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Hundreds of ‘outstanding’ schools not inspected for years have got worse, says Ofsted | UK News

Hundreds of English schools previously rated “outstanding” have been downgraded by Ofsted after their first inspections in years.

More than 500 were visited in the last academic year after a clause was lifted that had made them exempt from regular reinspection.

Introduced in 2012, it meant outstanding schools didn’t need regular visits unless there were specific concerns – but that system ended two years ago.

The school’s watchdog said only 17% of the 370 schools it inspected in 2021-22 kept their outstanding rating.

It added that the schools’ average gap since their previous inspection was 13 years.

Amanda Spielman, Ofsted’s chief, said it showed “removing a school from scrutiny does not make it better”.

Some 62% of schools reinspected were demoted one level to “good”, while 21% were said to either “require improvement” (the third tier) or were “inadequate” (the bottom tier).

Ofsted said that while the falls seen in the reinspected schools might not reflect all exempt schools, the results were none-the-less “concerning”.

“A higher proportion now require improvement or are inadequate than is the case for all schools nationally, especially for the primary schools,” it said.

The watchdog must inspect all previously exempt schools by the end of July 2025.

“Regular inspection gives parents confidence in the quality of their child’s school,” Ms Spielman added.

“Exempting outstanding schools deprived parents of up-to-date information. It also left a lot of schools without the constructive challenge that regular inspection provides.

“The exemption was a policy founded on the hope that high standards, once achieved, would never drop, and that freedom from inspection might drive them even higher.

“These outcomes show that removing a school from scrutiny does not make it better.”

Late Gareth Bale penalty secures draw for Wales in first World Cup finals game in 64 years | UK News

Wales came from behind to draw 1-1 with the USA in their first World Cup finals since 1958.

The USA completely dominated the first half and took the lead in 36 minutes when Timothy Weah, son of footballing icon George Weah, scored from Christian Pulisic’s through-ball.

After Wales had been overwhelmed in the first half, manager Rob Page brought on Kieffer Moore for Dan James at the break.

World Cup latest: ‘Tickets disappear from phones’ as fans struggle to get in stadiums

Time was fast running out when Bale equalised eight minutes from the end, converting his 41st Wales goal from the penalty spot after Tim Ream went right through the back of him.

It was Wales’ first goal at a World Cup since Terry Medwin scored against Hungary in 1958 and keep them very much in the race for a last-16 place.

Wales' Gareth Bale scores his side's first goal past goalkeeper Matt Turner of the United States during the World Cup, group B soccer match between the United States and Wales, at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in in Doha, Qatar, Monday, Nov. 21, 2022. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
Wales’ Gareth Bale scores his side’s first goal past goalkeeper Matt Turner of the US

Following the match, Page said: “To go a goal behind against a very good team, we showed character and determination to get a point out of the game. It’s important in a tournament that you don’t lose the opening game.

“This game suited Kieffer (Moore), to get us up the pitch. It was purely a tactical decision.

“The medical team have got a bit of work to do. They’ve got a big job to get us ready for Friday.”

Page added that penalty-scorer Bale has “never let us down”.

“Once again it’s about Bale-o and rightly so. To see the red wall there and all the supporters enjoying it, it’s incredible.”

Antonee Robinson of the United States flies over Wales' Ethan Ampadu during the match
US player Antonee Robinson flies over Wales’ Ethan Ampadu in the first half

Hundreds gathered at the Al Bidda Park in Doha to watch the match, while fans back home flocked to venues across Wales after the 64-year wait.

The result leaves both sides trailing England in Group B, after they earned all three points against Iran on Monday afternoon.

Speaking ahead of the game, Bale said the squad were feeling the “buzz from back home”.

Earlier, England secured a comfortable 6-2 win against Iran to get their World Cup campaign up and running in Qatar, amid “carnage” off the pitch for some fans trying to enter the stadium.

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Wales fans react to Bale’s penalty

Hundreds of fans trying to get into the Khalifa International Stadium were faced with delays after they found their ticket app only started working minutes before they reached the front of the queue.

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Fans said their tickets suddenly disappeared off the app, leaving them unable to get into the game.

