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Plans for more cuts get the cold shoulder from head teachers. They
say a funding crisis is forcing them to increase class sizes and cut
courses. We will be live at the head teachers' conference in Birmingham.
Also... EU leaders meet in Brussels -
without Theresa May - in what's billed as the last
European summit before Brexit BT bows to demands to run a legally
separate broadband operation, British Cycling admits not giving
enough care to staff and athletes after ongoing claims
of sexism and bullying. A new study aims to tell us
about our musical tastes And coming up in the sport on BBC
News, Owen Farrell remains a doubt for England's Six Nations match
against Scotland tomorrow, but they have until an hour before
kick-off to make a decision. Good afternoon and welcome
to the BBC News at One. Schools in England are being forced
to cut GCSE and A-level courses in an effort to balance the books,
according to a head teachers' union. The Association of Scool and College
Leaders has warned that budget pressures are causing them to cancel
things like school trips. They have said budget constraints are driving
up class sizes. Let's go to our education
correspondent Gillian Hargreaves, who's at the conference
in Birmingham. Between now and Easter there will be
a number of teaching union conferences, this morning, head
teachers in Birmingham. Justine Greening could have been left in no
doubt about how strong their grievances are.
Peter Woodman at the wheeled school might be a head teacher, but he
still likes to work at the chalk face, partly because he enjoys it am
partly because it saves money. The only reason we can't survive as we
are carrying forward money from last year, if the Government stick to
their pledges at the cash flow and budget, we will be making two cuts
to around ?70,000 every year, year on year.
Peter is one of dozens in heads in southern England who wrote to
parents, informing them of the impact.
In a poll, almost three quarters of members of this union said they had
had to cut GCSE or vocational courses in the last 12 months.
The most common web design and technology, performing arts, music
and German and many teachers reported bigger class sizes to save
money. Head teachers gathered in Birmingham
this morning for the first of a series of teachers' conferences, the
conversation dominated by cuts. It is the first time Education
Secretary Justine Greening has laid out the Government's case in how
schools should operate in these straitened times.
Education Secretary Justine Greening has halted -- told head teachers
that well there is no one money she will do her utmost to help them ease
their way through the worst financial pressures in schools for
20 years. It is really annoying to find
Government constantly saying funding has never been higher, yes, because
we have more students and because of inflation. We have an 8% cuts and
are expected to continue delivering quality.
How difficult is it? Like many schools across the country, we are
all struggling to make ends meet. It is absolutely dire, we are having
to make cuts to the curriculum and it is untenable.
The Government points out that class sizes are at the lowest level for a
decade and ?40 billion is being spent on schools in England this
year, the highest cash figure ever. Now, this afternoon the new Chief
inspector of schools for England, Amanda Spielman, will get up and
make a speech to head teachers in which she says some schools are
quite deliberately narrowing the range of subjects they are teaching
and moving difficult pupils out of their schools to help them write up
school league tables. Again, I suspect that will not go down well
at all with some head teachers. Downing Street says it is confident
it will meet its own deadline of the end of March for triggering
the start of Britain's departure It comes as EU leaders met
in Brussels to shore up unity Let's cross to Brussels and our
Europe correspondent, Ben Wright. Well, European leaders are just
leaving the summit now, having spent the morning talking about the EU's
priorities, mapping out its future, a feature that will not include
Britain. While the formal divorce Brexit talks have not started yet,
there is a feeling that the separation has already begun.
This is not quite as usual this morning as 27 EU heads of Government
gathered without Britain Daesh business not quite as usual. Within
weeks, the UK will start to unpick a decades long relationship with the
EU and try to build a new one. Everyone expects the divorce to be
difficulty. A crucial player on the EU side will be Donald Tusk,
re-elected yesterday as President of the European Council, which
represents EU leaders. In a fortnight, EU leaders will meet
in Italy to celebrate 60 years since the signing of the Treaty of Rome, a
foundation stone of the European unit.
At Brexit will no doubt overshadow the party. Theresa May, who left the
summit last night, insists she will trigger the starter Brexit by the
end of the month and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has been
clear about the future cost of access to EU markets.
It is not reasonable, I don't think, for the UK, having left the EU, to
continue to make vast budget payments. I think everybody
understands that and that is the reality.
