The latest news, sport, weather and features from the South East of England.
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Minister's exit Strang. Join me now on BBC Two.
Today's main headlines in the south-east:
Crisis talks are held after a teacher was the victim
of an alleged serious assault by a pupil at a Kent school.
Southern Rail promises a full timetable next week as Aslef
suspends strike action and talks are said to be constructive.
And we started today with the lows of minus seven degrees and another
bitterly cold night to come. Crisis talks have been taking place
tonight after a teacher was allegedly assaulted by a pupil
at a Kent school. Teachers had been considering strike
action over concerns that the student at St Gregory's
Catholic School in Tunbridge Wells Following the talks
the National Union of Teachers say they feel progress has been made
with the school and that industrial action is no longer
an immediate prospect. The incident happened before
Christmas, when students were described as being
in high spirits. The child was suspended
but is now back at school, Parents today backed concerns
raised by the teachers. I can understand that the teachers
want to ballot to strike I think the child should be
expelled or bring the parent in to sort out
the situation. In a letter to parents, the school
said please be assured that the school
has followed procedures They say they have been working
closely with the union A recent survey found four in ten
teachers have experienced Last year, the Government scrapped
the no-touch rules that stop teachers removing
disruptive pupils from class, The head ought to weigh up
all the factors. Is a particular one-off
strong incident? And there are very tight
rules, because government is trying to get the number
of permanent exclusions down. People I've spoken to here in
Southborough say we should all feel safe when we go to work,
and that includes teachers. You shouldn't feel, you know,
unsafe in your workplace. That should never be a scenario that
should ever have to happen, that the teacher should feel
they are in a position When you know that something has
happened and there is a pupil that could then cause problems again,
it probably needs to be stamped out because then
every other pupil sees it Talks between the trust and union
finished this evening. Chrissie's here now, how much do
we know about what exactly happened? Well, we know it was serious enough
for the teacher to have to seek medical attention. As you have
heard, following the talks earlier this evening, the NUT say they have
made progress and are not looking at immediate industrial action. They
say they are trying to put in place a plan other pupil can remain at the
school and they plan to discuss that with the teachers, but tonight, the
trust really wants to reiterate that they are fully committed to the
safety of both the teachers and the pupils the school.
Hard-hit Southern Rail passengers have been promised the return
It comes after Aslef, the train drivers' union,
suspended three days of strikes next week, as well as an overtime ban,
to allow fresh peace talks to take place.
Southern says it will run more than 70% of its trains next Monday
when RMT Union action is taking place - that's 10% more
of its normal timetable than operated on previous strike days.
And routes which were previously suspended -
including Eastbourne to Hastings and Lewes to Haywards Heath -
Could the talks going on behind these walls finally bring an end
Southern's bold announcement that services will return
to pre-industrial action levels next week suggest the train company's
confident, something even the Prime Minister reflected today.
I hope that those sitting around the table are going to ensure
that we can see an agreement reached which enables passengers to actually
get on with their lives, get on with their jobs and not
suffer the misery that was brought about by the strike
After months of disruption from overtime bans, increased staff
sickness days and all-out strikes, yesterday, Aslef, the train drivers'
union, announced it was suspending action while talks took place.
The hope this time at the TUC that they'll get somewhere.
That's why Aslef has called for these high-level discussions,
because we need to get this resolved and as people have been saying,
it's about time the railway started providing the service
And these talks appear to be the cue for Southern
This isn't just people going out for a day,
these are people trying to get to work.
We have got young people trying to get university,
because there is no university in the constituency.
People trying to get a hospital appointments.
So really crucial journeys became an all-day experience at times
and people will be very pleased that the train services back.
How confident are Southern's passengers that all will be
If they are saying that they are going to do something about it,
then I'm fairly confident because they seem to have been
pretty strongly no up to now, so I would say 76%.
Because it's been going on for so long, I just don't have
From staff and passengers to management and ministers,
there'll be a lot of fingers crossed over the next few days.
This news must come as a great relief for commuters down there?
Yes, Polly, that's because the people here are finally getting
their trains back after putting up with replacement buses full such a
long time. This evening, the latest on those talks between Aslef, the
train drivers' union and Southern have been described as constructive
and will resume tomorrow but tonight, the local MP here says
despite the progress, she plans to hold an adjournment debate on Friday
because the normal southern rail service is still inadequate, she
says. A further 532 homes have
been given planning permission tonight as part
of the Ebbsfleet Up to 1,500 new jobs will also
be created on the site of an old cement works,
as well as food and drink outlets along the Thames
and pedestrian and cycle routes. 15,000 homes are set to be built
over 15 years to create the Garden City around the site
of Ebbsfleet International Station. Hastings is to receive
a share of ?12 million as part of the Government's
new "research schools" initiative. It's been chosen as a so-called
"opportunity area" that will improve the quality of teaching in deprived
parts of England. The Education Secretary says
it will build better relationships between schools,
colleges and careers services. Eurotunel today unveiled its latest
security initiative - a fleet of drones -
which combined with 570 CCTV cameras and miles of fencing have
created what it calls Both the British and
French governments have The company says there were 21,000
break-in attempts last year. But despite this, no
services were halted. In addition to the new measures,
Eurotunnel has committed to spending 20 million euros each
year on security. A fancy video and a fanfare praising
French and British co-operation has That was the view of one French
official at the launch of new security measures
in Coquelles today. The boss of the Channel Tunnel says
cutting edge technology has made We have electronic fences,
infrared barriers, cameras, and we can do, either day or night,
full control of the general. and we can do, either day or night,
full control of the terminal. I witnessed the final days
of the migrant camp known as the Jungle last year,
but will the heightened security at Eurotunnel stop services
being disrupted in the future? I would say the measures
we have taken place, the figures we now see
of intrustions into the site has reflected the tremendous work
that's gone on between governments and with the Eurotunnel to put
in infrastructure measures The new security centre,
with its drones and 570 cameras, It's unclear how much of that was
paid by the British Government. But one MP in Kent says a secure
Eurotunnel site in Calais It's all about making
the route secure. We want a very strong message to go
out, don't try and make your way towards Calais or Coquelles
with the hope of coming into the country without papers
because the border is secure. and that is not
a route into the UK. And the French authorities
agree the migrant camp has been dismantled,
they say the threat is still there. we'll have the national
weather in a moment. First, here's the forecast
for the south-east with Rachel. Good evening. Well, it has been a
crisp, cold, winters day. Lots of sunshine and as we go through
tonight, clearer skies mean once again temperatures plummet. Not
quite as chilly as last night, we saw loads of -7 but tonight, in
countryside sports, temperatures likely to drop to -24 minus three.
So we get a frosty start to Thursday. -- -2 or minus three. For
us in the south-east corner, a good deal of sunshine, a bit more cloud
than we have been seen of late so by the afternoon, temperatures a little
less cold, today we had highs of two or three degrees, tomorrow more like
five or six. The wind is no from a north-easterly direction but still
very light as we go into Friday. Again, less cold for the most part,
temperatures just about hovering above freezing in towns and cities,
so a cold start to the day for Friday. More cloud around and still
that area of high pressure, it will be trite and settled, temperatures
creeping up, highs of eight or 9 degrees and towards the weekend,
holding on to the area of high pressure, settled picture and
staying dry. Here is the outlook in the south-east.
next few days, no great changes over the next few days, more sunshine on
the way. Despite high-pressure sitting across
the country so only slow changes in the weather, we have had a variety