Wales next face Iran on Friday morning, while the USA take on Group B leaders England in the evening on the same day.

Chinese consulate violence: Police identify ‘number of offences’ during Manchester demonstration | UK News

Police investigating an alleged attack at the Chinese consulate in Manchester have said they have identified a number of offences including assaults and public order offences in their investigation.

On 16 October, a peaceful pro-Hong Kong democracy rally outside the consulate turned violent.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) is investigating the alleged assault of Bob Chan, after images appeared to show him being dragged into the consulate grounds before being punched and kicked.

Bob Chan Was allegedly assaulted inside the Chinese Consulate in Manchester while conducting a peaceful protest
Bob Chan was allegedly assaulted inside the Chinese consulate in Manchester while conducting a peaceful protest

He claims he was left with cuts and bruises all over his body, and a senior diplomat was accused of being involved and pulling Mr Chan’s hair.

In a new update, the force said it is continuing to work with detectives to establish the full circumstances of the incident.

Investigators have been gathering a range of evidence including CCTV, police body-worn video, mobile phone footage, and witness statements from as many people involved as possible to assist in capturing a rounded understanding of what happened.

The force added that the number of offences identified includes assaults and public order offences that “concern events that left a man in his 30s with several minor physical injuries after being allegedly assaulted in the consulate grounds”.

Police said the alleged attack followed an initially peaceful protest that appeared to escalate, and they are looking to find out why.

Read more:
‘I was thinking I might die’: Hong Kong pro-democracy protester on Chinese consulate attack
Chinese consul-general defends actions after being seen pulling protester’s hair in Manchester

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Chinese consulate: What happened?

Assistant Chief Constable Chris Sykes described the investigation as “a complex inquiry”.

He continued: “We’re continuing to gain a clearer understanding of the timeline of events that led to an initially peaceful protest escalating in the way it did. This has seen us identify a number of offences and potential suspects and victims.

“This is a sensitive but, importantly, objective investigation that will involve us working for as long as required to speak to all those concerned to achieve as many answers as we possibly can, and we will continue to provide updates where necessary in due course.”

Police said no other injuries were reported to them besides a minor physical injury to the hand of an officer who intervened to help remove the man in his 30s from the consulate grounds out of fear for his safety.

The force added it is actively seeking other potential victims of incidents during the disturbance.

No arrests have yet been made and enquiries continue.

TV host Adam Hills holds mock surgery in Matt Hancock’s constituency while MP remains in the jungle | Ents & Arts News

The Last Leg host Adam Hills has held a mock political surgery in Matt Hancock’s constituency – but says people turned up with “genuine issues”.

The Australian TV presenter and comedian visited the town of Mildenhall on Sunday to allow the locals the chance to raise their concerns while the West Suffolk MP continues his controversial appearance on ITV’s I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!

Mr Hancock has faced strong criticism for appearing on the reality show and had the Tory whip suspended for joining at a time when Parliament is sitting.

Hills, 52, appeared on Good Morning Britain to speak about the fake public drop-in, which will be shown during Friday’s episode of his Channel 4 comedy talk show The Last Leg.

He said: “I tell you what, everybody turned up with a genuine issue. I was really surprised, I thought people would have comedy issues but no, people wanted better access to public transport, to dentists, to doctors, all that kind of stuff.

“This was the interesting thing, at the end of it, they all said, ‘We just want to be listened to’.

“That was the main thing, they said we just want Matt Hancock to come here and listen to us. It’s like a marriage, you just want the other person to listen to you.”

Hills agreed when co-host Richard Madeley suggested the mood was “more in sorrow than anger”.

'I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!' TV Show, Series 22, Australia - 12 Nov 2022
Bushtucker Trial - Who Wants To Look Silly On Air: Matt Hancock

12 Nov 2022

“Absolutely,” he said. “People aren’t angry, they just want their MP to turn up and listen to their concerns.”

Read more:
‘I find Hancock slimy and slippery’

He added: “A whole bunch of people said it would just be nice to get a response, we’ve sent emails, we’ve sent letters and when that response is, ‘I’m sorry, I’m eating a kangaroo’s penis in the Australian jungle right now’, that’s kind of not what they’re hoping for.”

