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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 221

Date:- 03 October 2005

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“Sorry I’m Late…  I ran out of clean shirts”

BRITAIN’S best excuses for getting out of meetings are now revealed. A recent poll carried out by the organisers of National Meetings Week has revealed some of the most elaborate and some of the worst excuses that are used for being late for or getting out of meetings altogether with 72% of respondents admitting to using excuses for being late to or missing a meeting. National Meetings Week takes place from 3 October to 7 October and aims to raise awareness of the power of face to face meetings and the contribution that the industry as a whole contributes to the economy.

When a cross section of the public across the country were asked “what is the worst excuse for being late to a meeting that you have used or heard?” the answers seemed to be extreme to say the least! Amongst some of the most ‘creative’ excuses were reasons such as “Sorry, my wife was giving birth” and “I was waiting for a delivery that arrived by canal boat”. With such elaborate excuses being concocted one has to ask if their basis for such deviousness is really valid. Surely it should be the case that meetings are constructive and enjoyable rather than dreaded and avoided?

Other classic excuses included:-

* “I stubbed my toe in the shower”

* “I got stung by a bee over the weekend and my arm is still too sore”

* “I ran out of clean shirts”

* “My credit card was refused while shopping”

* A surprisingly high figure of 34% of excuses were either pet or transport related. Most of these included blaming the tube or a sick pet for being delayed.

Martin Lewis, organiser of NMW comments:- “The results of this survey show us that meetings need to be more constructive in order for people to feel that they are worth attending. An astonishing 72% of people have admitted to making up excuses for not attending meetings or for being late. This figure is a good reflection of how people currently view the importance of meetings. Hopefully National Meetings Week will begin to change this distorted view of what is in fact an extremely important part of business and of all walks of life.”

Review by Warren Ankrah, aged 9.

THIS book was put together from kids all over England who entered a competition to write and illustrate a story about bus travel, and these 7 children are the ones who won. They also win a book of their choice every month for a year.

I enjoyed this book because it was written by children. It was a book for all ages to read as it was written by children aged 7 to 11, I am 9 and I still enjoyed reading it on my own or reading it to my little brother.

The best story was The Moon the Umbrella and The Cucumber which was written by Josie King aged 7. There were a few stories so you didn’t get bored, and I think they were all very good and deserved to win. 

Verdict:- 4 out of 5.


TEN crumbling Liverpool schools are to be rebuilt or refurbished in the first part of the £280 million Building Schools for the Future (BSF) project.

Liverpool is included in Wave Two and Wave Four of the government's BSF scheme, which will overhaul secondary education in the city by building new schools and refurbishing existing ones to provide 21st century facilities for all pupils in the city.

The ten schools included in Wave Two of the scheme, costing around £140 million, have been chosen due to the extremely poor condition of the current buildings. The project will also assist with the council's aim of integrating pupils with special needs into mainstream education.

The schools to be included with in Phase One of Wave Two, with work expected to start in 2007, are:-

* West Derby Comprehensive School, which will relocated on a single site where it will be co-located with Ernest Cookson Special School, enabling special needs pupils to have access to better facilities

* Alsop High School, which will be refurbished on its existing site including a new dining hall and sixth form and improved special educational needs facilities

* King David High School, which is in a poor state of repair and will be rebuilt

* Croxteth High School, which will be refurbished and incorporate facilities for youngsters with Complex Learning Difficulties who currently attend Meadow Bank Special School

Also included in Wave 2 will be Cardinal Heenan High, Broughton Hall, Gateacre Comprehensive and New Heys.

Councillor Paul Clein, executive member for children's services, said:- "This huge project will transform education for thousands of Liverpool schoolchildren and is another major step forward in the regeneration of the city.

Crumbling school buildings will be swept away to make way for state of the art 21st century learning facilities.

It will improve the prospects for current and future generations of Liverpool youngsters."

Liverpool City Council's BSF project director, Ann Melville, said:- "This is a huge and complex scheme which is taking shape.  When complete it will provide flexible, cutting edge, inclusive education for every secondary pupil across Liverpool.

It will be a great opportunity to make sure all our children have the facilities they deserve, to raise aspirations and deliver high quality education throughout the city."

The remaining secondary schools in the city will be refurbished or replaced in Wave Four of the scheme, which will also cost around £140 million, with work expected to start in 2010 and be completed by 2016.

A partnership of councillors, head teachers and governors has been set up to deliver the project.

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