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School to make face masks an official part of its uniform

It’s the first in the UK to do so.

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A school in Cheshire is making face masks compulsory for all pupils and staff, who will have to abide by the school uniform rules.

This is the first school in the UK to make face masks compulsory when inside the school, and parents need to buy specific, school uniform coverings made by a local company.

Holmes Chapel Comprehensive School in Cheshire has made navy blue, embroidered masks part of the uniform, contrary to Government guidelines. 

The school announced the uniform change in a letter to parents which stated: “Everyone, students and staff, MUST wear a face-covering whilst inside the school buildings.

“This includes classrooms and corridors. Masks will form part of our uniform.”

The letter continues: “We have taken this decision as a precautionary additional measure to our expected safe behaviours.

“On the balance of probability, the wearing of face masks is likely to make our school safer than if we don’t wear them.” 

The letter, sent out to inform families of the measures put in place, also reminded students to maintain good hand hygiene, according to CheshireLive

The letter adds: “Seventy five specially sourced dispensers have been fitted outside of classrooms,”

“Every student and member of staff must clean their hands as they enter each lesson. There are no exceptions or excuses.”

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The guidance from the government states that ‘wearing a face covering or face mask in schools or other education settings is not recommended’. 

Headteacher, Nigel Bielby, spoke to the BBC: “I think we’re going contrary to the guidelines because we want to keep a community that’s safe and protect those vulnerable members of our community as far as we possibly can.

“We felt it was an important step that, on the balance of probability, we were more likely to feel our children and our community was safer using a face covering as opposed to not using a face covering – and of course when the children are not in those lessons and they’re outside they can take that face covering off, so the misunderstanding that the children are in a face covering for six hours a day is incorrect.

“I think most of our community and our children will understand why we’ve taken this temporary measure and I think most of them will understand this is about the safety of the community and the care of our children.”

Councillor Kathryn Flavell, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for children and families, said: “The academy, Holmes Chapel Comprehensive, is the only school that we are aware of that has implemented a temporary arrangement of mandatory face masks for pupils when they return to school in September.

“Our education team has been supporting all schools, including Holmes Chapel, to implement the guidance issued by the Department for Education on full opening from September, which clearly states that children are not expected to wear face coverings at school.”

She said that while face coverings are beneficial for short periods indoors such as on public transport, ‘this does not apply in schools, where a robust system of controls will be in place to substantially reduce the risk of transmission’. 

Councillor Flavell added: “The safety of pupils and staff continues to be our priority and schools have been working hard over the summer on their risk assessments in order to have measures in place ready for the new term.”

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Student suffers severe heart failure after drinking four cans of energy drink a day

‘I believe they are very addictive and far too accessible to young children’

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A young man who consumed two litres of energy drink a day was admitted to intensive care with severe heart failure.

According to a leading medical journal, the university student landed himself in hospital after drinking four cans of energy drink per day.

The 21-year-old spent nearly two months in intensive care due to heart failure, with the British Medical Journal stating this was ‘potentially related to excessive energy drink consumption’ in a report.

According to the report, the man drank four 500ml energy drinks every day for two years, becoming so ill that medics thought he might require an organ transplant.

The patient went on to describe his medical episode as ‘traumatising’, eventually seeking medical help after he suffered from weight loss and shortness of breath for roughly four months.

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Doctors performed blood tests, scans, and ECG readings, and found that he had both kidney and heart failure – however, the kidney failure was discovered to be linked to a previously undiagnosed condition.

Each energy drink the man was consuming contained around 160mg of caffeine, and medics said that ‘energy drink-induced cardiotoxicity’ was the most likely cause of the severe heart failure.

In the report, the authors from Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust wrote: “We report a case of severe biventricular heart failure potentially related to excessive energy drink consumption in a 21-year-old man.”

They said the conclusion to their report ‘adds to the growing concern in the literature about the potential cardiotoxic effects of energy drinks’, adding that the man’s heart function seems to have returned to normal nine months later but with ‘mildly impaired function’.

