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  1. Updates on Monday 19 January 2015

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Good evening

That's all from BBC Local Live today. We'll be back from 08:00 on Tuesday. Tracey Laing sent us this picture of snow covering trees in Consett.

Tracey Laing

You can send your pictures by email to or tweet
@BBCNewsNE and we may feature them on BBC Local Live tomorrow.

Grey seal pup number trumped

The number of Grey seal pups living on the Farne Islands in Northumberland

has been over taken in Norfolk.

Grey seal pupping levels on Blakeney Point have risen every year for the past decade.

Seal pups
Ian Gray

It means the reserve's colony is now the biggest in England, with the soaring birth rate boosting the population beyond those found on the Farne Islands and Donna Nook in Lincolnshire.

Third free school set to close

Rik Martin

BBC Newcastle News Editor

The Durham Free School looks

set to be the third free school to close due to standards after the Education Secretary announced it's to have its funding agreement terminated.

Nicky Morgan said there's "little prospect of improvement" after a damning Ofsted report published this morning set out weaknesses in teaching, standards, pupils' achievement and behaviour.

Last year the former Education Secretary Michael Gove said the Durham Free School would "add to the quality of education that children in Durham enjoy".

Durham Free School

Previous free schools to close are the secondary school element of the Al-Madinah school in Derby and the Discovery New School in Crawley.

Brick by brick

Freezing fog may form

Lisa Gallagher

Weather Presenter, BBC Look North

Perhaps a few wintry showers near coastal areas like Seaham, particularly at first, but otherwise it will be a generally dry and clear evening and night with a widespread frost. Some freezing fog patches may form in places. Light variable winds.

Weather forecast

Minimum temperature: -4C (25F).

Check the forecast near you.

Konstantopoulos 'perfect' keeper

Middlesbrough head coach Aitor Karanka says goalkeeper Dimi Konstantopoulos is the "perfect" squad member after the 2-0 win against Huddersfield on Saturday.

Konstanopoulos, 36, has established himself as first-choice this season, conceding 12 goals in 23 matches and keeping 13 clean sheets in all. Boro have let in 17 goals in 26 games - the fewest in the Championship.

Dimi Konstantopoulos

Karanka said: "Dimi is the kind of player I would like to have in my squad all my career. He's the kind of player who is always perfect. It's easy to say this now because he was brilliant."

Union response to free school closure

Teaching union the NUT has issued a statement on Durham Free School being shut by the government saying: "This sad state of affairs shows the folly of handing over taxpayers' money to unaccountable groups to run schools. The parents, children and teachers at Durham Free School are suffering because of the failures of the free school programme."

Three word verdicts

Paul Addison

BBC Tees Sport

Join me after 18:00 on BBC Tees as we'll be hearing reaction to

Middlesbrough's 2-0 win over Huddersfield and
Hartlepool's defeat at Shrewsbury. Meanwhile, we want your three word verdicts. Tweet

John Breckon

tweets: Important home points

Jack Hutch

tweets: A massive relief

Snow and ice on roads

There's slow traffic and hazardous driving conditions on B1404 Seaham Road in both directions in Houghton-le-Spring between the B1260 Gillas Lane junction and the Hillrise Crescent junction because of snow and ice.

There's very slow traffic on A692 in both directions between the A693 junction in Consett and the B6310 Front Street junction in Burnopfield because of snow.

There's also hazardous driving conditions on A197 in Pegswood at the B1337 junction because of ice. More on BBC Travel News for

Teesside and
Tyne and Wear.

'Sloppy individual errors'

Manager Ronnie Moore wants his Hartlepool United players to take the positives from Saturday's 3-0 defeat by League Two high-flyers Shrewsbury.

Pools held the third-placed Shrews to a goalless first-half, but were undone by three goals in 18 second-half minutes. Defeat leaves Moore's side bottom of the table and nine points adrift of Dagenham & Redbridge, who sit one place above them in the relegation zone.

Ronnie Moore
Getty Images

He said: "We've said 'don't get your heads down'. We can be negative about the way we conceded the goals, as it was down to sloppy individual errors, but we need to be positive on the way we played in the first-half."

Love for Labrador Retriever

A BBC study has revealed that the

most popular dog in the North East is the Labrador Retriever.

In four out of five areas of the North East, it is the most popular with the exception of the Sunderland area where Staffordshire Bull Terriers are most popular.

Labrador Retriever

Jack Russell Terriers make up the top three for the North East, which equates with the national trend.

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 17:00 include:

Your photos: Snow above Stanhope

Today's big image is of the snow covered moors above Stanhope, County Durham sent to us by Keith Wardle.

