on to the next player, Mars. Any football or rugby fan knows that when a player kicks the ball; there is no longer anything they can do to influence its path. The player must trust to their own skill for the ball to reach its intended destination.

At ejection, the spacecraft simply lets go of the lander and Beagle 2 will be spun to keep it stable and pushed away with the gentlest of forces; nothing dramatic like a 'blast off' at launch. The problem is that Beagle 2 has no thrusters on board, so cannot influence its own trajectory and it is down to the so if nothing is done to alter its trajectory, instead of falling into orbit, Mars

Express will slam into Mars on 25 December. It is now down to the engineers send the necessary commands for Mars Express to fire its engine and alter its course to avoid destruction on the surface of Mars." All of us at UKSEDS wish them the very best of luck and hope that the teams Christmas wishes come true.

Gateacre Community Comprehensive School has been given top marks following an Ofsted inspection. 

THE school has been graded excellent for its education of visually impaired pupils from across Liverpool. 

The report found that:- "These pupils benefit from learning alongside sighted pupils and everyone in the school has an opportunity to appreciate that disability is not a barrier to achievement."

Headteacher, Peter Barnes, said:- "We are absolutely delighted that the work of the teachers, pupils and support staff in the resource base has been recognised by external inspectors.

The children are not kept in cotton wool, they are fully integrated with the rest of the school. They are in sets according to their ability levels not according to their disability."

Liverpool City Council's Education and Lifelong Learning Executive Member, Councillor Paul Clein, said:- "I congratulate the school on this excellent report. The staff at Gateacre Community Comprehensive School have worked very hard to provide first class education for all pupils.

The school has set an excellent example to other schools on how to include pupils with special educational needs." 

Executive Director for Education and Lifelong Learning, Colin Hilton, said:- "The report proves that the school has been successful in demonstrating there are no barriers to what pupils can achieve. Many visually impaired pupils go on to higher and further education."

The team of 17 Ofsted inspectors found that:- 

· Relationships between adults and pupils are good and contribute to a very positive atmosphere around school and in lessons

· Quality of education provided by school is good 

· Parents and students are very happy with what the school provides 

· Pupils show good attitude to their learning, enjoy lessons and their time in school 


Report by Patrick Trollope.

THE RAC said, "Christmas traveling is multi directional, unlike the summer and Bank Holidays, where traffic tends to be heading in one direction resulting in heavy congestion. At Christmas time travel flows tend to cancel each other out, as for every person heading from Birmingham to Devon, there is probably another heading from Devon to Birmingham," says, RAC Live traffic and travel expert Malcolm Phillips. With traffic expected to increase by up to 25% over the festive period, traffic and travel experts at RAC Live are advising motorists to start planning their journeys in advance and also with the Met Office issuing advanced weather warnings, it is set to be a hard time for travelers over the festive season. The Met Office issued an advanced weather warning on the 17 December saying that from 18 December to the 22 December, heavy snow is predicted for parts of the UK. The snow falls will be affecting Northern Scotland, Eastern Scotland, South West Scotland, North West England, North East England, The Midlands, South East England and East Anglia AND Lincolnshire. As Christmas falls on a Thursday this year many people are expected to take the week preceding it as holiday and make their getaway on Friday 19 December. The warning was issued as it is expected to cause widespread disruption to traffic etc. over the run up to Christmas. The Met office said:- "There is still a good deal of doubt about the severity of the weather, but there is the potential on Sunday and into on Monday for heavy snow showers to be driven well inland from the east coast on gale force winds. Several cm of snow is possible locally with some drifting, which could lead to disruption to transport." From early afternoon until well into the evening motorways and main roads are likely to be busy and there will also be heavy traffic around airports and ferry ports and people are asked to remember to plan your journey and ask yourself, is your journey absolutely essential? People making journeys after Christmas are likely to get caught up in queues on 26, 27, 28 December as traditional football matches take place and people start hitting the sales in towns and retail parks so leave plenty of time. RAC Live predicts that while the getaway of the following week will be staggered over 22, 23, 24 December, there will be a substantial rise in motorway traffic on 23 and 24 when people travel further a field to visit relatives. Also last minute shoppers are expected to clog up routes to both town centre shops and out-of-town retail parks over the weekend and during the last few days before Christmas. Listen to local and national radio for travel information. Tune in to Dune FM for Southport on 107.9FM, Liverpool 95.8FM BBC Radio Merseyside, 97.4 Rock FM for Preston and Blackpool or for Manchester 105.4 Century FM. 

Those planning to give the car a holiday and let the train take the strain should remember that major engineering works are going to be affecting the following train lines across the country:-

Great Western Main Line closed (Taunton - Tiverton), 25 - 30 December

West Coast Main Line closed (Stockport - Manchester), 25 - 30 December

 West Coast Main Line closed (Stafford - Crewe) now - 1 January

East Coast Main Line closed (Welwyn Garden City) 25 - 28 December

Sussex Coast main lines closed (at Clapham Junction affecting routes to Haywards Heath and Brighton) 25 -27 December

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