Pupils whose whose schooling and early-years education has been disrupted will be the inspectors’ prioritySchool inspectors will only carry out limited inspections in the new school year due to Covid-19, the Department of Education has confirmed. The Schools Inspectorate, which sits within the Department of Education, carries out a variety of assessments in both primary and secondary schools to ensure they meet the minimum requirements. The inspectorate will shift its focus to assisting schools to “provide effectively for the learning and progression of all children and young people” with a strong focus on “the needs of vulnerable learners”. A spokesman for the department said: “In addition, the inspectorate is planning for a carefully phased recommencement of a limited programme of evaluation work in the school year 2020-21. Much of it will focus on identifying and disseminating good practice in
Gardener and broadcaster Alan Titchmarsh has created a YouTube video on how to add a simple water featureBroadband despairLondoners are the unhappiest people in the UK when it comes to their broadband. According to a new survey, almost 30 per cent of people in Greater London were not satisfied with their internet connection, followed by 27 per cent in the North East and Wales. The survey, commissioned by internet provider 4G, also found that 33 per cent of households in the UK have experienced internet problems since lockdown. It echoes data from Ofcom that revealed that more than one million people, or 600,000 homes, across the country don’t have 10Mbps broadband, the minimum speed recommended for streaming services and video calls. However, Londoners should not grumble too much about broadband.
The prime minister calls it “the A word”’. We’re told that even with the enormous amounts of borrowing required to deal with the coronavirus crisis, austerity will not be back on the menu to get the public finances back in order. It seems that in public debate, austerity equals cuts to public spending. For our perennially misguided friends on the hard left, it’s more than that: an antithetical ideology. So, if they’re your parameters, you can see why a Conservative government with a “levelling up” agenda — riding a wave of support from Labour strongholds — is warning against the A word.
AberdoveyBuilt in 1850, Rock Bottom is a former fisherman’s cottage next to the banks of the Dovey Estuary (keep an eye out for otters and seals). The two-bedroom house is arranged over three floors and features a living/dining area with slate flooring and underfloor heating. Air pollution 5.1mcg/m³ particulate pollution annual average, 4.9mcg/m³ below the WHO guideline of 10mcg/m³. Upside Rental potential: it’s used as a holiday let at present. Downside Steep angled stairs lead to the
Air Partner, the aviation services group, had a record month in April and was ahead of budget in MayDespite the turbulence affecting airlines and aircraft makers there are still some pockets of the aviation sector that are flourishing. Air Partner, the global aviation services group, for example, confirmed in a trading update yesterday that April was a record month for the company and that “the business has continued to perform well ahead of budget in May”. For the first four months of the year, it expects to make an underlying pre-tax profit £7.5 million, mainly due to high levels of activity in the freight and group charter divisions as well as “some early signs of recovery within private jets”. Founded in 1961, Air Partner originated as a training school converting military pilots for civil aircraft duties. It is best known now for chartering
ICG manages €45.3 billion of assets in private debt, credit and equity, principally in closed-end fundsIntermediate Capital Group had £152 million wiped from the value of its investments in a few weeks in March as turmoil swept through the fixed income and equity markets. The FTSE-100 listed fund management group, which invests its own money alongside client funds, posted a 60 per cent fall in pre-tax profits to £110.8 million in the year to March. Despite the setback, it lifted the total dividend by 2 per cent to 35.8p and expressed confidence in its business model because of the certainty of fees from long-running fund management contracts. The pandemic triggered alarm in markets in March with fears that some higher risk bond issuers could default, sending yields soaring and bond values plunging, as well as hitting equities. But prices have
Dame Joan Collins looks flawless at 84 as she appears in a make-up campaign next to Charlotte Tilbury in front rowA third-generation family business in Barcelona has bought a majority stake in Charlotte Tilbury, the UK-based make-up brand, providing a welcome boost for the beleaguered retail sector. As reported by The Times yesterday, Puig, which owns some of the world’s biggest fragrances such as Paco Rabanne, Penhaligon’s and Nina Ricci, has confirmed that it has taken a majority stake in Charlotte Tilbury, in which the eponymous founder will retain a “substantial” minority holding. The British businesswoman, 47, will continue as chairwoman and chief creative officer. The beauty brand, which had sales of £145 million in 2018 according to the last available accounts, is believed to be valued at about $1 billion which could land Ms Tilbury £500 million. Suitors including Estée Lauder and