Person walking in snow
Keith Wardle

You can send your pictures by email to or tweet

Football match off

Matthew Raisbeck

BBC Newcastle

Gateshead's FA Trophy second round replay against Grimsby tonight has just been called off because of the severe weather.

The tie is now scheduled to take place on Wednesday night, with kick-off at 19:45.

Father dies in crash

A father-of-three has died in a crash in Willington, County Durham.

The car had been travelling from the direction of Crook when it crashed into a wall on the A690 at about 01:00 on Sunday.

The driver of the car, Darren Edwards, 35, of Prospect Terrace, Willington, suffered fatal injuries. The road was closed for about six hours. Northumbria Police is appealing for witnesses.

Snow in Carrshield

Lloyd Watson

BBC News

Our new image

across the top of the Local Live page is snow in Carrshield near Hexham, Northumberland.

Motorists were warned to take extra care on the roads in icy conditions as parts of the North East froze on the coldest night of the winter so far.

Carrshield, near Hexham, Northumberland

See more pictures of snow in the North East on our Facebook page.

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 16:00 include:

  • BBC Tees: Durham's Police and Crime Commissioner wants to increase the amount of council tax money being spent on local policing.
  • BBC Newcastle: Jon Harle and Martin Emmerson have a round-up of the day's news.

Give us your feedback

What do you think of BBC Local Live? It's written by reporters across the North East and brings you the latest news, sport, travel and weather all in one place.

We'd like your feedback about this service.

Search continues for missing student

As the search for missing Durham University student Euan Coulthard continues for the fifth day, the Teesdale and Weardale Search and Mountain Rescue team tell BBC Tees they're working under difficult conditions.

The 19-year-old law student from Leicestershire was last seen in the city centre just after midnight on Wednesday after leaving a nightclub.

Euan Coulthard
Durham Police

Pete Bell from the rescue group says: "The land search is on quite steeply sloping wooded riverbanks and the water search has the hazards of the water. It's got underwater trapping areas, it's a hazardous search."

Cold with light wind

Lisa Gallagher

Weather Presenter, BBC Look North

Some sunny intervals are possible this afternoon but it will generally be rather cloudy with scattered wintry showers towards coastal areas. The wind will be light and it will remain cold, with a frost quickly returning in the evening.

Weather forecast

Maximum temperature: 2C (36F).

Check the forecast near you.

School 'was praised by government'

Mark Denten

Political Correspondent, BBC North East & Cumbria

Former Education Secretary Michael Gove praised Durham Free School last May, saying: "Durham Free School will add to the quality of education that children in Durham enjoy.

"In the city of Durham there are some outstanding schools, like Durham Johnston school which has succeeded over generations, but across the North East the level of educational ambition has been too low for too long, and we need new providers to help augment the quality of education, not just in County Durham but elsewhere."

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 15:00 include:

  • BBC Tees: Durham's Police and Crime Commissioner wants to increase the amount of council tax money being spent on local policing.
  • BBC Newcastle: The number of people who've signed a petition calling for CCTV and more barriers to be installed along the River Wear in Durham has now reached almost 11,000.

'No prospect of improvement'

Duncan Leatherdale

BBC News Online

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan, speaking in the House of Commons moments ago, said: "I was very concerned to find children (at Durham Free School) were being let down by a catalogue of failures as reported.

"Because I do not think there is any imminent prospect of improvement, the Regional Schools Commissioner has today written to the school informing them I have decided to terminate their funding agreement."

BreakingSchool's government funding cut

Luke Walton

Political Reporter

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan announces she's cancelling Durham Free School's funding agreement, effectively cutting government funding.

Barnard Castle 'perfect setting'

The Bowes Museum in County Durham is set to stage the

first major UK exhibition of the fashion of Yves Saint Laurent in July.

Saint Laurent's former partner Pierre Berge said the Bowes Museum, a French-style chateau in Barnard Castle, was "the perfect setting". "It is extremely exciting to work on this first exhibition in the UK," he said.

Cocktail dresses

"The Bowes Museum is a natural destination given its exceptional work with fashion and textiles; the museum and its location also clearly reflects Yves Saint Laurent's and my own passion for inspiring, timeless places."

School to respond to Ofsted report

Duncan Leatherdale

BBC News Online

We've contacted Durham Free School for a response to the

Ofsted report which says it is inadequate in every area and has been put into special measures.

They have passed us on to a PR company and we are awaiting their response.

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 14:00 include:

  • BBC Tees: More than 100 Durham students have joined the search for missing Euan Coulthard over the weekend.
  • BBC Newcastle: A controversial Durham school that was set up by parents and teachers has been rated inadequate by Ofsted and put into special measures.