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The recovered patient added his own thoughts to the article, saying: “When I was drinking up to four energy drinks per day, I suffered from tremors and heart palpitations, which interfered with my ability to concentrate on daily tasks and my studies at university.

“I also suffered from severe migraine headaches which would often occur during the periods when I did not drink energy drink; this also restricted my ability to perform day-to-day tasks and even leisurely activities such as going to the park or taking a walk.”

He added: “I think there should be more awareness about energy drinks and the effect of their contents.

“I believe they are very addictive and far too accessible to young children. I think warning labels, similar to smoking, should be made to illustrate the potential dangers of the ingredients in energy drink.”

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Drivers could soon be fined for parking on the pavement under new rules

Make sure you’re aware of the proposed rule changes

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A ban on parking on the pavement could soon be implemented across England, under new laws which are expected to be rolled out this year.

Parking on pavements would be a thing of the past, with £70 penalty fines for offenders coming into effect under the proposed new rules.

According to reports, the new legislation would see a ban on antisocial parking introduced, in a bid to make pavements safer for people with disabilities and visual impairments, as well as families.

The changes to the law which are being considered have already been implemented in London and would be rolled out nationwide.



They come in response to complaints about pavement parking and the risks it brings with it to those whose use pavements, with the Department for Transport (DfT) initially launching a proposal on the subject in September 2020.

The proposals came after a review discovered that almost half of wheelchair users and a third of visually impaired people were less willing to go out on the streets alone due to ‘antisocial’ parking on the pavement.

A spokeswoman from the DfT explained to The Mirror that the government is currently collating responses after receiving ‘overwhelming’ feedback.

The public consultation period for the proposals ended back on November 22nd, and as such a decision on the plan is expected imminently.

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However, Mark Tongue, director of Select Car Leasing has said that ‘the guidelines are currently quite confusing for motorists’.

The motoring company conducted a report which discovered that local authorities would have the power to dish out £70 fines if a vehicle was considered an obstruction, even if it was parked outside the driver’s house.

Mr Tongue said: “A pavement parking ban is 100% needed nationwide – anything that puts pedestrians at an increased risk requires action.

“However, the information given so far is slightly confusing for drivers. At the moment, there’s no clear guidelines for those who park on the pavement due to having no room on their own drive. Most households have more than one car, so it will be interesting to see where motorists are expected to park if not on the pavement outside their homes.

“Clear guidance is required for drivers so they know the correct location to park in order to avoid a fine.”

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Operation Forth Bridge: the full plan for what happens next after Prince Philip’s death

Buckingham Palace confirmed the sad news of his passing earlier today

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Buckingham Palace announced this afternoon that HRH Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh has died.

The 99-year-old, who would have celebrated his 100th birthday in June, passed away peacefully at Windsor Castle this morning, Friday April 9th.

Buckingham Palace said: “It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen has announced the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

“His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle.

“Further announcements will be made in due course. The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss.”

There were already strict procedures put in place for when Prince Philip died, which have now begun, and they’re known as Operation Forth Bridge.

According to the plan there are several steps that need to be followed, including everything from national mourning to a burial site for the Duke.

Operation Forth Bridge has been around for many years, with Buckingham Palace, in consultation with both the Queen and Prince Philip, regularly updating and reviewing it.

Part one of the operation was the announcement from Buckingham Palace confirming the death of the Duke, which was distributed to the Press Association and BBC first.

Then the country enters a period of national mourning, meaning a set of rules, like flags being flown at half-mast, must be followed.

According to reports, it’s thought newsreaders and other TV presenters must wear black out of respect.

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Next, plans for the funeral will be drawn up, and while Prince Philip is entitled to a state funeral he reportedly wanted something more discreet – a private service in the style of a military funeral at St George’s Chapel in Windsor, followed by burial at Frogmore Gardens.

The funeral is still expected to be televised despite the current restrictions, although it remains unclear how many people will be able to attend it.

The Queen’s private secretary and senior adviser, Sir Edward Young, will be on hand to help her during the undoubtedly challenging days ahead.

As well as being responsible for supporting the Queen in her duties, Sir Edward is also the channel of communication between the Queen and the government.

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