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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 189

Date:- 26 February 2005

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Southport College Limited Industrial Action.

THIS week some classes have been affected by a strike that was held on 24 February 2005. The result was the cancelation of some classes. Brian Mitchell, principal of Southport College told us that:- “The National Association of Teachers of Further and Higher Education (NATFHE) took industrial action on the 24 February in some colleges across the country regarding teachers’ pay.

At Southport College we have worked hard to minimise distribution to students. Union membership is confidential and we can only estimate at this time the number of staff involved in the action.

It is important to emphasise that not all teaching staff are involved in the industrial action and that in the majority of cases lessons will take place as scheduled. Students are advised to attend college as normal.

The college is committed to recruiting and retaining quality staff. We regularly review our pay structures for all staff which involves senior managers, governors and where appropriate our funding bodies. As a college we receive at least 10% less funding per student from the government than schools providing the same courses and this has an impact on our ability to implement the Modernising Pay Framework.”

Send us your views on this strike by email:- 

Not getting the benefits you're entitled to?

RESEARCH published today by the GMB Union shows that 1 in 5 people in some areas of England and Wales are on welfare benefits. However, many people are not getting the benefits they are entitled to.

Community Legal Service Direct, funded by the Legal Services Commission (who administer legal aid in England and Wales) exists to help people tackle their problems. Bringing together a national telephone helpline, information website and a range of information leaflets under one, easy-to-identify brand. Since its launch in July last year, Community Legal Service Direct has received over 140,000 calls and has had over 320,000 visits to the website. Call 0845 345 4 345 for free legal help and advice. If you call Community Legal Service Direct you will be able to get 30 minutes worth of free advice about tackling your debt and welfare benefits problems 

If you qualify for legal aid, you can get free advice from a qualified legal adviser about welfare benefits, debt or education between 9am and 5pm weekdays (if you call outside office hours, just leave a message and you will be called back). More people are eligible than you think, so call and find out Listen to recorded messages about common legal problems 24 hours a day Find quality local advice services for other types of problems Order legal information leaflets 

All help and advice given is confidential and independent. Click onto for free legal information.

Search for a quality local legal adviser or solicitor... 

1.  Ask a question or choose a topic and you'll be directed to the right place on the best advice sites in the UK

2.  See if you are eligible for legal aid using the online calculator 

3.  View or print legal information leaflets


MOVE over Miss Minogue, and back off Beyonce. Childwall is revealing its musical talent, thanks to a national mobile music studio making waves with local youngsters! It's all down to a national campaign called Nestlé Make a Disc, which tours after-school clubs with its mobile studio, and at 6pm on Wednesday 23 February is visiting the Jewish Youth and Community Centre in Childwall, Liverpool. There, local teenagers will sing, play instruments, rap or MC,  then their efforts will be transformed into professionally synthesized and mixed tracks, to be burned on to CDs for each young performer.

This musical experience is open to all clubs within the Make Space network, a national chain of after-school clubs for 11 to 16 year olds run by national children's charity 4Children, and funded by the Nestlé Trust.

£400 worth of recording equipment!  Even better, the Nestlé Make A Disc studio producer Rob Archibald will then show the youngsters how to make these professional sounds themselves, and leave behind an equipment kit worth £400, a gift which comes as part of the programme! This equipment will enable the young members of Youth Works to continue making music and developing their skills.

Teachers go digital

THE value and importance of supporting Newly Qualified Teachers (NQT) in Warrington is being highlighted in a television documentary. Glazebury CE Primary School, Warrington Road, took part in a documentary for Granada TV's new digital channel Teacher TV, which was launched on Monday 8 February. Mentor Jacinta Fearnley and Suzanne Taylor, an NQT, were the stars of the show, which was filmed at the school in December last year.

The aim of the production is to give people an insight into the relationship between NQT's and their mentors and to stress the importance and value of such relationships. Jacinta and Suzanne were filmed in a classroom environment interacting with each other and with the children.

Headteacher Elaine Morgan said:- "Being part of this production gave us the chance to show the importance we place on supporting our NQTs and the benefits that can be gained. We were really pleased that we were chosen as we see the support and development of our NQTs as being of great value to the future of the profession."

The school was chosen to take part as it is one of the LEA's training schools and the documentary is scheduled to be run during February.

'Smart' move to protect Warrington schools

THERE will be 'something in the water' at schools in Warrington that is bad news for thieves. 

Using cutting-edge DNA-style technology, 'SmartWater' is a new initiative being launched on Monday 28 February 2005 at Great Sankey High School in Warrington as the Council and Police continue to crack down on burglaries.

Thanks to funding from Warrington Borough Council and Cheshire Police, every school in Warrington will be given 'SmartWater', an invisible odourless chemical, to mark their valuable property. 

The SmartWater coding system gives a unique DNA type fingerprint to everything it is marked with. School's marking their equipment with SmartWater are provided with a unique identity for their equipment which, if found, can be traced to its exact source. 

It will also provide Cheshire Police with evidence of an offender's involvement in a particular crime.

"We believe SmartWater is a true deterrent to criminals,"
said Deputy Chief Constable Graeme Gerrard.

"The slightest speck of SmartWater will allow officers to trace property back to its original owner or if on a person, identify an offender. Once marked, the solution becomes permanent and is impossible to remove without damaging the property, thereby destroying its value to any thief,"
he added.

Burglary is something that can have consequences for every child's education. When a thief breaks in to a school they can steal vital pieces of equipment. And it is not just the loss of this equipment that can affect the school. Damage caused by a thief gaining access to a building often leaves the school and local authority bearing a financial burden, often running into thousands of pounds. 

Classrooms may have to be taken out of action and, if essential equipment used by teachers to deliver lessons is stolen, it can directly impact on the pupil's education. 

When schools need to replace stolen equipment, insurance premiums can soar, resulting in less funding for other activities. 

Cllr Maureen Banner, the Council's Executive Member for Education and Lifelong Learning, said:- "We want SmartWater to become a significant part of our drive to improve security in our schools and one of our most powerful deterrents in the fight against criminals.

Warrington Borough Council is very proud to be involved in this scheme and working together with Cheshire Police and all our schools, we want to make sure this is a scheme that makes a difference, not just in the short-term, but for many years to come."

In Cheshire, police officers will have access to ultra violet lamps that will detect the presence of SmartWater. Crime Scene Investigators are also receiving training on how to search for the presence of SmartWater and the Constabulary is looking to provide ultra violet lighting in its new custody facilities. 

SmartWater stays on the skin for weeks, prisoners will be checked when they enter the custody facility and if SmartWater is found on their skin or clothing they will be arrested for crimes which could have been committed weeks or even months before.


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