The impact of domestic violence on children's education has been highlighted at a conference.

Durham Police and Durham County Council's Education Department met yesterday at Ushaw College to discuss how violence in the home affects children aged five to 11.

Police, who often receive 999 calls from youngsters frightened by what is happening, hoped to highlight how children's education can suffer.

Two previous conferences have been held for staff at secondary and special schools and it is hoped that they will help teachers incorporate discussion of domestic violence into the curriculum.

Rachel Green, Durham's strategic co-ordinator for domestic violence, said: "Many phone calls are received from crying children, desperately scared of what is happening in their homes, the fear in their voices is heartbreaking."

"The conference was held to raise awareness of staff who work within our local schools of how domestic violence could be having a severe impact on the children they teach."

"Domestic violence is no longer a hidden problem and through education we hope we can break the cycle of abuse for our future generations by giving them choices which will hopefully provide them with a positive outlook for a brighter future."