04/04/2017 South Today


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Hello and welcome to South Today. I'm Edward Sault.


Pupil numbers down, a drop in funding


18 staff are told they could lose their jobs


at the Sandown Bay Academy on the Isle of Wight.


I think the priority should be finding a different


sponsor for the school, one that cares about our children


And a former police officer critically injured after trying


to stop the driver of a stolen car four years ago dies


It's a key part of government education policy -


to encourage but not force all schools to become academies.


They remain state funded but independent of local


Tonight, two stories about different schools in the South.


Despite the financial freedom of academy status,


they've both discovered they're still vulnerable to the budget


problems affecting many other schools.


David Allard reports from the Isle of Wight,


where the Trust in charge of one struggling academy is facing


It's a maths problem that won't be solved in this classroom.


How do you save nearly ?250,000 from the school budget?


The challenge has been set by AET, the Academies Enterprise Trust,


The school's answer, to put 18 staff at risk of redundancy.


The Academy came out of special measures two years ago,


but is still seen as underperforming, and pupil


The school has capacity for nearly 1,900 pupils.


Five years ago, it had just over 1,200.


That has now fallen to just over 1,000, which also means a big


reduction in the funding it receives from the government.


We don't know what's going to happen in the short or long term.


I've got a younger child due to be going up to high school


in the next couple of years and it's uncertain for him as well.


I am hoping that it will improve and that they won't make


I think the priority should be finding a different


sponsor for the school, one that cares about our children


Isle of Wight Council may not control the Academy,


but with local elections looming the parties have strong views.


The Conservatives say the Academy is a potential financial


and educational disaster, and want AET replaced as sponsor.


The independents say it is important these concerns don't distract


youngsters about to take exams and describe the Tories' school


funding formula as not fit for purpose.


Labour says it's had long-standing concerns about AET's


management of the Academy, both in terms of academic standards


and continual chipping away at staffing levels.


Ukip and the Lib Dems didn't respond to our


"Sandown Bay is working in a difficult financial environment."


"We acknowledge the performance at Sandown Bay Academy has been


"unacceptable in the past and we have been putting in place


"a rigorous programme of active support to bring about a rapid


"and tangible improvement in its educational results."


Meanwhile, teaching unions have asked for more clarity


They have also told us that staff here have low confidence in both AET


All the issues will be thrashed out at a meeting on Friday,


but it's clear this Academy is facing an uphill struggle.


Meanwhile, in Dorset, a new trust is taking over the Isle


of Portland Aldridge Community Academy.


Known locally as IPACA, it has 1,100 pupils aged


The school's had ?25 million of government investment.


But it's currently in special measures after going through two


It's now set to be run by the Aspirations Academies Trust,


which already runs three other schools in the county.


Here at the Jewell Academy in Bournemouth, the focus is


on learning linked to careers and the same ethos will be used


The principle here has been drafted in to try to


Here, from a very early age, they are thinking


Another was a hairdresser, and some other people.


Did it make you think about what you might


The main thing you need in computers is numbers, not letters.


Do you think what you do in school might help you?


And have you thought about what it takes to be a chef?


You have got to learn the recipes properly.


And what do you need to do to get the recipes right?


They have to be able to see that what they are doing links to real


life, so they see people from all sorts of industries


Do they achieve better in the class as a result?


There's a real attitude in the classroom of achievement,


of working towards our goals and trying to be the best they can.


We have got a track record of turning around schools


I can't give you a timescale but they have got such potential.


We wouldn't be embarking on this if we didn't believe it was really


There's a long way to go in Portland, but the Aspirations


team believes it has the track record to pull it off.


A former Thames Valley police officer who was critically injured


four years ago when he tried to stop the driver of a stolen car


PC Gareth Browning never fully recovered after being


struck by the vehicle and needed constant care.