From the other side of the negotiation, an idea from the senior
MEP who was not a negotiator but will represent the European
Parliament during Brexit. He says there could be some way for UK
citizens who wanted to retain their EU identity.
Many UK citizens say I want to continue to have my European
citizenship, I think we need to examine what type of special
arrangement we can make for these individual citizens who want to
continue to have a relationship with the European Union.
But how that might work in practice is anyone's guess. We are on the
brink of negotiations that have never been attempted before. The
risks for both sides are high. Now, EU leaders desperately did not
want Brexit to happen, but now it is going to they are keen to get on
with it and there is a real sense of the phoney war phase of this coming
to an end. Theresa May has said for a long time she intends to get the
best deal for Britain, EU leaders and people within the institutions
have insisted they will get a really good deal for the EU, crucially one
serving as a warning to EU countries who might think about leaving in the
future. But the next time Theresa May is here, the rhetoric around
Brexit will have been replaced by the reality of tough negotiations.
Thank you, Ben Wright. The row continues over
the Government's plans to increase National Insurance contributions
for some self-employed people. Labour has accused the Government
of a partial U-turn after the Prime Minister said MPs
won't vote on the plan Let's speak to our political
correspondent, Iain Watson. He is at Westminster for us. Has the
Prime Minister blinked here? Yes, she has. She is not closing her rise
to the concerns of her own Conservative MPs, but it is not
clear how far she will change your view. -- she is not closing her
eyes. Because this boat will now be in the autumn, to bring in these
measures, it will be after a review into working practices have been
published -- because this bowled. It is likely to recommend more rights
for the self-employed, such as rights to maternity and paternity
leave, so the Government can argue from the autumn that the
self-employed are getting more value for money from the National
Insurance rise. What they might do, I have spoken to potential
Conservative rebels and they say the Government to be more radical, to
draw a clear distinction between the genuinely self-employed and those
who worked just one company, such as a career company. They say that
latter category should be hit with higher National Insurance but in
return for full climate rights and perhaps the chance that they could
find a little bit of time and space to ease the pain on the genuinely
help -- self-employed such as hairdressers and plumbers. At every
Conservative MP I have spoken to has said, of the record at least, that
the Government should be more upfront about the fact that it had
broken a manifesto pledge to some workers and explains why. They say
they are not sure that a relatively small financial gain, ultimately, is
worth all of this extended political pain. Thank you.
BT has agreed to set up a new company to run the UK's
national broadband network after being criticised
BT Openreach has been accused of looking after its own customers
at the expensive of rivals like Sky, TalkTalk and Vodafone.
Those companies welcomed the news, saying everyone's customers
Here's our technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones.
It's got a massive and vital task rolling out fast broadband across
the UK. Its critics say BT's Openreach has not been up to the
job, delivering poor service are not investing enough. After a long
battle, office-macro has said that Openreach should be separated from
BT. This is what customers have demanded. They have been concerned
that open reach is not performed well enough, broadband has not been
good enough and they see the greater independence as a greater means for
Openreach to operate with the telecoms industry at heart, not just
BT. This deal is meant to make Openreach much more independent. It
will have 32,000 employees working directly for it, there will be an
independent board in charge of what goes on and it will have its own
brand, the BT logo will disappear. BT had been accused of taking
profits from Openreach and spending them on sports rights, a charger
denies. The firm could have been ordered to sell the division
completely and seems content with today's deal.
We have listened to the criticisms from the general public, service
providers, politicians and the media and looked to address them. That is
what we are doing with the fundamental reforms today.
Around 90% of UK homes have access to fast broadband but the hope is
that the roll-out will accelerate and service will improve.