Mr Hancock has previously stressed the first thing he will do after leaving the jungle will be to return to Suffolk and hold a surgery with his constituents.

IS bride Shamima Begum’s appeal to restore UK citizenship to begin in London court | UK News

Shamima Begum’s appeal over the removal of her UK citizenship for joining Islamic State begins in a London court today.

She ran away from her London home as a 15-year-old with two other girls in 2015, ending up in Syria and marrying one of the terror group’s fighters.

Ms Begum was found pregnant in a Syrian detention in 2019 and her citizenship was revoked for national security reasons.

She’s set to base her appeal on claims that she was a victim of child trafficking because she was allegedly smuggled into Syria by a Canadian spy.

The claims were made in a book that said a double agent got them into the country and that his role was covered up by police and the UK government.

Her appeal will be heard by the Special Immigration Appeals Commission and is expected to last five days.

Ms Begum has denied involvement in any terror activities when she was living in Islamic State’s former heartland.

The UK Supreme Court last year denied her permission to return to the UK to challenge the stripping of her citizenship in person.

She remains imprisoned in a camp in northern Syria.

In 2019, she told Sky News she was “just a housewife for the entire four years” she was with IS and claimed she “never did anything dangerous” or encouraged others to join.

Last year, in another Sky interview, she said she wanted to go on trial in the UK and invited British officials to question her in prison.

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‘I didn’t hate Britain, I hated my life’ – Begum

However, a succession of Conservative home secretaries have insisted she is a potential danger and should not be allowed back in the UK.

Her lawyer, Tasnime Akunjee, previously said in a statement that “one of the main arguments will be that when former home secretary Sajid Javid stripped Shamima Begum of her citizenship leaving her in Syria, he did not consider that she was a victim of trafficking”.

“The UK has international obligations as to how we view a trafficked person and what culpability we prescribed to them for their actions,” Mr Akunjee added.

The other girls who left for Syria with Ms Begum, Kadiza Sultana and Amira Abase, are believed to be dead.

England will take the knee in Qatar, Gareth Southgate says | UK News

England will take the knee at the World Cup in Qatar, Gareth Southgate has confirmed.

It is “what we stand for as a team and have done for a long period of time”, he said.

The Three Lions did not make the anti-racism gesture during their games against Germany and Italy in September, but will be doing so when they play Iran in their opening Group B match tomorrow.

“We have discussed taking the knee,” Southgate said at a news conference in Doha. “We feel we should.”

Before the start of the season, Premier League captains decided to limit taking the knee to certain games, including Boxing Day and the FA Cup and Carabao Cup finals.

“Of course we understand in the Premier League that the clubs have decided to only do that for certain games, big occasions,” Southgate said.

“We feel this is the biggest and we think it’s a strong statement that will go around the world for young people, in particular, to see that inclusivity is very important.”

Speaking at an earlier news conference, Rob Page, the Wales boss, was asked whether FIFA had tried to stop his team wearing an armband in support of LGBTQ+ rights.

Page replied: “No, we’ve said that the one love armband is what we’ll wear and it’s no different for us.”

Harry Kane, the England captain, will also be wearing the armband in the match against Iran.

Part of the opening ceremony at Al Bayt Stadium
Part of the opening ceremony at Al Bayt Stadium
Qatar World Cup opening ceremony

Read more:
Qatar World Cup code of conduct for fans: Vuvuzelas banned and shirts kept on
FIFA president Gianni Infantino’s rambling tirade was first own goal of the World Cup

FIFA, football’s world governing body, has asked players to wear a different armband with the message #FootballUnitesTheWorld.

According to the laws of the game, found on the International Football Association Board’s website, “equipment” must not have any “political, religious or personal slogans, statements or images”.

During the opening ceremony this afternoon, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the emir of Qatar, said: “From Qatar, from the Arab world, I welcome everyone to the World Cup 2022.”

“How lovely it is that people can put aside what divides them to celebrate their diversity and what brings them together.”

After he spoke fireworks exploded from the roof of Al Bayt stadium, about 30 miles north of the capital, Doha.

