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That's all from us.
Welcome to South Today.
The classrooms facing a funding crisis.
We'll hear what the main parties would do to improve children's
chances of a good education.
The Chinese brother and sister who've taken over
Reading Football Club.
And how the rapper Stormzy has helped an Oxford student
achieve her dream of studying at one of America's top universities.
Teaching posts have been cut, class sizes have increased...
Now an Oxfordshire headteacher has written to the county's politicians
urging them to spend more on education.
Gillotts School in Henley-on-Thames is among those saying it will need
to ask parents for contributions to help tackle a funding shortfall.
With the general election just over three weeks away,
David Lumb has been asking candidates from the main
parties what they would do to guarantee a good education.
At Gillotts School, textile lessons will soon be a thing of the past.
The subject's being axed next year in the latest bid to cut costs.
The fact that we are now so short of money means
that we are changing our curriculum, we are changing it to reduce
the number of teachers that we need.
That means that we are reducing the number of subjects on offer,
it means we are increasing class sizes and it means we are asking
teachers to teach more hours, all of which have an impact on both
the experience of teachers and students.
Government funding accounts for 80% of the academy's budget.
In 2010, it received ?4,700 per pupil.
This year, it got the same.
The school says in real terms, that is a 14% funding cut.
Redundancies are a last resort, but they are a possibility.
You can't rule anything out.
In order to make the sort of size of savings that we are making,
we need to save about ?80,000 this year.
The only way we can do that is to start to reduce
the number of staff.
The problem is not unique to this school and with the general election
pending, politicians are promising different remedies.
Education is about more than money, with the Conservatives -
and Ukip too - backing more grammar schools, an idea shunned
by other parties.
Our plan to fund our visionary national education service
is by reversing the Tories' corporation tax, which will raise
within the region of ?19.4 billion.
The Liberal Democrats say they'll reverse Tory cuts.
What we would do would be to restore the budgets as they are and,
in fact, top them up, because at the moment what we are
seeing is schools that are unable - not just having to cut staff -
but schools that are not able to maintain the school premises
on the budgets that they have got.
While the Conservatives are defending their record.
The Conservative government is entirely committed
to investment in education.
In fact, with the 40 billion invested in this current year,
it is at record levels.
The Green Party is promising to invest ?7 billion in education.
There you go, perfect.
Back in Henley, Gillotts School is planning to ask parents to make
a voluntary contribution of up to ?30 a month to pay
for things like chemicals for science lessons and books.
Headteachers across the region will be waiting to see
what the next government brings.
David Lumb, BBC South Today.
Two further strikes at the Mini plants in Oxford and Swindon have
been called off while union members consider a pensions offer from BMW.
Yesterday saw the third walkout over plans to end their final
salary pension scheme.
Strikes planned for tomorrow and Sunday have been suspended.
An interim headteacher has been appointed to run the troubled
Chiltern Edge School in South Oxfordshire.
The school in Sonning Common was placed in special measures
in April after it was rated inadequate by Ofsted.
The consultation over its future has been extended till
the end of next month.
A Chinese brother and sister have taken over Reading Football Club.
The news emerged last night as fans celebrated reaching
the Championship play-off final.
If the club's promoted to the Premier League,
it stands to gain hundreds of millions of pounds in income.
Lewis Coombes reports.
Yann Kermorgant puts Reading 1-0 up.
Now, Reading, clean sheet, you're at Wembley!
While Reading's footballers secured their place at Wembley,
the club's hierarchy was securing their future.
Trying to complete a deal halfway through the second half is a first
for me and I have done a few.
So, who are the Chinese billionaires now in charge?
Dai Yongge and Dai Xiu Li are a brother and sister combo
to be reckoned with.
They made their fortune from converting old air raid
shelters into shopping malls, but last year an American
credit agency raised doubts about the health
of their real estate company.
In August, their takeover bid for Hull City collapsed amid claims
they had failed the Premier League's fit and proper person test.
The English Football League are satisfied with the Reading deal,
but the Premier League is yet to comment.
For the fans, at least, it is an exciting prospect.
They have not just gone away at the first sign of trouble
when the EFL and the Premier League were throwing red flags at this
deal, they have hung around and really wanted to get this deal
over the line.
I am really hoping this is the next step in a really,
really positive future for Reading.
As developers, the new owners are looking to build.
A new training ground and increased stadium capacity have
already been mentioned.
Chinese investors are changing the face of football,
investing heavily in English clubs while trying to establish
their own domestic league.
For Reading, they will be hoping the property tycoons from Beijing
will put the building blocks in place to construct
a brighter future.