We hope these reforms will really lead to a big change by Openreach
and make them much more focused on delivering for their customers, but
also transformed this market so that we see more competition and
customers having much more choice about who they get their broadband
and phone services from. Even rivals like TalkTalk who had
once called for BT to be split up of welcome this more limited move, but
they are calling for Ofcom to make sure that open Reach -- Openreach
delivers on its promises. In South Korea, two people
have died in clashes between police and demonstrators
who were protesting at the removal from office of the President
by the country's highest court. Park Geun-hye was found
guilty of corruption But she's refusing to leave
the presidential palace, as our correspondent in Seoul,
Stephen Evans, now reports. The head of South Korea's highest
court says President Park committed It was against the constitution
and the trust of the people. Outside the court, pro-Park
protesters clashed with police. Two died, one apparently by falling
from the top of the bus The central allegation
is that the country's biggest companies paid money
to the President's best friend So top business leaders now face
awkward questions which may yet The police have been out in force
because feelings run so high. There will be a general
election in 60 days. One of the consequences of that may
be a move to the left. If the government here moved
to the left, there would be a different attitude
towards North Korea, Every Saturday night
for three months now, there have been huge demonstrations
against President Park. But what pushed her from office
was a Constitutional Court finding her guilty of crime
in a country which has only been Stephen Evans, BBC
News, South Korea. A short time ago, Steve went out
into the streets of Seoul to gauge the atmosphere,
and sent this update. The centre of Seoul tonight feels
like a victory rally for the protesters who pushed
the president from power. There are also pro-Park people
who are nursing their wounds, President Park, ex-President Park,
rather, is in the presidential She emerges tomorrow as an ordinary
citizen and she may well face criminal charges and end
up behind bars. Steve Evans in Seoul.
British cycling has admitted not paying enough care and attention to
the welfare of staff and athletes. It was responding to the leak of the
draft report into its handling of allegations of discrimination
against Jess Varnish by Steve Sutton. David Ornstein is that the
National cycling Centre, tell us about what is in the document?
For almost one year this has been hanging over British Cycling,
Britain's most successful and well funded Olympic sport, like a dark
cloud. It started when Sprint cyclist Jess Varnish made
allegations of sexism and discrimination against the former
performance director Shane Sutton. That is before other riders and Stav
supported her, talking about a culture of fear and bullying. --
other riders and staff. A report into the culture of British Cycling
was commissioned, a leaked draft published in the Daily Mail backed
up many of the complaints, perhaps most damningly describing certain's
predecessor, Sir Dave Brailsford, as being untouchable. It said many
elite riders experienced trauma while with British Cycling and
confirmed that culture of fear. Today British Cycling issued a
statement disagreeing with the factual accuracy of some of the
points made in the report, but admitting to specific shortcomings
and a failure to address early warning signs of problems. It said a
39 point action plan for reform announced here last week was already
under way, while many of the key staff have since departed and been
replaced. For the first time no British Cycling and, perhaps,
British sport as a whole, have to address that difficult balance
between them no compromise approach that has brought so much success and
also a duty of care to athletes and Stav. Thank you.
Classes in England are going up, say headteachers.
And coming up in the sport at half-past: Ireland must win
in Wales tonight in the Six Nations to realistically keep
Anything less and they could open the door for England to wrap it up
It may be more than 60 years since the Great Smog of London,
but air pollution in the capital is again a huge issue.
It damages people's health and contributes towards thousands
All this week, the BBC has been highlighting the growing
As part of our 'So I Can Breathe' series, our correspondent
Graham Satchell has been looking at the changing conditions
in Britain's cities, and how to achieve cleaner air.
'London has been brought to a halt by dense smog,
The Great Smog of 1952, dramatised in the Netflix series The Crown.
'Be careful out there, it's a real pea-souper.'
Anne Goldsmith was eight in 1952 and remembers it well.
We could hardly see in front of us really, and when I got to school,
the handkerchief would be absolutely black.
'Special filtering masks are the latest weapons...'
It's now thought 12,000 people died in the Great Smog.
The enemy then - coal, used in factories and people's homes.
What followed the smog was the Clean Air Act of 1956.
It introduced smoke-control areas, where only smokeless
Fast-forward 60 years and the enemy now is nitrogen dioxide,
These are the engines that have been removed out
The local authority here in Birmingham has got funding
to replace the diesel engines in 65 taxis.
We removed 99% of the nox that the taxi was producing.
There are hundreds of taxis in Birmingham.
The Government's overall plan is to introduce so-called 'clean air
I will look at the evidence, and when the evidence comes
through as to where the key areas of pollution are, we will take
the action that is needed to address the need for clean air in the city.
Well, I'm afraid the Government's been hopeless.
Critics like Client Earth say what we need today
is a new Clean Air Act, and a scrappage scheme
You have to phase diesel vehicles off our roads.
But it would cost a fortune, wouldn't it?
