20/02/2013 Newsnight


20/02/2013

In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines with Gavin Esler.


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Tonight, does the collapse of the Vicky Pryce trial suggest a major

:00:13.:00:17.

flaw at the very heart of the British jury system. It is now your

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duty to sit down and try to separate the facts from the fancy.

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If there is a reasonable doubt in Muir minds as to the guilt of the

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accused, then you must bring me a verdict of not guilty. If there is

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no reasonable doubt, you must, in good conscience, find the accused

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guilty. That is the Hollywood version. The real-life version was

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a jury asking a judge questions which suggested they hadn't a clue

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about their role, hadn't listened, or hadn't understood.

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Also tonight, why is it that school results are better in some of the

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poorest areas of London, than in more prosperous places outside the

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capital. I do actually want to become a Prime Minister. I want to

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show that it doesn't matter what race you are, what religion you

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come from, that you can become anything you want.

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England's Chief Inspector of schools, in rare interview, will

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tell us whether the London effect can help children become Prime

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Minister. Currency wars, are all the big

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currencies competitively devaluing to help their economies. What

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should the UK do about it. Paul Mason will have an exciting graph.

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How old is too old to have a baby. With a report demanding that the

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NHS should pay for IVF treatment for women over 40, where should we

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draw the line? Good evening. This is a trial which

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will go down in legal history. Not for the verdict, there wasn't one,

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and there will have to be a retrial. But the jury in the Vicky Pryce

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case asked the judge a series of questions which Mr Justice Sweenew

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found so extraordinary, after 30 years experience, that he said some

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of the questions demonstrated a fundamental deficit in

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understanding of the entire trial process. In less polite layman's

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terms, he was suggesting some of the questions were extremely stupid.

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You might possibly agree. We report on a truly remarkable day in court.

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The jury were discharged after sending the judge a note indicating

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it was highly unlikely they would reach even the majority verdict he

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had asked for. Yet this may have seemed a reasonably simple case.

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Vicky Pryce is accused of perverting the course of justice.

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She denies the chanch, saying she was coerced by her ex-- charge,

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says she was coerced by her ex- husband, Chris Huhne, into take

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iing his speeding points. Whether or not she was the victim of

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marital coercion was the specific issue. That is an ancient defence,

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back to 1925. The most appropriate thing is for me to read the words

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Mr Sweeney used in his summing up. He said that a not guilty verdict

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would require the jury to agree that she had no choice but to do as

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her husband order, and that she was present at the time she signed the

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paperwork. And she said that he was so present. So that is an issue

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which he has quite clearly defined for the jury. There is, of course,

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nothing unusual in a jury asking a judge for guidance. Yesterday the

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jury of eight women and four men asked the judge, Mr Justice Sweeney

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ten questions. They ranged from the straight forward to the curious and

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Those were questions that clearly shocked lawyers in the case. The

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prosecutor, Madelin Nistor QC, said the ir-- said that the jury seemed

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not to have sufficiently grasped its task, and the judge talked

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about his concern about the fundamental deficit in

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understanding that the questions demonstrated. He added that in well

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over 30 years of criminal trial he had never come across this, at this

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stage, never. The judge had told the jurors that if they couldn't

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understand the directions they couldn't reach a true verdict. Do

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jurors always understand what they are told. Some years ago a survey

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for the Ministry of Justice suggested two thirds couldn't. Do

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today's events show there is a serious problem with the jury

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system? This is one case where the jury have been unable to reach a

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verdict. Juries are, sometimes, unable to reach verdicts. I think

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we would all accept that we would rather any jury in any criminal

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case adopt a reasoned approach, at the end of which they are simply

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unable to reach a verdict one way or the other. Than for a jury to

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return in haste, with an ill- conceived, ill-considered verdict,

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which, don't forget, if it conflicts with the evidence, could

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be taken on appeal for the Court of Appeal as being a verdict that was

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made against the weight of the evidence. The jury has been

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dismissed, but the case is, of course, not over. There is to be a

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speedy retrial, starting next Monday.

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Chris Huhne won't be sentenced until the Vicky Pryce case is

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concluded. Let's discuss this with John Cooper

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QC, and the QC who appeared for a defendant in a Heathrow robbery

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case conducted, very unusually, without a jury, for fear of jury

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tampering. How surprising this that a judge is saying, however politely

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to a jury, that some of you are not up to the job? I'm not sure he's

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saying. That the fact is jurors sometimes ask questions, sometimes

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jurors get it right, sometimes they get it wrong. This is a system

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based on human beings, and they are fallible. But the alternative is

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more frightening. The alternative is no jury, the alternative is not

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being tried by our peers and a judge. The other thing is this, I

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98% of trials don't have jurors in them any way. It is not a major

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upheaval as far as the courts are concerned. It is a good system, it

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works, it is fallible and gets things wrong. But the alternative

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is frightening. The fact it is unusual, we are reporting on it,

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and we are paying attention to it, that points up to the fact that it

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is news? It points up to being news. We can talk about anecdotes we have

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in the past. We can all talk about for instance stories we have heard,

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like the jury some years Agatha consulted a wee ghee board to

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consult with the dead defendant -- ouija board to consult with the

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dead defendant. I had a jury asking could we convict on the evidence or

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could it be gut instinct. We have all had stories like that, but

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importantly they are our peers judging us. You appeared in a case,

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for the first time in 300 years, heard in England without a jury.