We are using the lockdown period to clean and maintain the outside, but the only access to the windows at the back is through the basement flat. Do we have a right of access through the flat to maintain and clean the rear windows? A The only general right to go on to a neighbour’s property is under the Access to Neighbouring Land Act 1992. This gives landowners the right to go on to their neighbour’s premises for “maintenance, repair or renewal of any part of a building or other structure”, to clear drains or to carry out tree or ditching works. Magistrates can make an access
A year ago the actress Anne-Marie Duff met the film director Saul Dibb to discuss their new project, a three-part BBC dramatisation of the 2018 novichok poisonings in the Wiltshire city of Salisbury. They agreed, Duff says, that the way the script unfolded, even though it was written by two journalists, was “like one of those amazing movies about a virus”. Now Britain is about to watch The Salisbury Poisonings amid a real pandemic. The mini-series could look irrelevant today, the bigging up of a little local difficulty. The Russian government’s nerve-agent attack on Salisbury, directed at the former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, took four months to end up murdering just one person, an
Global diplomacy found its version of the Children in Need telethon when world leaders, including some notoriously tough, took part in Boris Johnson’s vaccine summit. Presidents, prime ministers, a king (Jordan) and even a “serene highness” (Monaco’s Prince Albert) pledged sums to an international inoculation programme. From Middle Eastern sheikhs in keffiyehs to antipodean premiers with elastic vowels, clinical Nordic ladies to abrupt communist blokes at power desks, leaders peered down their virtual feeds and dug into their wallets. A big bung of euros from Brussels was answered by an erupting geyser-plop of Icelandic krona, wodges of Japanese yen were followed by cascades of Canadian dollars and a barrowload of Beijing renminbi. At the end came the moment for the big reveal.
Oxford University’s potential Covid-19 vaccine will be tested in Brazil as scientists rush to find places with high enough rates of infection to determine whether their inoculations work. AstraZeneca, the drugmaker partnering with the university, said finding communities with sufficient virus transmission to prove a vaccine offered protection was now the toughest challenge in the race to develop a jab. Pascal Soriot, the company’s chief executive, told The Times: “Probably the biggest issue that we face as vaccine developers is that the disease is declining — we are chasing the disease in many parts of the world.”If all goes to plan, he expects to know by August whether or not the Oxford vaccine works. “But again, I just want to remind everybody, we
Cancer Research UK has said that as many as 2.4 million people in Britain have been affected by the backlog in careCancer patients are travelling miles for radiotherapy as advanced equipment sits unused in half of NHS trusts because of bureaucratic delays, health professionals say. They have written to the health secretary calling for an end to the “absurd situation” in which patients cannot access vital equipment at local cancer centres because staff are prevented from using it. Stereotactic Ablative Radiotherapy (SABR) is limited to half of NHS trusts at present despite its huge potential for dealing with the cancer care backlog. During the pandemic chemotherapy treatment has been delayed owing to immune system suppression risks and cancer surgeries cancelled because of demands on intensive care units. An open letter to Matt Hancock and NHS England co-ordinated by the charity Action Radiotherapy has been signed by
For two years the buildings of a former military rehabilitation hospital in Surrey sat unused, the interior destroyed by plants and gutted by thieves. But when the coronavirus pandemic threatened to overwhelm the health and care system, a plan was formed to repurpose the site. With the help of the army, local health teams transformed Headley Court in only 35 days from a derelict, flooded wreck into a community hospital with space for up to 300 beds for people recovering from Covid-19. The new NHS Seacole Centre is a tribute to Mary Seacole, the pioneering Jamaican nurse who helped soldiers to recover during the Crimean War. The choice of name recognises how black and ethnic minority health staff have shaped the NHS at a time
Kent fishermen rescued German sailors from SMS Grosser Kurfürst in 1878. Right, a scan of the wreckA 19th century maritime tragedy in which a German warship sank off the Kent coast with the loss of up to 284 lives is to be commemorated as the wreck is granted protected status. SMS Grosser Kurfürst, an ironclad battleship 97m long, was on her maiden voyage on May 31, 1878, when she collided with another German warship during a military exercise. The Grosser Kurfürst, which had a crew of about 500, immediately took on water, swung upside down and sank within eight minutes. Historic England has placed the wreck on the National Heritage List for England as part
A watch-style device that delivers electric pulses to the wrist could transform the lives of people with Tourette syndrome by suppressing their physical and vocal tics. One of 19 participants in the trial, Charlie Barnett, 21, said that he wanted to “cry with happiness . The syndrome subjects Mr Barnett to bursts of involuntary profanity as well as physical tics. When the electrical pulse was switched on these suddenly stopped. “When the electrical pulses on the