Well, yeah, it's going to take time to do it, but we've got
Back in Lewisham, in London, Anne is meeting nine-year-old
We called it 'smog', and you couldn't see,
On days when pollution is bad, Amy and Eloise are kept
indoors at playtime, just as Anne was in 1952.
Sometimes, we have to stay inside because the air is bad.
More than 60 years on, air pollution is still damaging children's health,
A tennis coach is on trial, accused of causing child cruelty
as he coached his daughters to become tennis stars.
In one incident, John De'Viana from Essex, is said to have kicked
and punched one of his daughters after a tennis match.
Our correspondent, Helena Lee, is at Snaresbrook Crown Court.
Tell us more about what was said in court. This is the second day that
the defendant John De'Viana is giving evidence in his own trial. He
is accused of subjecting his two daughters, now 21 and 90, two years
of physical and mental abuse, in his desire to get them to become tennis
champions. The girls went on to become a successful junior tennis
player, but in court today, John De'Viana told the jury that it was
the decision of the girls to play tennis, that he had never forced
them. He was asked by his defence team, did you force Monaei, his
eldest daughter, to play? He said, no, that would be
counter-productive. He said, you cannot just force a child to play a
particular sport, especially when that child is progressing at a rapid
rate. The court also heard earlier how Mr De'Viana had written an
abusive notes on the back of match reports after the girls had played
tennis when it did not reach the standard that he wanted them to and
he was asked in the last moments in court why he used such language. He
replied, it was the only way I could vent my frustration as a coach. He
denies two charges of child cruelty in the case here at Snaresbrook
Crown Court, which continues. Thank you.
Rugby's Six Nations returns this weekend,
with England playing Scotland in the Calcutta Cup at Twickenham.
Scotland are after their first Triple Crown since 1990,
while England are aiming to equal New Zealand's record
We'll have more on that in a moment but, first, to Cardiff,
where Wales take on Ireland in a match the visitors have to win,
if they're to have any chance of securing their third title
Katherine Downes is at the Millennium Stadium.
-- the Principality Stadium. No pressure on Ireland! Yes, as you
say, the Six Nations returns after a couple of weeks away and this will
be the most pivotal weekend of the tournament so far because while the
Championship cannot be won this weekend, it can certainly be lost.
With still over six hours until kick-off at the Principality
Stadium, the city centre in Cardiff is buzzing with pre-match
excitement. Perhaps even pre-match nerves, particularly if you are an
Irish fan, Ireland come here knowing they must beat Wales tonight to keep
alive their chances of winning this year's Six Nations title. Welsh
hopes already disappointed after those back-to-back losses to both
England and Scotland. If Ireland win here tonight, they set up a final
weekend showdown against England and that could well end up being the
championship decider in a week's time. So let's look ahead to the
night, and both sides name an unchanged starting line-up. Not
surprisingly Ireland given the way they have played over the last
couple of weeks, but Wales have had strong criticism for making that
decision and some say it shows too much of a Conservative approach
under their interim coach, Rob Howley. Attitude aside, besides
equally matched in terms of experience. Ireland have 715
international caps in their side, Wales just one fewer, 714. Ireland
playing the way they have, Wales playing here at home in front of
those passionate home fans, it is set to be a fiery encounter when the
lights go down here at the Principality Stadium and this place
comes alive. You can watch the pre-match build-up from 7:30pm on
the match kicks off at 8:05pm also on BBC One. Thanks very much.
More now on England's match against a resurgent Scotland team
which has just reached its highest ever world rankings.
So it's a team which believes it can do what no Scottish side has
done for over 30 years - beat England at Twickenham.
Here's our sports correspondent, Joe Wilson.
South again to Twickenham, where Scotland do win,
Rugby union was strictly an amateur sport.
That really was one of the great Calcutta Cup tries!
Scotland winger Roger Baird worked in the grain industry then,
as he does now, and the spirit of '83 lingers.
I still see, you know, a lot of the guys that I played with.
So I think, yeah, you know, with a smaller nation,
you always feel up against it a wee bit, you know.
In adversity, you know, that maketh the man.
So, yeah, I think the spirit will be there in aplenty.
These days, England's rugby resources are unmatched, boasting
In Scotland, that figure's around 49,000.
This season, Scotland have already beaten Ireland and Wales.
If you can't go through your opponents, you can dodge round them.
Two chances, two scores, two tries for Scotland!