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Did it change the whole nature of the trial, did it feel very odd to

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you? It was a very strange experience, as somebody who is used

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to juries. We suddenly had a crown court judge who was also the jury

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in the case. We had to work out our own procedure, everything was

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different. When points of law are argued a jury goes out. This time

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you obviously had the judge being the judge, taking off his jury hat.

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It was very different. But things I did notice were, for example,

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because the judge also had to give his judgment, he was taking a very

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close note of the evidence. So therefore he couldn't always watch

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the witness the way that a jury sitting across is able to do. Those

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sort of differences really struck me. It really confirmed, in my head,

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I'm a big fan of juries. You both are in different ways, with

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criticisms. I wondered whether you felt perhaps a lay person would

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think, look, a jury is likely to be the softer option. It is more

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likely to get off in front of a jury than with a judge, because he

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or she will have heard it all before? I'm sure people do think

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that. In fact, some defendants will deliberately elect for a jury

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because they know statistically they have a greater chance of

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acquittal before a jury than a magistrate. Those are the facts.

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That is not necessarily a bad thing. I think the bigger picture of the

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jury being a barometer of society as well, in that they may consider,

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for example, that this is a prosecution that really should not

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be brought. They do not like it. Although they may feel perhaps the

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evidence is sufficient here for guilty, this is not a case we want

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to convict on. That is justice rather than the strict

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interpretation of the law? A jury sense of justice, that is

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interesting. I was going to add to this, and if jurors are not

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understanding a case, it is not the jurors' fault, it is the

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professions' fault, and the system's fault for not enabling it

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to be explained to them. How do you change that, because you know,

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we're all lay people on juries, we have all other jobs and interests,

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we don't spend our time in court, how do you change it to make sure

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that the jury, since they are just like the rest of mankind, how they

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really know what they are up to? lot of criminal cases are all about

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human life. Which is exactly what a jury is calibrated to judge, they

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are human beings with experience of life, as is often referred to by

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judges. If there are technicalties in a case, whether it be medical

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technicality, financial technicality, my experience is that

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you can boil that down into propositions and presentations

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which a jury can understand. Even in very complex fraud cases, that

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is one of the areas where some people say juries don't get the

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expert evidence there? I have done a number of complex fraud cases and

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presented it to the jury. The jury have come back with rational and

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important questions. We have paperless trials, it is getting

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less and less complicated. The profession are getting more and

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more used to clear presentation. My view is this, if the jury don't

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understand a point, let's not blame the jury, let's blame us and

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perhaps the judges. Is it more complicated now, just because

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jurors, because we all are exposed to 24-hour news, Twitter, there is

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so much more going on than to think about what you are only going on in

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the case. If you were doing the Pistorius case you would hear

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nothing but that? It is more complicated because there is more

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information from outsiefpltd those people who serve on juries and

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write about it, write about the real seriousness with think they

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approach the task. You are judging your peers, you can feel that sort

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of atmosphere. The court goes quiet, the jury is entering. They are very,

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very important. I think they can actually get around things in the

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press and Twitter and so on. Thank you both very much.

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In a moment, why are poor white children outside London falling

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behind in education? And, putting the biological clocks forward,

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should IVF treatment be offered to women in their 40s.

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What make as good school? What is the secret all me that turns an

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underperform -- alchemy that turns an underperforming pupil into a

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successful graduate. There are schools performing well with

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a first language, and those outside London, the London schools are

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performing much better. If there is a London Effect, what is it? How

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could it help schools up and down the country? Tesmoore Zulfiqar is

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16, in his last year of school in the East End of London. He's

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determined to move up in the world. We come from a humble background,

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the family really motivates me to do good. I have seen my cousins,

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they are very high achievers, they are doing medicines and accountants

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and stuff like that. I want to really achieve high in my life. To

:12:34.:12:44.
:12:44.:12:48.

help out my parents as well. It is a challenge. This is one of the

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poorer parts of London. At his school, Little Ilford, over half

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the pupils are eligible for free school meals. The vast majority

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speak English as a second language. 15 years ago exam results were poor,

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:13:12.:13:12.

and yet, this year 71% of pupils got five GCSEs at grades A*-C,

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including English and maths. Tesmoore Zulfiqar has already taken

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three GCSEs, he got A*s and an A. have been to a lot of trips to

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universities, and I have been to Oxford and Cambridge. I like the

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ethos, the way Cambridge University is. I quite want to go there. And

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they hold a lot of reputation in the work world. If you go to an

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employer and say you have been to Oxford and Cambridge, it gives you

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more of a chance to get a job. His family are originally from

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Kashmir, his mother works in accounts, and Mohammed is a driver.

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Neither went to university, but her keen their son should. GCSEs will

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be hard as well. You can't expect it to be easy. Research suggests

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parents' support for education can be crucial. You have to make sure

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you use your time constructively. Putting effort in study and you

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will get your results for certain. His family say the school often

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calls them, if he's going well, or if he needs some help. In English

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he was finding some of the course work difficult, and he's doing

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another GCSE in Urdu, where he was finding some of the work difficult,

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so the teacher did get in touch with us and we did speak to us.

