AS we said yesterday, Darlington's education service is not without its problems.

School governors in Hurworth will today contemplate the proposed relocation of the highly successful village secondary school amid huge controversy.

But, while that particular storm rages, it is only fair to draw attention to a much more positive state of affairs a few miles away.

Britain's first "education village", which is being built in the Haughton area of Darlington, is being hailed as a national example before it is even opened.

Funded through the Government's private finance initiative, it has attracted more than 30 local education authorities to see what can be done.

It is an exciting development, an encouraging investment in Darlington's future, and those involved in making it happen deserve to be congratulated.

That said, it is only a building and it is the quality of what goes on inside it which will really determine its success.

Winning in style

THERE are those in the South who have looked down their noses at the notion of Royal Ascot moving temporarily to the North.

The national press, which has always had a southern bias, has been full of hackneyed cliches about the North, with the usual boring references to black pudding, whippets and pigeons.

But for our money, York is putting on a show every bit as good as Ascot. The organisation has been first-class, the racing has been fantastic, and, on Ladies' Day yesterday, the women of the North radiated style.