In the opening match of the tournament, Qatar were beaten 2-0 by Ecuador.

Murder investigation launched after baby and toddler die in Nottingham fire | UK News

A murder investigation has been opened after a baby and a toddler died in a flat fire in Nottingham.

The emergency services were called to reports of a fire in a first-floor flat in the Clifton area of the city at 3.17am today.

An initial joint fire and police investigation concluded the fire was started deliberately.

A woman and two children were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation and taken to Queen’s Medical Centre n the city.

The children, girls aged three and one, were pronounced dead at the hospital.

The woman remains in a critical condition.

Neighbouring homes were evacuated as fire crews tackled the blaze, which was eventually put out at 4am.

Detective Chief Inspector Greg McGill, who is leading the investigation, said: “These are tragic and very sad circumstances, and my thoughts are with the family of those involved.

“Following a joint investigation with Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service we have established that the fire was started deliberately.

“We are appealing for witnesses who were in the area at that time and saw something suspicious to please come forward and help us with the investigation.

“We have a team of detectives who are working hard to establish the circumstances and our inquiries remain in their early stages.”

‘Deeply upsetting’

David Mellen, the leader of Nottingham city council, said: “I am so saddened to hear this tragic news. The loss of two young children is completely heartbreaking.

“We’ll do all we can to support the family and community at this deeply upsetting time.”

Inspector Ben Lawrence, of Nottinghamshire Police, said local residents should expect to see officers in the area while a crime scene remains in place and inquiries continue.

“This tragic incident has resulted in two children sadly losing their lives and my thoughts, first and foremost, are with their loved ones at this time,” he said.

“We understand residents living nearby will be shocked by this news and have concerns about what happened.

“If anyone has any concerns I’d encourage them to speak to one of our officers.”

Anyone with information that could assist the investigation is asked to submit it to the Public Portal (

If you would prefer to speak to police, please call 101 and ask for Nottinghamshire Police quoting incident 0110_20112022.

Alternatively, contact the independent crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through their anonymous online form at

Ex-children’s commissioner Anne Longfield warns more families face ‘awful living conditions’ like Awaab Ishak | UK News

The former children’s commissioner for England has warned of families across the country facing “awful conditions” in their social housing, following the death of Awaab Ishak.

The two-year-old died in December 2020 from a respiratory condition caused by mould in his home, managed by Rochdale Boroughwide Housing (RBH).

There has been an outpouring of emotion after the toddler’s death, and anger from many quarters over the poor state of the home he and his family were forced to live in – leading to RBH’s chief executive being sacked.

But Anne Longfield, who until 2021 worked as the commissioner with the role of protecting the rights of children, said it was “undoubtedly the case” that other children would find themselves in the same situation.

Speaking to Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday programme, she said: “I think we should be shocked by this but we should be really angry too.

“These are absolutely pointless harms and needless harms, they can be prevented, that needs to be the focus now.”

She said she had spoken to families in similar circumstances, adding: “We are talking about cramped conditions but [also] cold, mould, rat infestations, places which, as the coroner said in Awaab’s case, really are not fit for human habitation.”

Ms Longfield praised Housing Secretary Michael Gove for his willingness to focus on the issue, after he wrote to every English council leader and social housing provider to put them “on notice” over the “abhorrent” conditions that killed Awaab.

Awaab Ishak
Awaab Ishak died in 2020 because of the mould in his social housing

But she said: “My message to him would be to make this a mission. It is in plain view, it is in front of us, it is one of those things that compounds so many social problems around children growing up in poverty.

“But it needs that determination and leadership [to fix it].”

Gordon Ramsay’s three-star Michelin restaurant taken over by climate activists | UK News

Climate change activists have occupied Gordon Ramsay’s three-star Michelin restaurant in London.

Members of Animal Rebellion entered Restaurant Gordon Ramsay on Hospital Road, Chelsea at around 6pm on Saturday.

Wearing smart casual clothing, they sat at tables reserved for guests of the high-end restaurant.

They held mock menus outlining the environmental costs of items served on the restaurant’s menu, including steak and veal.

