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Parents furious after kids made to eat dinner outside in the rain on first day back at school

Parents are not happy with this school.

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Unsworth Academy

Parents are livid as their children were forced to eat dinner outside in the rain ‘like animals’. 

Some pupils returned to school yesterday, and those starting in year 7 at Unsworth Academy in Bury were told to eat outside as part of new safety measures.

Families found out that their children were forced to sit outside in heavy rain and wind on Wednesday and were left soaked.

Many children struggled to actually eat their food as they battled the wind to hold umbrellas up. 

The families explained they had not been made aware that their child’s dinnertime would be spent outside.

They added that the school risk assessment which was provided by the school had originally suggested the large spaces such as halls and dining halls to be used during wet breaks and dinner. 

According to the MEN, many parents have reported directly to the school and Ofsted as well as complaining on social media. 

One parent said the school is ‘treating these kids like animals’, another added: “I wouldn’t let my dog stand outside in rain, let alone make him eat lunch like this.”

UnsworthAcademy/Twitter

Mum Louise, whose two children were back on Wednesday, the youngest starting her first day in Year 7, said: “They actually didn’t eat their dinner at all until they got home as it was all getting wet so her memory of her first day at high school was cold, wet and hungry. Other children were taking shelter under a tree or table tennis tables.

“We were not told that lunches would be eaten outside. We were only told that due to distancing, breaks will be outside regardless of the weather. The lady in the office advised me that that’s the only way it can be done and suggested they bring an umbrella to continue to eat outside.”

Dad James, from Radcliffe, also described his upset with the schools set up, saying: “Personally I am livid that a school finds it acceptable to put students outside to eat their lunch in all weathers. I’m not sure how they’re expected to juggle their lunchbox, their actual lunch and an umbrella while fighting the elements trying to keep their sandwich dry. I believe the conditions are better at Her Majesty’s Prisons.”

The school sent a reminder to parents last night that children should have their waterproofs with them. 

It said: “As I know you will appreciate, it is going to be difficult to ensure social distancing if all our learners have to remain in school during wet breaks and lunchtimes. To minimise the challenges these wet breaks create, we would like all learners to ensure that, if wet weather is forecast, they bring a waterproof coat and an umbrella to school.

“Many learners had their coats and umbrellas with them today; others did not and did unfortunately get wet at lunchtime. The vast majority of learners are unfazed by wet breaks; today a small minority were not happy that they had no coat or umbrella.

“However, at the same time they do now understand why they need to bring them with them to school, not just for breaks and lunchtimes, but also for the journeys to and from school.”

However, parents received another letter from principal Sue Armstrong with an update today: “Yesterday, the last-minute rainfall during the lunchtime break posed a new challenge for us.

“Unfortunately, with this being the first day learners were in school, contingency plans for wet weather were not as effectively implemented as we would have wanted, resulting in a small minority of students getting wet.

“This has understandably caused concern for those families involved and I would like to reassure you that arrangements have been reviewed to ensure students have access to adequate shelter at all times.”

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New government proposals could see cat owners fined £500

Here’s everything you need to know…

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@vnevremeni & @little_plants / Unsplash

Cat owners could be slapped with hefty fines under a subtle new rule change proposed by the government this week.

The new plans propose that all cat owners must ensure their pet is microchipped before they are twenty weeks old – there, the cat’s details will be stored and kept up-to-date in a database.

If a cat owner is found to not have microchipped their cat, however, they will have twenty-one days to get their pet microchipped or risk facing a fine of up to £500. 

@little_plant / Unsplash

Government figures show that out of the 10.8 million pet cats in the UK, as many as 2.8 million are still not microchipped. And, according to Cats Protection, eight out of ten stray cats coming into their centres are not microchipped.

The charity added that the procedure only costs between £20 and £30.

Animal Welfare Minister Lord Goldsmith said: “Cats are much-loved parts of our families and making sure that they’re microchipped is the best possible way of making sure that you are reunited with them if they are ever lost or stolen.

“These new rules will help protect millions of cats across the country and will be brought in alongside a range of other protections we are introducing under our Action Plan for Animal Welfare.”