Lewis Coombes, BBC South Today.
Organisers of a campaign to erect a statue of David Bowie in Aylesbury
have revealed a model of it at a fundraising event this evening.
When completed, the life-size sculpture will be installed under
the arches in Market Square, referenced by Bowie
in the song Five Years.
Brennan Nicholls reports.
Bowie debuted his Ziggy Stardust persona and his Hunky Dory album
at the Friars club in Aylesbury in the very early 1970s.
He played the underground venue four times en route to global fame.
Last year over ?115,000 was raised to kick-start the project.
It was the idea of the music promoter who brought
him to the town.
Tonight, Buckinghamshire businesses are the first to be asked to help
raise the remaining ?65,000 needed to complete
the first Bowie memorial statue in the world.
Well, there are so many businesses in the county,
so many businesses in the county, you know, we are one
of the high-growth areas in the UK.
So, absolutely, if everyone donates a little bit,
I don't see why it can't be done.
I think it is a fabulous idea.
I mean, when I was a lad...
I grew up in Aylesbury.
So when I was a lad, I grew up with Friars
Aylesbury and Dave Stopps, I used to work security there.
So the whole music scene in Aylesbury is something that has
been with us as long as I have been around.
Each generation has their own aspect of Bowie
that they relate to and they love.
For example, with me, it was Space Oddity.
But with my PA it is the Goblin King from Labyrinth.
So it is just a fantastic thing.
Speakers would play the star's music once an hour day in, day out.
Little wonder then that the music fans could be dancing in the streets
of Aylesbury for generations to come to one of pop's greatest heroes.
Staying with music...
He's an award-winning rapper who's helped an undergraduate
in Oxford achieve her dream of studying at one of
America's top universities.
Stormzy donated almost all the money Fiona Asiedu needed to do
a Masters degree at Harvard.
And it all happened because of a tweet,
as Alpa Patel explains.
# Shut up.
# Mention my name in your tweets.
# Oi, rude boy, shut up.
# Shut up... #.
Stormzy is one of the biggest names in music, but on Sunday,
he turned into a fairy godfather too, and this women is very happy.
Fiona Asiedu wants to go to Harvard, but she didn't have the money
to pay for the fees, so she set up a Crowdfunding page
and got her friends involved.
My friend actually tweeted Stormzy saying, "Hi,
could you, like, retweet or could you support the campaign?"
He retweeted it and then he put the money into the Crowdfund
and then just sent, like, a little good luck message.
It was just surreal.
It was quite a shock, I couldn't believe it, I am
still quite overwhelmed about it.
Fiona managed to raise what she needed in 20 hours, thanks
to the man she and her friends look up to.
Stormzy, for us, he's from south London, he is also Ghanaian,
so he's just a bit more...
He's a bit real to...
Like, we kind of relate to him in some way.
The 21-year-old will begin her psychology course
at Harvard in August.
Thanks for making my dreams come true and I hope that I can use
what you have given me to go on and inspire other people.
So far, Stormzy's stayed shtoom over the donation,
apart from this tweet, agreeing to some thank-you chicken
courtesy of Fiona's friends.
When Fiona goes out to the US, she plans
to catch Stormzy in concert.
The opportunity made possible thanks to the man himself.
Alpa Patel, BBC South Today.
Heavy rain led to flash flooding in some places today.
Alexis is on the way with the forecast.
Hello, good evening.
Well, we've had a good deal of rain today.
But the rain is slowly clearing away and there is a fresher feel
to things once the rain does clear.
In the countryside, under the clearing skies,
we could see lows of 6 Celsius - these are the temperatures
in urban areas.
So a lovely day in store tomorrow, plenty of sunshine on offer.
Through the course of the day, we may see the odd isolated shower
pop up almost anywhere and there could be the odd rumble
of thunder with hail.
Most places will stay dry and temperatures tomorrow
will reach a high of 16, possibly up to 17 Celsius.
And feeling warm in any sunny spells.
Low pressure is in charge of our weather and will draw in that
north-westerly breeze making it feel fresher tomorrow and also
through the day on Friday, so Friday is very similar to tomorrow.
We could see the odd isolated shower here and there.
Both Thursday and Friday will be dominated by this
area of low pressure, the winds coming in from
the north-west, drawing in some fresher air,
so feeling less humid over the next few days.
So, as we look ahead to the rest of the week,
tomorrow we will see some sunny spells, the risk of
the odd isolated shower.
Showers are possible both Friday and Saturday, and on Sunday
there is still the risk of a shower, and on all of those days,
there is the chance of hail and thunder.