Vern, knowing your players as you do now, what is the key
asset which will enable you to win tonight?
And making sure that, um, we back each other up
and we keep our heads up the paddock and see what's coming.
Well, back in '83, power ballads were the rage.
It was only whispered here as the team left,
but if Scotland beat England here, they could win the Six Nations.
Whether it's pub music, summer festivals, or street buskers,
the UK is alive with the sound of live music.
But what does it tell us about our musical likes and dislikes?
Today, the UK is carrying out its first live music
Our Scotland correspondent, Lorna Gordon, has been taking
a look - and a listen - to the music scene in Glasgow.
Buskers on the streets of Glasgow, passionate about their music,
I love it and I do it every day, and it's a way I can play
with my friends and enjoy life with other people and share
From classical to contemporary, from concert halls to gigs in pubs,
In our cars, at home, on our phones, we listen to plenty of music.
Volunteers in six cities across the country are
We're asking them how many events they go to,
why they maybe go to an event, what's the main reasons
There are plenty of free performances to go to but, even so,
British consumers spend more on concert tickets than on physical
records, digital downloads and streaming combined.
And the organisers of this census say that even those who think that
silence is golden should care about the state of the
Music is a huge driver economically within the creative
industries which are, of course, a big export for the UK,
There's a lot of research to suggest that music is also important
for our health and well-being but, for me, music is really
important because it's part of what makes us human,
it's a fundamental part of being part of the human species.
Glasgow has a really active music scene.
There are 70 live music events in the 24-hour period this
census is taking place, but here and across the UK, the live
Some iconic locations where famous groups honed their acts have closed
Some smaller, more intimate, venues are only just breaking even.
Surviving as a small venue is difficult at the moment
because property prices are increasing, because of the tight
This attempt to measure the economic and cultural
benefits of live music is, census organisers
Whatever they find out, that live music in all its glorious
forms brings joy to many is already beyond doubt.
Now, you know that saying about how showbiz and children don't mix?
Our colleagues on BBC World News were interviewing a contributor
live from his his home, via the internet, when one
of his children decided to make a guest appearance.
Not to be upstaged, along came child number two.
Followed very, very, quickly by a harassed mum!
The interview, of course, faultlessly continued! And I am sure
nobody noticed. Well, not many millions of people, anyway!
That she had a lot of people this morning.
It cheered us up in the weather centre. Yesterday, we were talking
about how beautiful the clear blue skies were. This is today. A layer
of grey, one of our weather watchers sent this picture. This is from
Wales! This is another one from Dorset. Foggy here. And a nice
sunrise from Hull. I will practice that Welsh name, I promise you. Cold
breaking in some areas but overcast for most of the day with a what more
cloud in the Atlantic heading our way for this weekend. Quite a mixed
picture overall. Let's concentrate on this afternoon first. We have
established with that great picture, cloudy across most of Scotland,
although I suspect the Western Isles will be getting some glimmers of
sunshine now and then. And you will notice some rain across the UK,
almost anywhere really. Temperatures today getting no higher than around
13, 14 degrees. Still feeling relatively mild. You have got some
mist along the South Coast. The weather does not change this
evening, so for the Six Nations, Wales versus Ireland, that kicks off
just after eight o'clock, around 10 degrees and cloudy skies. Tonight,
we keep the cloudy skies and the temperatures will not take away a
lot of staying around double figures in London, up to 9 degrees. Rain
pushing through. For Saturday, I have mentioned a lot of cloud across
the UK, more cloud lining up in the Atlantic. This will come rushing our
way during this weekend, so the first weather front is here on
Saturday, in the North. We will see a weather front crossing the country
on Saturday, but the weather is not that bad because on one side, to the
North, there is sunshine across Scotland and Northern Ireland,
Edinburgh, Glasgow and Belfast gets bright weather. In the South, clouds
break up, we could get temperatures up to 18 Celsius. But those weather
fronts keep coming and a different picture I think on Sunday. To
summarise, the weekend, Saturday is your best today and by Sunday, it
looks like we will get at least a bit of rain. Back to you.
A reminder of our main story this lunchtime:
Head teachers say cuts in funding are leading the courses in England
being scrapped and class sizes going up.
That's all from the BBC News at One, so it's goodbye from me.
And on BBC One, we now join the BBC's news teams where you are.