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He's doing extra after school, two hours and one hours in English and

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fis sicks, sometimes in the Urdu G -- physics, and sometimes Urdu GCSE,

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the teacher arranged it for him and that is at the school. English may

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not be their first language at home, but at school these 11 and 12-year-

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olds are following Shakespeare's verse.

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We have seen real success with young people who have come to us,

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come to us with very low levels of attainment, and through the support

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they have received in the classroom, from the intervention sessions,

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they have left our school flourishing with fantastic GCSE

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results. As a school we have seen that young people can succeed,

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given the right support. I pose the "no excuse culture" means, we know

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with the right support, the right type of learning, any young person

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can achieve. That is what we strive to do.

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One of the most significant things they do, is to give extra teaching

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to any students who are behind in their reading and writing. Like

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these pupils in year seven. What letter is taken out of here?,

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not an "e" an "o". We knew for our learners it was about their writing

:15:56.:16:01.

F they weren't able to write -- if they weren't able to write fluently

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they couldn't access the wider programme. We have developed that

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with the lessons and developed it with staff in the wider school to

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transfer the skills into all their classes.

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Government policies over the last decade have helped Little Ilford

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climb up the league tables. Teach First brought in graduates for from

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universities, and the Challenge Programme, meant Little Ilford

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worked for closely with other schools.

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The dynamism of the capital inspires children too. Newham was

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an Olympic borough, and from their classrooms, pupils can see the

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London skyline changing. The shard, soaring upwards.

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Over the last ten years schools in London have been improving,

:16:58.:17:01.

sponsored academies have been getting best fastest, but local

:17:01.:17:03.

authority schools have been improving too. Many as describe

:17:03.:17:07.

this to London Challenge, but central Government cut the funding

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for that two years a and yet the momentum continues. The gap between

:17:11.:17:16.

schools in the capital, and the rest of the country is growing.

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When you look at GCSE results regionally. Chris Cook of the

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Financial Times has made the most detailed analysis yet of pupil GCSE

:17:27.:17:30.

results of pupils across England over the last ten years. London

:17:30.:17:34.

schools are now a long way ahead of the rest of the country. To the

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extent if you look at children looking in the very poorest few

:17:38.:17:42.

neighbourhoods in the city, the children there get GCSE results

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that are better, on average, than the rest of the country. It is

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better to be poor in London than an average kid outside London. That is

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how huge the capital's advantage has become. That is especially

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obvious when you look at children he isable for free school meals.

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Comparing 2003 with 2012. These scores are not based only on GCSE

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passes, but on exactly what grades children got.

:18:08.:18:13.

This year's results show one ethnic group is falling well behind.

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If you are from an ethnic minority you are more likely to be in a

:18:18.:18:21.

London school, that means the improvement of London schools has

:18:21.:18:24.

taken you with it. If you are a white person, you are more likely

:18:24.:18:30.

to be outside London. So the problems of the failing schools are

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weighing entirely on white children. Where as the benefits of London

:18:35.:18:41.

rise proportionally benefit black and Asian children.

:18:41.:18:44.

Researchers have sought to understand why the educational

:18:44.:18:48.

achievement of poor white British children across the country is now

:18:48.:18:53.

lower than others. They found a correlation between attainment and

:18:53.:18:56.

educational aspiration of both parents and children. As Little

:18:56.:19:00.

Ilford has shown, these attitudes can be influenced by school. And

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every parent wants the best for their child. Barnsley has its

:19:08.:19:13.

ambitious students. Alex is doing his GCSEs next summer. He wants to

:19:13.:19:17.

go to medical school. I wanted to be a doctor because my friend is in

:19:17.:19:22.

a wheelchair, he has spina bifida, I want to help people like him who

:19:22.:19:26.

haven't got the same life as everyone else, to make a difference,

:19:26.:19:30.

and hopefully help other people. you understand it, or do you need

:19:30.:19:35.

me to go through some of it with you. His stepfather went to

:19:35.:19:39.

university, his mother, Beverley, didn't, she would like her son to

:19:39.:19:44.

achieve his dream. When I was his age I wanted to leave school, get a

:19:44.:19:49.

job and make some money. I want him to try his best, if he wanted to be

:19:49.:19:52.

a dustman and he's happy doing that, that's fine, as long as he tried

:19:52.:19:56.

everything he wanted to do and he's happy. That is ultimately what you

:19:56.:20:02.

want your children to be happy. I know Alex wants to try his best and

:20:02.:20:11.

Barnsley isn't the bee all and end all in Alex's life.

:20:11.:20:16.

GCSE results in Barnsley as a whole are well below England's average.

:20:16.:20:19.

The authority sits close to the bottom of the National League table.

:20:19.:20:23.

The question is, whether Barnsley and other authorities can learn

:20:23.:20:27.

from the improvements in London schools, and breakthrough the

:20:27.:20:34.

legacy of the industrial past. 40 years ago, going down the pit was

:20:34.:20:39.

the only option for many, the mines closed decades ago.

:20:39.:20:44.

Alex's headteacher told me, they still affect people's outlook.