Gordon Ramsay. Pic: AP/Invision
Gordon Ramsay. Pic: AP/Invision

In a statement, the group said they were campaigning for a plant-based food system and the creation of a mass-rewilding programme.

Lucia Alexander, a 39-year-old auxiliary nurse from the east of England, said the restaurant was a “perfect example” of inequality in the UK.

“Whilst Gordon Ramsay serves food costing a minimum of £155 per person, more than two million people are relying on food banks in this cost of living crisis,” she said in a statement provided by the group.

“Instead of restaurants making colossal profits at the expense of animals, workers, and our climate, we need to feed everyone by supporting farmers and fishing communities in a transition to a plant-based food system.

“A plant-based food system requires 75% less farmland to grow food, allowing us to feed millions of additional people without the reliance on exploitative and inefficient animal farming industries.

“This is the answer to the cost-of-living and climate crises.”

‘Inappropriate and disrespectful’

A spokesperson for Restaurant Gordon Ramsay said: “Everyone is entitled to their opinions and beliefs.

“However, to force your way into a restaurant, disturbing hard-working staff going about their jobs and ruining the evening of guests who have waited months for their reservations is incredibly inappropriate and deeply disrespectful.”

A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police said no arrests were made.

They said officers were called to reports of a group of protesters “refusing to leave the premises”.

“Officers attended. The restaurant was closed, and the protesters left. There were no arrests.”

It comes after two activists from the group were arrested on Friday after reportedly approaching Sir David Attenborough at a Michelin-starred restaurant on the south coast.

Sir David Attenborough is to be given a second knighthood for services to television broadcasting and conservation.
Sir David Attenborough

Dorset Police said Emma Smart, 45, was arrested on Thursday evening after allegedly causing a disturbance and refusing to comply with officers after they asked her to leave Catch At The Old Fish Market in Weymouth.

Animal Rebellion said she approached the table where Sir David was dining in an attempt to deliver a letter to him, and shared images of her being dragged away by police at 8.45pm.

Smart, an ecologist from Weymouth, said she wanted a five-minute conversation with Sir David about the need to address climate change.

According to Animal Rebellion, Smart targeted his visit to the Catch restaurant because of its expensive seafood menu.

Person staying at Manston migrant processing centre in Kent dies in hospital | UK News

A person staying at the Manston migrant processing centre in Kent has died in hospital, the Home Office has said.

They were admitted after becoming unwell and died on Saturday morning.

It is understood the person travelled to the UK by small boat and arrived last Saturday.

There is “no evidence at this stage” to suggest the death was “caused by an infectious disease”, the Home Office said.

There will be no detailed comment until a post-mortem examination has been carried out, the spokesman added.

“We take the safety and welfare of those in our care extremely seriously and provide 24/7 health facilities with trained medical staff at Manston,” he said.

The Home Office tweeted that it was “profoundly saddened by this event” and sent its “heartfelt condolences to all those affected”.

Yvette Cooper, the shadow home secretary, said there would “of course need to be a full investigation into this tragic case”.

Enver Solomon, chief executive of the Refugee Council, said it was “vital that a thorough and speedy investigation takes place to understand what happened and whether all the necessary procedures were followed”.

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Migrant centres: Spike in disease

Manston has been at the centre of controversy in recent weeks.

It is designed to hold up to 1,600 people for no more than 24 hours but, earlier this month, there were about 4,000 on site.

Temporary marquees were set up to house the extra people.

Some migrants were threatening to self-harm and go on hunger strike, with unrest “spreading across the camp”, Sky News was told.

A farmer from Eritrea said he slept on cardboard and was given cold hot dogs for lunch.

Others begged for help via a message in a bottle thrown over the perimeter fence.

Earlier this week it was confirmed that more than 40,000 migrants had crossed the Channel this year.

Suella Braverman, the home secretary, was recently criticised after telling MPs there is an “invasion on our southern coast”.

The UK has agreed a deal with France to try to reduce the number of people making the dangerous journey.

But migration and policing specialists said £8m in extra funding, a 40% increase in officers on French beaches, and enhanced intelligence sharing would not be enough to bring numbers down.