The driver was later jailed for nine years but lawyers are now


A little earlier I spoke to our reporter Joe Campbell, who began


Officers from the Thames Valley force were here on Lower Earley Way


on that November evening in 2013 with the aim of stopping a stolen


Mazda car which had been taken from Sonning Common just


Gareth Browning was an experienced police constable.


He was based just over the hill at Loddon Valley Police Station


That is a device which is aimed to deflate a car's tyres and bring


He was actually struck by the car, thrown into the air,


suffered serious head injuries and brain damage as a consequence.


There's no doubt the injuries he suffered were life changing.


He had to retire from the Thames Valley force.


The question now is whether those injuries were a direct cause


Thames Valley Police will be talking to the Crown Prosecution Service.


Luke Haywood, who was described as a career criminal,


He dumped it just a short distance away from us.


He was subsequently arrested and jailed for nine years


Thames Valley Police say they are now awaiting the outcome


of a postmortem examination and depending on what that finds,


they will be going to the Crown Prosecution Service to see


The difficulty they have is that first of all,


this offence was more than three years ago and that is normally


But also Luke Haywood was jailed for what happened on that night


and as a consequence, if they want to bring fresh charges,


they will have to get the permission of the Attorney General.


On to football news, and Seagulls fans will be


celebrating tonight after a home win put Brighton within reach


of a return to the top flight for the first time since 1983.


The Albion won against Birmingham 3-1, putting them at the top


Reading also played at home this evening, winning 3-1


against Blackburn Rovers, keeping the play-offs


We can cross over now to the Madejski Stadium and join


former Reading Captain and BBC Berkshire commentator Ady Williams.


Ady, a strong performance from Reading tonight?


Strong, yes. Polished, not really. It was a decent performance but not


the one we saw Saturday evening against Leeds. But it was the same


result, three points. Kermorgant doing the damage. In all fairness,


after 30 minutes, the game was over. The 35-year-old scoring a brace. For


me he is still the best header of a ball in the championship. But Quinn


scored a screen through Elliott Bennett. -- Blackburn. But McCleary


scored. Bring on the play-offs. Finally, a Hampshire mother has said


she is overwhelmed after a video of a robin hopping on to her hand


while she visited her son's grave was viewed more than nine million


times on social media. Marie Robinson's son Jack died


of a brain tumour in 2014 aged four. She filmed the bird on the third


anniversary of his death Mrs Robinson said the family


associated robins with Jack which had made it


particularly poigniant. That's all from the South Today


news team this evening. We're back tomorrow with bulletins


in BBC Breakfast and there's more on


the BBC News website. Here with our regional


weather forecast is Alexis. Some lovely summary conditions


expected by the weekend with temperatures starting to climb.


Overnight tonight it will be quite chilly. The cloud is starting to


filter away and with that we are looking at temperatures dropping to


around two Celsius in the countryside. These are temperatures


in urban areas. A lovely start of the day tomorrow. Blue skies


overhead. But I will start to filter in from the north. The best of these


in showing in the afternoon will be for southern coastal counties. Highs


of 11 Celsius where we have ploughed but where there are sunny spells, we


could see 13 Celsius. A dry day tomorrow. Tomorrow night there may


be some patchy rain. Thursday starts on a fairly cloudy note. Through the


course of the day this high pressure will start to push its way eastwards


and with that we may see some breaks in the cloud cover. Some brighter or


sunny intervals with a fair amount of cloud. And a similar scenario on


Friday. Thursday and Friday will start cloudy but that will thin and


break to allow for some sunshine and temperatures will be around 12 or 13


Celsius. By the weekend we bit from the south, so we could get


to 18 or higher on Sunday. Now the national focus. Good evening,


things are looking good in the next few days, some pressure drifting in


from the Atlantic, bringing some finance settled with it. Just some


questions about the amount of cloud we will see under that. The cloud we


saw the sea links gave rise to a lovely sunsets are many areas. This


is the view from one of our weather watchers in Cornwall. Look at the


tones in the sky in Warwickshire this evening.


Here is the satellite sequence which shows it was pretty gloomy on


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