:20:44.:20:48.

won't find anyone, head teachers, or people connected with education

:20:48.:20:51.

in the council, who would stand and say they are happy with the

:20:51.:20:55.

position we are in the league tables and they are happy with our

:20:55.:20:58.

results profile. Having said, that I do think we need to be findful of

:20:58.:21:01.

the situation that towns like Barnsley have been through in

:21:01.:21:05.

recent years. In the very recent past, the mining industry was there,

:21:05.:21:09.

it was very active, there was lots of jobs for people, and those jobs

:21:09.:21:12.

aren't there any more. As a result we have got a lot more unemployment,

:21:12.:21:16.

and we have a lot more children growing up in families, where

:21:16.:21:21.

unemployment is a real issue and economic situations are a real

:21:21.:21:27.

issue. So, that has been effect, undourtedly, on the mind set of the

:21:27.:21:30.

-- undoubtedly on the mind set of young people as they come to school.

:21:30.:21:34.

It is our job to try to work on that, raise aspiration and ambition,

:21:34.:21:38.

and try to enable our young people to do really well in the future.

:21:38.:21:44.

That can now start with the very youngest children. Alex's school

:21:44.:21:49.

has been merged with two others, to create the brand new Holy Trinity,

:21:49.:21:59.

taking pupils aged 3-16. # We can make the most of our time

:21:59.:22:02.

Almost all these children speak English as a first language. Fewer

:22:02.:22:06.

than one in six are eligible for free school meals. So the school

:22:06.:22:10.

doesn't qualify for the Teach First programme, which places graduates

:22:10.:22:18.

from leading universities in schools.

:22:18.:22:25.

Last year, just 53% of pupils got five GCSEs at grades A*-C,

:22:25.:22:28.

including English and maths, that is below the national average.

:22:29.:22:31.

Because of this problem with the Greek number system...The

:22:32.:22:34.

Headteacher is determined to improve results, by monitoring

:22:34.:22:39.

standards closely, and making sure all the children have personal

:22:39.:22:45.

targets. He's getting parents more involved, he started calling them

:22:45.:22:54.

into school if their child isn't making enough progress. He wants to

:22:54.:23:01.

bring some of the energy of London into his own school. Last year he

:23:01.:23:06.

took some of his pupils to Newham, they saw the sites, and visited

:23:06.:23:09.

another school. It was really calm and controlled there, where

:23:09.:23:16.

sometimes it can be slightly different to that here. Callum and

:23:16.:23:19.

Emily said the atmosphere was quite different. You knew they were

:23:20.:23:23.

achieving higher, but on the other hand, we knew we could do it too.

:23:23.:23:28.

That is how we think of it. If you didn't look out of window and know

:23:28.:23:33.

that you were in Newham in a rough area, you wouldn't have known T

:23:33.:23:36.

they looked like really good learners, they were all smart, it

:23:36.:23:39.

looked like they were all prepared and ready to learn.

:23:39.:23:44.

These pupils wanted to go to university, to have professional

:23:44.:23:48.

careers, and ambitions shared by many in the Newham school. Where

:23:48.:23:52.

pupils see no limits for themselves. I do actually want to become a

:23:52.:23:55.

Prime Minister, I want to be the next PM for England. That's because

:23:55.:23:58.

I want to show that it doesn't matter what race you are, what

:23:58.:24:02.

religion you come from, or what ethnic or economic background you

:24:02.:24:08.

come from, that you can become anything you want. That's my goal,

:24:08.:24:14.

to be a doctor. I wouldn't mind if I become a doctor, and my back step

:24:14.:24:20.

would be a pharmacist, it is still in the field of medicine. It is not

:24:21.:24:23.

just a soaring ambition, they have the exam grades to take them

:24:24.:24:28.

forward. The question is, whether the lessons of London will travel,

:24:29.:24:36.

especially to places like Barnsley. With me is the Chief Inspector of

:24:36.:24:43.

Schools in England, Michael Wilshaw. In 200 London schools were said to

:24:43.:24:46.

be under-performing, now they are out-performing. What is the secret

:24:46.:24:51.

here? I was a London teacher and headteacher before I joined Ofsted

:24:51.:25:00.

as its Chief Inspector. I saw the good and the bad. In the 1970s, 80s

:25:00.:25:03.

and 90s standards were low in London. Now they are good F you

:25:03.:25:06.

said to me in that period that London would be achieving really

:25:06.:25:11.

well, I wouldn't believe you. What has made the difference has been

:25:11.:25:21.

political will. The programme talked about lon -- London

:25:21.:25:25.

Challenge, Government-sponsored action through that system made the

:25:25.:25:30.

difference. We all want all children to do well, what is it

:25:30.:25:36.

that concentrates it to get the job done? The chief adviser to London

:25:36.:25:39.

Challenge uses a phrase of presenting the brutal facts to head

:25:39.:25:42.

teachers and governors and schools, where there is underperformance.

:25:42.:25:47.

And the messaging of those brutal facts was done by head teachers,

:25:47.:25:52.

good and outstanding head teachers in London took responsibility for

:25:52.:25:56.

improving schools that were less effective. And that worked really

:25:56.:26:00.

well. That model of school-to- school support, engineered by

:26:01.:26:05.

London Challenge and brokered by it, is a model happening up and down

:26:05.:26:08.

the country. It is happening outside London as well. There were

:26:08.:26:12.

a couple of interesting points, literacy, saying effectively, here

:26:12.:26:15.

is a brutal truth, if you can't read you won't do well in chemistry,

:26:15.:26:20.

we have to teach you to read. That seemed to be basic isn't it? It is

:26:20.:26:25.

a basic. Good schools operate those basic. The thing about comparing

:26:25.:26:29.