More on Ofsted report

Some other points from the Ofsted report which found Durham Free School was inadequate:

  • Attendance rates are too low and falling and the number of fixed-term exclusions is too high. Last year nearly 18% of students were subject to fixed-term exclusions. Current tracking information indicates that this rate is not reducing.
  • Leaders are failing to prepare students for life in modern Britain. Some students hold discriminatory views of other people who have different faiths, values or beliefs from themselves.
  • Teaching is inadequate over time. It is not consistently strong enough to make sure students make sufficient progress and achieve well in all subjects.

Yob bit girlfriend’s face

The Shields Gazette

A drunken yob

bit his partner on the face, grabbed her by the throat until she could barely breathe and then threatened to attack police who came to arrest him.

On the lunchtime BBC Look North

Colin Briggs

BBC Look North

A meeting's being held in Hexham in Northumberland tonight for people concerned about the future of the accident and emergency unit at the hospital.

Hexham General Hospital

They fear the opening of a new emergency hospital in Cramlington will mean fewer staff in Hexham. Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust says the accident and emergency unit at Hexham will continue to be staffed - and only the more seriously ill and injured patients will be taken to Cramlington. I'll have more on this story on

BBC Look North at 13:30 on BBC One.

'Too much emphasis on religion'

Ofsted describes Durham Free School as having a "Christian ethos" but in its summary says: "Governors place too much emphasis on religious credentials when they are recruiting key staff and not enough on seeking candidates with excellent leadership and teaching skills."

Last month the school was told

that a review by the Education Funding Agency (EFA) had found "significant weaknesses in financial management and governance", which the school is now required to rectify.

'British values' criticised

Chris Cook

BBC Newsnight policy editor

I'm very struck that this

Ofsted report into Durham Free School features criticism of "British values" at a Christian school:

  • The curriculum does not help students to understand fundamental British values or prepare them well for life in modern Britain. For example, until very recently the religious studies curriculum was too narrow and did not give students enough opportunities to learn about different faiths and beliefs. Consequently, students' understanding of different faiths and beliefs is sketchy with some holding prejudiced views which are not challenged. This has had a negative impact on the school's work to foster good relationships between students and tackle discrimination. Students do enjoy 'lesson 6' when they have the opportunity to try out a range of activities including different sports or learning to play a musical instrument.

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 12:00 include:

  • BBC Tees: More than 100 Durham students have joined the search for missing Euan Coulthard over the weekend.
  • BBC Newcastle: A controversial Durham school that was set up by parents and teachers has been rated inadequate by Ofsted and put into special measures.

'More disabled students'

Durham Free School is a secondary academy free school for boys and girls aged 11-18. There are 94 pupils on the school roll.

It opened in September 2013 to students in Year 7 and this year expanded to include students in Years 7 and 8.

Ofsted said it is much smaller than other secondary schools and about a sixth of students are disabled or have special educational needs, which is higher than the proportion found nationally.

Durham pupils 'not safe'

The report into Durham Free School found: "Students are not fully safe when travelling to and from school because of the unacceptable behaviour of a minority of students.

"There are incidents, for example, of students spraying aftershave into other students' faces, crawling around under seats and failing to use safety belts."

It adds: "In one design technology lesson a few students quietly chatted to one another, a couple doodled and one played with a box on the table while the teacher was talking. None of this was recognised or challenged by the teacher or the other adult in the room."

BreakingDurham Free School 'inadequate'

Luke Walton

Education correspondent, BBC News

A controversial school that was set up by parents and teachers has been rated

inadequate by Ofsted and put into special measures.

Inspectors found Durham Free School had low standards of student achievement and teaching. Their report also pinpointed bullying and poor student behaviour as a problem.

Durham Free School opened in September 2013 as part of a flagship Government policy designed to widen parental choice. There had earlier been concern about the number of empty places at the school.

YSL fashion set for exhibition

The first major UK exhibition of the fashion of Yves Saint Laurent

is to be staged at the Bowes Museum in County Durham later this year.

Titled Yves Saint Laurent: Style is Eternal, the museum will show key items which revolutionised womenswear during the French designer's 50-year career.

Cocktail dress
AFP and others

The garments will include his female tuxedo, trouser suit and works inspired by artists like Picasso and Mondrian. The exhibition will run from 11 July to 25 October.

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 12:00 include:

  • BBC Tees: The first major British exhibition of fashion designs by Yves Saint Laurent
    is to be held in County Durham.
  • BBC Newcastle: As the search for missing Durham University student Euan Coulthard enters its fifth day, more than 10,000 people have signed a petition calling for the installation of CCTV and railings along the riverbanks.