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THE Birmingham Mail today joins to congratulate the city's former Mr Education on his knighthood.

Prof Tim Brighouse fully deserves to have become a Sir in the Queen's New Year Honours after literally turning around scores of struggling schools across Birmingham with some truly inspiring and forward-thinking initiatives.

Sir Tim worked tirelessly during his time as Birmingham City Council's Chief Education Officer, helping to better the lives of thousands of children who have him personally to thank for encouraging them on the path to academic success.

In his near decade in the council role he touched more lives than it is possible to mention and it comes as no surprise that his impact on the city continues to be felt to this very day.

Described as a "man of immense vision" he transformed education as we once knew it and proved a true inspiration to teachers and pupils alike.

Even today, years after his tenure, so many former pupils and teachers remember with fondness and appreciation just how much of a positive difference he made with his human touch that flowed from his office to the classrooms across the city.

Full marks must go to Sir Tim and we wish him well as he no doubt continues to change the face of education in Britain.

THE so-called "urban explorers" who are scaling Birmingham's skyscrapers should be condemned for their behaviour, which can only be described as mindless and idiotic.

It beggars belief that they are showing such little regard for not only their own safety but also the lives of contractors working on these building sites. And for what? A short-lived adrenalin rush and a few pictures posted online. Surely neither are worthy of paying the ultimate price - the potential loss of life.

The police now need to act quickly to stamp out this dangerous new craze and work with site owners to secure buildings in a bid to make it impossible for these thrillseekers to act on their urges.

The authorities should also do whatever they can to close down the websites that are encouraging these futile late-night adventures.

The more it is allowed to carry on, the higher the risk someone dies, which is news the Birmingham Mail does not want to have to report.
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Title Annotation:Leaders
Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Jan 6, 2009
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