London and Newham, with Barnsley is this, that children are children

:26:29.:26:32.

are children, they are not genetically different. What makes

:26:32.:26:36.

the difference is the culture of the school, the expectation levels

:26:36.:26:40.

of the school. That is determined by leadership. The way you have got

:26:40.:26:44.

a situation where youngsters are coming from homes with limited

:26:44.:26:48.

ambitions, and go to a school with limited ambitions, and supported by

:26:48.:26:52.

a local authority with limited ambitions, it doesn't work. Schools

:26:52.:26:57.

can make a difference. Clearly then, some children who are

:26:57.:27:02.

not doing so well, we heard in the report, outside London, quite often

:27:02.:27:06.

they happened to be white British, in London there is a relative

:27:06.:27:09.

disproportion of people from ethnic minorities. That is a problem isn't

:27:09.:27:13.

it. If white British kids aren't doing so well? That is a problem. I

:27:13.:27:18.

can give you examples of schools with white British populations who

:27:18.:27:20.

are doing phenomenally well. accept tough do better with this?

:27:20.:27:25.

We have to do better. We have just done some research into good

:27:25.:27:29.

performance across the country. We have compared local authorities

:27:29.:27:33.

with similar demographics, similar levels of poverty, similar levels

:27:33.:27:38.

in their populations, similar levels of children with free school

:27:38.:27:42.

meals, that are performing very, very differently. That is why we

:27:42.:27:45.

are saying, local authorities have a responsibility here to make sure

:27:46.:27:53.

they do what London Challenge did, that is to draw a line under

:27:53.:27:57.

performance. That is interesting, if relative poverty or how much

:27:57.:28:01.

money spent on the school is less sporpbt, what is important, and

:28:02.:28:06.

what is there -- important, and what is important, is that in white

:28:06.:28:11.

working-class British groups that you need to look at. For instance,

:28:11.:28:17.

is it aspiration? It is aspiration, but by teachers in the school, the

:28:17.:28:21.

headteacher in the school, culture makes a difference. Children are

:28:21.:28:24.

children are children. What makes a difference is the level of

:28:24.:28:27.

expectation of the school, and the intervention that takes place after

:28:27.:28:32.

school and at weekends and other periods. Something you have done in

:28:32.:28:36.

London which is called Teach First, to attract some of the best

:28:36.:28:40.

graduates into teaching first. Does that help because it says really

:28:40.:28:43.

bright graduates go into teaching, that is what they do, and this

:28:43.:28:47.

school is, by its nature, attracting better people, you as a

:28:47.:28:51.

pupil will do better. Teach First helps, if you go around the country

:28:51.:28:56.

and see good schools, you see head teachers who are really proactive

:28:56.:28:59.

in recruiting good people into their schools. Up and down the

:28:59.:29:04.

country, not just in London. They are very creative in the way they

:29:04.:29:08.

do recruit good teachers. Do you need to also deal with the question

:29:08.:29:11.

of some bad teachers, some teachers who are not up to it. You

:29:11.:29:15.

commissioned a report on whether some teachers fail to stretch the

:29:15.:29:18.

brightest pupils. Is it difficult to get rid of a few teachers who

:29:18.:29:23.

are not up to it? My view, and I say this as an ex-headteacher, is

:29:23.:29:29.

that where there is a will to remove consistently poor staff,

:29:29.:29:37.

head teachers can do that. It is a myth to believe that they can't.

:29:37.:29:40.

you think it should be easier or you think it is OK at the moment?

:29:40.:29:43.

think head teachers have a responsibility to root out poor

:29:43.:29:47.

practice, when they identify it. Everyone can have a bad lesson now

:29:47.:29:51.

and then. Do you think it should be easier for them to do so? Yes and

:29:51.:29:55.

the Secretary of State has brought in legislation to allow head

:29:55.:29:58.

teachers to do something about poor practice. It is at the heart of

:29:58.:30:00.

this, head teachers have a responsibility to recognise and

:30:00.:30:04.

reward good teaching, but also a responsibility to do something

:30:04.:30:08.

about people who teach ineffectively on a consistent basis.

:30:08.:30:12.

Obviously the ball is in your court, London, 10 years ago,

:30:12.:30:16.

underperforming in a short space of time, in educational terms, doing

:30:16.:30:19.

much better. What will you do to say to children in Barnsley or

:30:19.:30:23.

elsewhere, this will work for you? Lock around you. Look at not just

:30:23.:30:27.

what's happening in London, but look at outstanding practice in the

:30:27.:30:32.

same authority as your school is in. Look at what's happening in the

:30:32.:30:36.

next authority. Look at good practice elsewhere and learn from

:30:37.:30:40.

it. That final question, that question of aspiration. That's very

:30:40.:30:43.

difficult. We had a child there saying he would be Prime Minister,

:30:43.:30:49.

good luck to him. But how do you do that, how do you create the sense

:30:49.:30:55.

that you can achieve? Speaking as an ex-headteacher, you greet

:30:55.:30:59.

children at the gate of the school, and you say to them very clearly,

:30:59.:31:04.

you keep the culture of the street over there, if you come from a

:31:04.:31:08.

background where aspiration isn't high, that's fine. But, when you

:31:08.:31:16.

enter the gates of this school, the aspiration is high, we're going to

:31:16.:31:20.

make sure we do everything in our power to get you to achieve. That

:31:20.:31:25.

is what is important, leadership and culture.

