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Manchester is officially the most intelligent place in the UK, according to new research

We definitely already knew this…

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@jakesbipolar / Instagram & Taisiia Shestopal / Unsplash

Greater Manchester is officially the most intelligent place in the country… Well, according to new research, it is.

International education providers Oxford Summer School delved into data from the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) to discover which areas in the UK achieved the highest average results for core GCSE subjects in 2021.

And low and behold, our region came out on top, with 48% percent more students achieving the top GCSE grade of 9 in core subjects Maths, English Language and Literature, Chemistry, Biology, and Physics.

Greater Manchester also has over 200% more students attaining Grade 9s on average than Kent, the region where students achieve the fewest Grade 9s.

Jeswin Thomas / Unsplash

Coming in second place is Tyne and Wear, with 45% more students achieving a Grade 9 in the core subjects than the average for all regions surveyed.

The region also has 214% more students attaining a Grade 9 in Maths, Science and English Language and Literature than Kent (sorry, Kent).

And showing that university doesn’t mean everything is Cambridgeshire, who came in at third place – though it was noted that this region is the most intelligent place for mathematics, with more students achieving a Grade 9 in the subject than anywhere else in the UK.

Buckinghamshire also ranked handsomely, with 42% more of its students attaining Grade 9s in core subjects than the average for all regions surveyed.

@tbelabuseridze / Unsplash

However, making up the bottom of the pile is Shropshire, which has only 70% more students attaining a Grade 9 in English Language and Literature than the UK average.

Places such as Merseyside, Suffolk and Surrey also rank poorly, with students achieving just 33%, 25% and 20% fewer Grade 9s at GCSE than the national average.

And, as mentioned a couple of times in this article, Kent is the area where students achieve the lowest percentage of Grade 9s in the key GCSE subjects of Maths, Science and English Language – 53% less than the average for all regions.

Read more about the study here.

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Nearly 120,000 people sign pensioner’s petition for Tesco to bring back tills

‘Talking with human staff is important to me… Now that experience has been taken away’

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Tesco PLC / Flickr

A pensioner’s petition urging Tesco to bring back its tills and to stop ‘replacing people with machines’ has reached nearly 120,000 signatures.

Pat McCarthy, sixty-nine, launched the petition with her daughter after she found herself continuously struggling to use the self check-out tills at her local Tesco mega-store.

Noting that talking with human staff is important to her, Pat implored for Tesco’s Chief Executive Officer Ken Murphy to reinstate more staffed tills and check-outs.

Pat, a retired volunteer helping disabled people to apply for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) forms, wrote: “What used to be a great shopping experience has now become physically difficult, overwhelming, and a ‘nightmare’.

Tesco PLC / Flickr

“At my local Tesco mega-store, and probably all over the country, Tesco is bringing in new self-service and sort-it-out-yourself card only till machines. They make up 2/3 of the tills now.

“These new tills are not accessible for people who don’t have credit cards and can only use cash or those with little confidence to use these self-service card-only tills – myself included.

Read More: Morrisons is trialling an ‘unmanned’ cashless store with no staff

“People such as carers, older people, disabled people with mobility problems or lifting problems have to queue waiting for more than thirty minutes.

“I love chatting with the staff, albeit briefly, especially as l live on my own. Talking with human staff is important to me. Now that experience has been taken away.”

Tesco PLC / Flickr

Pat went on to point out that, as an older woman, she struggles with the heavy lifting these self-serve tills require, as do many disabled people.

She concluded: “I want Ken Murphy the Chief Executive Officer of Tesco’s to bring more staffed tills and check outs. I want him to commit to a People & Profit Policy not a Profits before People Policy.”

Pat’s petition has been met with a huge wave of support, with it having a massive 119,996 signatures at the time of writing.

A Tesco spokesperson has since addressed the petition, saying in a statement: “Our colleagues and the friendly service they provide are absolutely vital to our stores and will always be on hand to help our customers, whether they are checking out at one of our colleague-operated or self-service checkouts.”

To read Pat’s cause in full and to sign the petition yourself, click here.