Paul Hanaoka / Unsplash

Jacqui Cuff, Cats Protection’s Head of Advocacy and Government Relations, also stressed the importance of microchipping, adding: “Every day, we see how important microchipping is for cats and for the people who love them.

“Whether it’s reuniting a lost cat with their owner, identifying an injured cat, or helping to ensure an owner can be informed in the sad event that their cat has been hit and killed by a car.

“Microchipping is by far the most effective and quickest way of identifying lost cats and can help ease the pressure on rescue charities like Cats Protection. Without a microchip, a lost cat will most likely end up being rehomed to a new home as there is often no trace of their original owner.”

The new rules, which have been announced as part of the government’s ‘Action Plan for Animal Welfare’, won’t come into place until an official review has been completed.

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Chill Factore forced to close after section of roof damaged by Storm Barra

Major damage to the roof has forced the popular attraction to close

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@stefm84 / Twitter

The Chill Factore has been forced to close after a section of its roof was damaged from severe winds brought on by Storm Barra. 

All activities at the Beyond building, which houses an indoor ski slope, have been cancelled for the rest of the day, with car parks surrounding the Trafford attraction closing ‘with immediate effect’. 

In a statement on its website, Chill Factore said: “The Beyond building has sustained some damage due to the severe winds.

“As a result we’ve made the difficult decision to close our building and surrounding car parks with immediate effect to protect the health and safety of our guests and team.

“All activities for the remainder of the day have been cancelled and we are in the process of contacting guests with bookings for today to rearrange their activities.

“We are awaiting contractors to come and assess the damage and we will provide more information as soon as possible through our website & social media accounts.”

This comes after the Met Office issued a yellow weather warning in various areas across Greater Manchester ahead of the arrival of Storm Barra.

@adventurecat__ / Instagram

The second named storm of the season hit the region today, bringing with it plummeting temperatures plummeting and heavy rainfall.

Forecasters say travel disruption is ‘likely’, especially over higher routes, as is delays to rail and air travel. There is also the ‘slight chance some rural communities may become cut off’. 

The Met Office said: “A deep area of low pressure moving in across the UK from the Atlantic is likely to bring high winds to many parts of the UK.

“Strong winds arriving into the west through the morning, spreading inland and reaching eastern areas through the afternoon and early evening. Gusts of 45-50 mph are expected widely, with 60-70 mph in exposed coastal locations.

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People who kill children will face mandatory life sentences under new Arthur’s Law

The law has been named after six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes, who was murdered by his stepmother last year

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@BorisJohnson / Twitter

The Prime Minister has backed a newly proposed law that will ensure child murderers will never leave prison.

Following the horrifying death of six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes, Boris Johnson has announced that his government will be amending the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill to make ‘whole-life orders the starting point for such abhorrent crimes’. 

Johnson said in a statement: “Anyone who plans then carries out the murder of a child should never be released from prison. So we’re toughening the law to make whole-life orders the starting point for such abhorrent crimes.

“The Attorney General is also urgently considering the facts of this case and the sentence handed down, but this is a Government that will always legislate for the toughest possible sentences for such repugnant crimes.”

Arthur’s stepmother Emma Tustin was jailed last week for at least twenty-nine years for his murder, while his father Thomas Hughes was sentenced to twenty-one years for manslaughter.

However, the attorney general announced over the weekend that the sentences are to be reviewed to ‘determine whether they were too low’. 

According to The Guardian, the AGO has twenty-eight days from the date of sentence to review a case, assess whether it falls under the Unduly Lenient Sentence (ULS) scheme and make a decision as to whether to refer a sentence to the court of appeal. 

West Midlands Police

Arthur died in Solihull, Midlands on June 16th 2020, as a result of a serious head injury inflicted by Tustin. His body was also covered in 130 bruises.

It was later discovered that the six-year-old had been starved, beaten and poisoned with salt in the weeks leading to his death.

Harrowing footage recently released by West Midlands Police show a weak and emancipated Arthur struggling to lift his duvet from the living room floor, where he had been forced to sleep. 

Social worker and member of the House of Lords Herbert Laming said the reduction in funding for social care in the last ten years meant abused and neglected children like Arthur were being missed by the authorities. 

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