:31:25.:31:29.

Now, the pound sunk to a two-and-a- half year low against the dollar

:31:29.:31:35.

today. Minutes released by the Bank of England show it was considering

:31:35.:31:41.

whether to print even more money under the quanative easing system.

:31:41.:31:45.

Talk like that tends to weaken the pound, and it is thought some

:31:45.:31:48.

currencies are having a secret currency war. Something everyone

:31:48.:31:52.

claims to be against, but might be happening despite the protestations.

:31:52.:31:57.

Here is currency war for dummies. Great qefs our time. How many

:31:58.:32:07.

arrowheads do you get for a whale bone? In the 1930s they were

:32:07.:32:11.

obsessed with funny money for a reason, the currency system had

:32:11.:32:15.

gone haywire, and now, suddenly exchange rates are a big issue

:32:15.:32:22.

again. Tiny arrowheads worth three shillings a pound. If you ask the

:32:22.:32:25.

most powerful people in the world what the biggest question in the

:32:25.:32:35.
:32:35.:32:37.

It is a good question, we know the answer is no, because they say so.

:32:37.:32:47.
:32:47.:32:54.

But they are being sorely tempted, and here's why. If we go back to

:32:54.:32:57.

2009, many countries in their response to the recession had plans

:32:57.:33:01.

to have large increases in exports. In fact, the increase in exports

:33:01.:33:04.

was something which couldn't be achieved which everybody at the

:33:04.:33:08.

same time unless some other planet were planning to start importing

:33:08.:33:11.

good from the earth. The consequence of that has been that

:33:11.:33:16.

over time those export plans haven't come to fruition, people

:33:16.:33:19.

have started to think they might need to double up on their export

:33:19.:33:24.

plans. They want to depreciate currencies to increase exports in

:33:24.:33:29.

the future. Here is an economist to explain why currency wars are bad.

:33:29.:33:33.

Nobody can win if it is a competitive devaluation. One

:33:34.:33:37.

country does it and drives its currency down, and another country

:33:37.:33:42.

does it, that drives the currency up on the first one. What will

:33:43.:33:47.

really happen is a lot more money being pumped into the world economy

:33:47.:33:50.

which has inflationary consequences. But some people think a currency

:33:50.:33:54.

war has kicked off. Japan, which needs to export more of these

:33:54.:34:00.

things, is accuses of manipulating its currency down to boost exports.

:34:00.:34:10.
:34:10.:34:12.

Recently the yen has been high, now it is rapidly collapsing.

:34:12.:34:18.

Shells the oldest and most widely distributed currency. Still used in

:34:18.:34:21.

some states and tropical Africa. The problem with the currency war,

:34:21.:34:26.

is even without declaring one, by taking certain actions you can make

:34:26.:34:31.

other countries feel like they are being, well, attacked. One thing

:34:31.:34:35.

that the emerging market countries are doing is to put blockages in

:34:35.:34:39.

the way of additional currency appreciation of their exchange

:34:39.:34:43.

rates. Brazil has done that, made it a little more expensive to buy

:34:43.:34:47.

into the Brazilian currency. China intervenes in the currency market

:34:47.:34:52.

to hold the rate down. Switzerland for example, a year or so ago, put

:34:52.:34:55.

a cap effectively on its rate. They are trying to defend themselves,

:34:55.:34:59.

but each of those distortions in the market forces action somewhere

:34:59.:35:04.

else. It is a dangerous situation. Now, if we do get into a currency

:35:04.:35:07.

war, the United Kingdom has previous. In 2008 sterling fell

:35:07.:35:11.

against the rest of the world's currencies by 20%, the Bank of

:35:11.:35:16.

England was very pleased by that, because it helped us avoid absolute

:35:16.:35:22.

depression. Now, here's the thing, sterling is falling again, so why?

:35:22.:35:26.

Sterling is falling because the UK is likely to lose its triple-A

:35:26.:35:30.

rating soon, making it less attractive to hold Government bonds,

:35:30.:35:32.

which means you don't need sterling in order to buy the Government

:35:32.:35:35.

bonds. It is falling because the Bank of England is likely to print

:35:35.:35:38.

more money, likely to lead to more inflation in the long-term over the

:35:38.:35:44.

UK, that is undesirable from an international investor Percio

:35:44.:35:47.

pective, and the general economic outlook -- perspective, and the

:35:47.:35:51.

general economic outlook is poor, so people don't want to hold assets

:35:51.:35:56.

for that reason. Beads has always been used for money. That is the

:35:56.:36:01.

currency of the north American Indians. IRA assuring picture

:36:01.:36:05.

emerges, by printing money, countries are trying to boost their

:36:05.:36:08.

economy, because it tanks their currencies and boosts their exports

:36:08.:36:12.

is a pure coincidence, including here. So, there is no currency war,

:36:12.:36:15.

any reblemblans between what the Bank of England is doing and a --

:36:15.:36:18.

resemblance between what the Bank of England is doing and a currency

:36:18.:36:21.

war, is purely accidental. I hope that was clear. Before the

:36:21.:36:25.

end of the programme we will have the front pages. First, new

:36:25.:36:28.

guidelines recommend that the age limit for women to have fertility

:36:28.:36:33.

treatment in England and Wales should go up from 39 to 42. It

:36:33.:36:38.

means childless women in their early 40s could be considered for

:36:38.:36:42.