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Angry man blocks McDonald’s drive-thru after refusing to wait for sausage and egg McMuffins

After being made to wait for fifteen minutes in the same Leyland restaurant one week prior, the hangry customer decided to take a stand…

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David Lally / Geograph & @onehungryasian / Instagram

A McDonald’s drive-thru was blocked for two hours after a furious customer refused to park and wait for his McMuffins.

Stuart Yates, fifty-five, drove to his local McDonald’s in Leyland, Lancashire, at around 9:30am yesterday morning for his Sunday breakfast fix. 

However, when he was asked by staff to park in one of the parking bays to wait for his order, Stuart refused, the Lancashire Post reports.

Speaking to the newspaper, Stuart insisted that he had been made to wait for over ‘fifteen minutes’ when he was last asked to park in one of the bays at the Churchill Way restaurant, resulting in him complaining to management. 

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He said: “A week ago I got made to wait in the car park for over fifteen minutes. A lad spotted me and said ‘oh, it’s him again’, because last time I complained.

“They said go and wait in the car park, so I said ‘I’m not going anywhere until I get my food’.”

Stuart then refused to move from his position in the queue, resulting in the drive-thru being closed to other customers.

He claims he was then offered a cash refund by the restaurant – but he instead wanted the money put back on his credit card.

@jemmalikesfood / Instagram

Stuart said an employee even came out and ‘threw the money’ onto the roof of his car and threatened to call the police if he didn’t move on.

Undeterred by the staff member’s threats, however, Stuart reiterated his stance and informed workers that he would wait ‘all week’ if necessary.

He said: “I said I’m not moving, I’m well within my rights asking for a refund to be put back onto my card.

“They eventually gave me a refund and tried passing me a long letter they had typed out, but I refused to accept it.

David Lally / Geograph

“I hadn’t sworn, I hadn’t done anything threatening. I hadn’t broken any laws.”

Stuart went on to block traffic for another two hours, only leaving when the police arrived.

And, somewhat ironically, Stuart was forced to leave without his McMuffins – though he did instead order two Big Macs on UberEats when he got home.

McDonald’s is yet to comment on the drive-thru debacle. 

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Manchester City players seen celebrating Premier League title at ‘boozy’ party at the Ivy

Jack Grealish had already promised ‘three or four’ nights of celebrations…

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@branston93 / Instagram

Manchester City players were seen celebrating their Premier League victory in style at a ‘boozy’ bash at the Ivy late last night.

Jack Grealish was among the players celebrating their league win, with him sharing a photo of himself sipping a lager in the City dressing room immediately after the match, alongside the caption: “Ooffft the first of many”.

He was later pictured looking a little worse for wear in the Ivy in Spinningfields, where the rest of the squad and their partners celebrated the victory until the early hours. 

Manchester City’s kitman Brandon Ashton shared a series of photos from the celebrations, where he was seen posing with Grealish and Riyad Mahrez. 

Grealish had already hinted at his plans to celebrate in style in his post-match interview with pundit Roy Keane, who had warned him to ‘stay off the top shelf’ and to ‘stick with beer’. 

At this, the England player quipped back: “Not for the next three nights, no chance, maybe four!”

Read More: Manchester City announce open-top bus parade today to celebrate Premier League title

Grealish also invited Gary Neville and his daughter Sophie out to celebrate when prompted by former City star Micah Richards on air.

He joked: “What camera am I looking at? Hello Sophie, I hope you’re bringing your dad out tonight, and we’ll have a great night celebrating!”

In yesterday’s dramatic match against Aston Villa, Man City overcame a two-goal deficit to win 3-2 in the last twenty minutes, securing their fourth title as Premier League champions in five years.

The Blues have since confirmed that they will be parading through Manchester in a traditional open-top bus parade today, Monday May 23rd, at 6pm.

The club said in a statement: “Manchester City will celebrate retaining the Premier League title with an open-top bus parade through Manchester city centre on Monday 23rd May.”

Visit the Manchester City website for more information on tonight’s parade. 

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