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Holly Willoughby shares sweet school photo from her childhood in Brighton

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Holly Willoughby has shared an adorable photo from her first day at Burgess Hill Girls school.

Alongside the snapshot with her sister Kelly, Holly wrote: “Me and my sis @ladywilloughby off to school many moons ago… and now it’s a new school year… perhaps there’s a new school to discover and new friends to make.

“Whatever challenges you are faced with this September… attack them with all the self-belief, hard graft and determination you can muster… you’ve got this guys! Join me and go #Back2School today with @DianaAward @AntiBullyingPro and share your advice and school photo with #back2school xx.”

Last week was a big one for Holly. On Monday, her youngest child Chester, four,

started school for the first time.

The This Morning star, 38, shared a photo with her fans, showing her doing the school drop-off with her little boy.

“And he’s off… full of a whole host of emotions watching him walk through the classroom door… my baby is growing up… thank you @thismorning for moving heaven and earth so I could drop him off… that’s a day we will both never forget,” the mother of three wrote.

Luckily for Chester, the new schoolboy was joined by his older siblings Harry, ten, and eight-year-old Belle.

The bittersweet post comes after Holly shared a photo of her children’s shoes lined up by the front door on Sunday night. “Back to school… who else’s front door looks like this… Big day for Chester tomorrow, 1st day of school… Good luck to anyone else starting their school journey… can’t believe he’s at this stage already,”

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Education

‘Tooth and nail’ fight against academisation

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THE BATTLE against the forced academisation of a primary school has stepped up a notch as an MP promised to fight “tooth and nail” to save the school.

Moulsecoomb Primary is one of a wave of schools across the country fighting against Government academy plans.

MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle has added his support to the campaign to save Moulsecoomb Primary School from being turned into an academy, following an “inadequate” Ofsted inspection in April.

But after a hard fought campaign by parents and staff, one multi-academy trust has pulled out of the process.

On Friday the Brighton Kemptown Labour MP visited the school – and promised to fight to prevent it from being turned into an academy.

He said: “It was a joy to meet and spend time with the children and staff at Moulsecoomb Primary; a school which is doing fantastic work despite the challenges posed by years of cuts to the education budget by this Government. Headteacher Adam Sutton and the rest of his team are doing a fantastic job, which is plain to see to anybody who witnesses the energy and enthusiasm of their pupils.

It is clear to me that Ofsted is no longer fit for purpose, when a unique and inclusive school like that of Moulsecoomb is branded “inadequate” because it does not fit into their narrow check boxes. I will fight tooth and nail to make sure that our local school remains embedded in the community and is not handed over to some distant and unwanted multi-academy trust.”

Parents, staff and residents have been campaigning relentlessly to stop the school from being forced to join a multi-academy trust by the Secretary of State for Education.

The school says it has now also seen a huge boost in their results in year 1 phonics, year 2 SATs, and expects further improvements in year 6 SATs.

Teacher and National Education Union rep Calvin Cumiskey said: “It was clear that Lloyd is a politician who cares for his community, cares deeply about injustice and will do all he can to help Moulsecoomb Primary School from being forced to become an academy.”

Parents across the country are challenging decisions to take their community schools out of local authority control and hand them to private trusts. Staff strikes at Peacehaven Heights Primary and Telscombe Cliffs Primary schools in Peacehaven resulted in planned academisation being called off, with governors at both schools voting to stay under local authority control.

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Music teacher plays his finale after 44 years at the same school

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A TEACHER who has taught more than 10,000 pupils in the same school has finally put down his chalk.

Mike Wood started teaching at Oakmeeds School fresh out of teacher training college.

Forty four years later, having moved up the ranks from a trainee music teacher Mr Wood has taught thousands of pupils, including the children and grandchildren of some of his first pupils, and received an honour from the Queen.

He said: “Every year I would look at the list of the new pupils in year seven and say ‘you’re not related to so-and-so are you’? And they would say ‘that’s my dad, or my brother or my aunt’.

“The best thing about my career was helping children who had no idea they were interested in music to discover a talent.

“There was one kid who wasn’t very interested .

“You quite often start kids on drums and this boy wasn’t the most well behaved, but I started him on drums in Year 9.

“Then ten years later I bumped into him in a local pub and he had just come down from London with his band having secured a recording contract.

“It is great to teach children who are really talented, I had one girl in 1990 who achieved the highest-ever GCSE grade in music.

“Yet when it’s someone who thinks they are not interested and you can lend them a guitar and inspire them it is really special.”

As well as his day-to-day teaching duties Mr Wood helped organise numerous large-scale productions, became the organist at his local church and formed the Oakmeeds Early Music Consort, which performed for the Queen in 1999.

At the start of his career Mr Wood was relegated to a prefab at the far end of the school site but ended up in a multi-million pound dedicated arts facility he helped to bring to realisation.

In 2002 plans were launched to create a new music and drama block and the multi-million pound centre was finally built based on his drawings.

In 2013 he received the British Empire Medal for services to music in Burgess Hill.

He added: “I have taught about 10,000 Burgess Hill students spanning three generations and I am delighted to be leaving the academy as it is very much in the ascendant.

“I am proud that my legacy will be the beautiful building and facilities which will benefit many generations of Burgess Hill students to come as I complete my journey from the wooden prefab to a multi-million pound block. After 44 years of continuous service walking out of Oakmeeds for the last time was a strange feeling. I have been striding many of these corridors all of my working life. “

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Education

Back to school: All smiles as children head to class

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IT’S back to school for some and a new start for others. This week parents had enough to do making sure the children were smart in their new uniforms after a busy summer holiday. But many of you have been busy sharing those precious moments with us. Whether your child is starting in nursery, or making the big jump to high school, we have been asking you to send in those first day photos for us to share. And that’s exactly what you’ve done. Showing off their new blazers and shiny shoes, we’ve had photos flooding in as pupils embark on their next adventure.

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