IVF on the National Health Service. With an ageing population and ever-

:36:42.:36:46.

increasing demands on the health budget, is it a sensible way of

:36:47.:36:51.

spending NHS money. Why are we leaving it later in life to become

:36:51.:36:55.

parents? They probably know it already, but for parents wanting

:36:55.:36:59.

children in their late 30s, the clock is ticking. Have a look at

:36:59.:37:02.

this graph that came with today's NHS guidelines. You will see why

:37:02.:37:06.

experts believe the best time to conceive is between 20-35. As a

:37:06.:37:11.

nation, we are having kids later. The average age a mum has her first

:37:11.:37:18.

child has gone up from just under 25 in 1981 to just under 28 in 2011.

:37:18.:37:22.

If you dig into the detail, the figures show a dramatic increase in

:37:22.:37:31.

new mothers aged between 35-39. It was nearly 22 per 1,000 in 1981 and

:37:31.:37:36.

2011 it was 112 per 1 though though for those aged 40 and over, it has

:37:37.:37:44.

doubled to 14 per 1,000. IVF is factor in this. Back in 1991 there

:37:44.:37:50.

were 6,500 IVF cycles in the UK. By 2011 it had grown to 60,000. The

:37:51.:37:55.

figures show just over half of those who use IVF are over 35. For

:37:55.:38:00.

those struggling to conceive, the experience can be incredibly

:38:00.:38:04.

traumatic. But many will question whether allowing older couples the

:38:04.:38:08.

right to fertility treatment on the NHS, is really the best use of tax-

:38:08.:38:11.

payers' money. Mariella Frostrup is a broadcaster

:38:11.:38:16.

and mother of two children who arrived after she turned 40,

:38:16.:38:20.

Katherine Baldwin is a journalist and author, also in her 40s,

:38:20.:38:22.

writing about the experience of childless women. Do you think the

:38:22.:38:26.

new rules are a good thing. They extend the choice for some women in

:38:26.:38:29.

some families? I think the new rules are a good thing. I think the

:38:29.:38:35.

women who will benefit from the new regulations is very small. As nice

:38:35.:38:39.

as said -- as NICE has said it is a small number of women. We need to

:38:39.:38:43.

look at the big picture this headline number sends out. That my

:38:43.:38:48.

concern is that women will think oh I have got until I'm 42 now. I'm

:38:48.:38:54.

concerned that too many women will think I can delay and delay and at

:38:54.:38:58.

the end of the delaying period there is IVF. The problem is, IVF

:38:58.:39:03.

doesn't always work. A lot of women end up feeling very sad about the

:39:03.:39:06.

fact that they have tried and it has failed. You can change the

:39:06.:39:10.

rules, but you can't change biology, there is always the potential for a

:39:10.:39:14.

problem the later you leave it? I think it is important that women

:39:14.:39:18.

are made aware of their fertility rates. Of the chances of IVF

:39:18.:39:25.

working over 40. IVF is marvellous, I have friend who have had children

:39:25.:39:29.

via IVF, I do think because of the way society is set up, I think more

:39:29.:39:33.

women should have access to it. But the problem is, if we think it is a

:39:33.:39:36.

safety net, and we just leave everything until the last minute,

:39:36.:39:40.

and then there is IVF. Every case is different. It does seem to be a

:39:40.:39:43.

trend that some women are leaving it later and later, more women are

:39:43.:39:47.

doing. Why do you think that is? love the way it is only women

:39:47.:39:51.

making this choice. Of course generally speaking to have children

:39:51.:39:56.

it takes two people. More frequently that happens to be a man.

:39:56.:39:59.

This is situation that's evolved because of relationships between

:39:59.:40:06.

men and women in the main, I would say changing over the last 30-40

:40:06.:40:09.

years, since the sexual revolution and the advent of the pill and so

:40:09.:40:12.

on. I don't think it is that women are leaving it later and later, I

:40:12.:40:17.

think it is becoming harder and harder to find a willing partner

:40:17.:40:20.

with whom to have children when you are younger. There aren't very many

:40:20.:40:25.

men, certainly not in my experience in their 20s and 30s saying let's

:40:25.:40:29.

go make babies. Without going into the basis of biology, that is

:40:29.:40:33.

because for men it is different and women it is different, and the

:40:33.:40:39.

biological clock ticks differently for the two sexes? Absolutely, if

:40:39.:40:42.

we want to continue to have children and the human spee sheets,

:40:42.:40:47.

it can't be down to women, -- species, it can't be down to women

:40:47.:40:51.

forcing men to have children younger. With the new

:40:51.:40:54.

recommendations from NICE, you would think it was the Apocalypse

:40:54.:40:58.

Now, all we are talking about is a recommendation that women, for a

:40:58.:41:03.

couple more years should be allowed the benefit of progress in medical

:41:03.:41:06.

science. Infertility is a condition, it is a medical condition. It is

:41:06.:41:11.

not something that someone's willed upon themselves. In any kind of

:41:11.:41:15.

defeatist way. It is actually the same as a bun I don't know, a lot

:41:15.:41:22.

worse, but you know it is a condition.

:41:22.:41:28.

-- a bunion, a lot worse but I don't know, it is a condition. You

:41:28.:41:31.

talk about your working-class background in your book, and you

:41:31.:41:35.

went to Oxford, and the women friends you have met in those two

:41:35.:41:38.

different places have made different choices? I don't know

:41:38.:41:42.

whether my background, working- class, I'm not sure if that is the

:41:42.:41:49.

wry term. Single parent mum, my parents divorced in the 70s divorce

:41:49.:41:53.

boom. I got a scholarship to a private school. Although we didn't

:41:53.:41:58.

have much funds when I was growing up. Then I ended up at Oxford. I

:41:58.:42:06.

suppose the girls that I was at school with, a lot of them got

:42:06.:42:10.

married and had children. As I moved to Oxford and to London, and

:42:10.:42:13.

the women I have since met in London, there is a city thing going

:42:13.:42:16.

on. The more you mix in big cities, the more your peer group is just

:42:16.:42:21.

getting on with their jobs, and going out, you know. We feel a lot

:42:21.:42:27.

younger, we behave a lot younger. There is the tendency to wait. But

:42:27.:42:35.

I agree with Mariella, there is a diminishing pool of men. Did you

:42:35.:42:39.

make a choice that you would wait until 40 to have kids and then get

:42:39.:42:42.

some IVF, did you ever for a second make that choice. I didn't make the

:42:42.:42:46.

choice to have my children in my early 40s, it took that long for me

:42:46.:42:51.

to find a man who I felt confident. My parents divorced in the 70s as

:42:51.:42:56.

well. That left me with a very strong sense of the impermanence of

:42:56.:43:00.

relationships. It took a very long time for me to feel confident that

:43:00.:43:04.

I had found a partner who I felt secure enough with to have children.

:43:04.:43:07.

Because I wanted my children to have the security that I didn't

:43:07.:43:11.

feel as a child. Katherine was already pointed out that perhaps

:43:11.:43:14.

very few people benefit from this. And it is all a bit all over the

:43:14.:43:19.

place. England and Wales have one rule, 42, Scotland has a different

:43:19.:43:23.

one, Northern Ireland has a different one, and it depends on

:43:23.:43:27.

what your local Health Trust is prepared to pay for? It is the

:43:27.:43:31.

signal that is important. That is incredibly important. When I went

:43:31.:43:36.

to my gynaecologist who I had been seeing for 20 years when I met my

:43:36.:43:40.

future husband, and I said I was going to try for children and I'm

:43:40.:43:44.

really excited, I was 40 at the time, he burst out laughing and

:43:45.:43:52.

said you have a.00000001% chance of conceiving. There is a sense of a

:43:52.:43:55.

woman reaching your early 40s that your chances have run out. That

:43:55.:44:00.

there is no way short of a miracle that you will conceive, and yet out

:44:00.:44:05.

of ten of my good friends, eight of them had their children in their

:44:05.:44:09.

early 40s. There should be far more message of positivity. Most women

:44:09.:44:15.

who find their lives in that situation, it is not of their

:44:15.:44:18.

choosing. I'm delighted it worked out for you and so many people. I

:44:18.:44:22.

mix in circles and speak with women who are grieving the fact that they

:44:22.:44:29.

didn't, that it didn't work out for them. What would your solution be?

:44:29.:44:34.

We need to look a bigger picture. How can we enable women and men,

:44:34.:44:39.

maybe a bit younger, not in their 20s so much, but maybe mid-30s. I

:44:39.:44:42.

know women in their mid-30s, working in the City, they just

:44:42.:44:46.

don't think they can take the time out yet. They will wait. That is a

:44:46.:44:50.

cultural thing that we need to change. It is not their choice,

:44:50.:44:55.

then actually. It is something forced on them. We all have to work

:44:55.:44:58.

for a living! Indeed, thank you very much.

:44:58.:45:01.

A quick look at tomorrow morning's front pages. Beginning with the

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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 58 seconds

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That's all tonight. If you are an art lover, you might be pleased to

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hear you have been left a collection of Italian Baroque

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masterpieces by the late Sir Dennis Marn. The �1 million gift to the

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nation can be seen in various galleries for free around the

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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 58 seconds

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country. Find out where in the Art Good evening, a cold, frosty and

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windy night and into the morning. Particularly across part of Wales

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and south-west England. Clear he conditions with a bit of sunshine

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in the morning. -- clearer conditions with a bit of sunshine

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in the morning. The snow flurries won't be much of a covering but

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plenty of cloud through Scotland and the north-east. Longer spells

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of sunshine in the south developing. Temperatures may be reading 2-4

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degrees, factor in the strong south to south-east early wind.

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Particularly across southern Wales and England. It will feel more like

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minus 2-4. Lots of sunshine across Wales and the south west. Northern

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Ireland not as much sunshine through the day. But best of which

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will be towards western areas. That south-east wind really will have a

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bite to it. Wind a little bit lighter in Scotland. It is that

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east-west split. Conditions like to the North West of Scotland, much

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more cloud further east. Friday probably introduces a little more

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cloud across areas, the winds falling a touch lighter.

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Temperatures dropping 2-3 Celsius as you can see. Much thicker cloud

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across part of central southern England and Wales, the temperatures

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