Tuesday 24 June 2003

Ban on smacking children is rejected
The new children’s minister Margaret Hodge has ruled out a ban on
smacking, as called for by the health select committee.
Hodge is believed to have rejected the measure because of fears of
Labour being accused of promoting a “nanny state”.
Source:- The Telegraph Tuesday 24 June page 9
Minister calls UK poverty ‘shocking’
Patricia Hewitt, the trade and industry secretary, said that the
level of poverty and inequality in contemporary Britain was
“shocking” and that a gulf in health education and life chances
Speaking at a Fabian society conference she said present-day
society would have horrified 1930s socialists who wanted to
overturn class based inequalities.
Her comments come at a time when other ministers have spoken of the
need to reduce inequality through taxation.
 Source:- The Financial Times Tuesday 24 June page 1
Clarke may retreat on grammar schools for poor

The education secretary Charles Clarke could be forced to back down
on a previous decision to withdraw funds from a scheme which
enables clever children from disadvantaged backgrounds to go to
grammar schools because it amounted to the government acting as a
“recruiting sergeant” for selective education.
The pilot scheme, which was launched at a top grammar school in
Cheltenham and funded by a charitable trust, has been deemed a
This has spurred on other schools to apply for an existing state
scheme as a way to fund such a project in their schools and Clarke
has to decide whether to allow this to go ahead.
Source:- The Financial Times Tuesday 24 June page 6
Bullying victim ‘had been raped’
It has emerged that a 16-year-old who was being bullied and took an
overdose because he could not face returning to school told police
last year that he had been raped when he was seven.
A man is being questioned over the alleged sexual assault and was
released on bail yesterday.
Peat’s mother said the attack had played a significant role in the
bullying that the boy went on to suffer.
Source:- The Times Tuesday 24 June page 7
Cost of appeal by refugees slammed by Lord Chief

The Lord Chief Justice has criticised the amount of public money
spent on a case brought by a family of refugees against a local
authority for allegedly providing them with inadequate
The family are seeking compensation alleging that Southwark Council
in South London failed to respect their family and private life and
breached their human rights.
Source:- The Telegraph Tuesday 24 June page 11
Roche urges Labour to promote the benefits of legal

The former minister Barbara Roche said that the prime minister
should promote the benefits of legal immigration and plans for a
single equality commission as a part of a range of measures to
bring back supporters upset by the war in Iraq yesterday.
Roche, who was sacked in the reshuffle, said Tony Blair should now
take on a radical set of policies promoting the rights of ethnic
minorities, homosexuals and the disabled.
Source:- The Independent Tuesday 24 June page 6
Tough asylum laws ‘boost trafficking’
“Get tough” asylum policies help to promote illegal immigration and
people trafficking according to new Home Office research published
The report also found that genuine refugees were forced underground
by the restrictive measures, though they were successful at
reducing unfounded claims.
The research, which looked at the impact of asylum policy in Europe
over the last 10 years, went on to suggest that EU asylum policy
over this period had failed to reduce the number of asylum seekers,
instead shifting them to other European countries with more liberal
Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 24 June page 6
Equality chief calls for seats for black candidates
The chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality has
called on the Labour party to prevent the appointment of any new
parliamentary candidates until it can be sure that ethnic
minorities are being represented.
Trevor Phillips is asking the Labour NEC to block any new
candidates until they are certain that the party’s ethnic minority
voters are represented.
The dispute has arisen out of the need for Labour to select another
candidate for the Brent East constituency after the death of its
MP. Over a third of the local electorate are from ethnic
Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 24 June page 6
Race riot rocks Welsh estate
A night of racial violence took place on a Sunday night on an
estate in Wrexham in Wales.
Groups of men fought with baseball bats and metal bars on the Caia
Park estate after a dispute began between a local resident and an
Iraqi refugee over a mobile phone.
Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 24 June page 6
Lottery cash will create 5,000 child care

Over 5,000 new childcare places are to created with just over
£2.9m of lottery money allocated in the latest round of
funding announcements for Scotland.
The Out of School Hours childcare scheme ran by the New
Opportunities Fund in Scotland has now received a total of
£17,676,995 since it began in March 1999.
Source:- The Scotsman Tuesday 24 June
Children living in deprived areas are more likely to die in
an accident.

Youngsters from poor areas are three times more likely to die in an
accident than those from more affluent backgrounds, according to
official statistics.
The figures show that  not only are less well off children more
likely to die of an “unintentional” injury, they are
also three times more likely to be admitted to hospital having been
in a road traffic accident.
Source:- The Scotsman Tuesday 24 June
Concern over detention of asylum seekers’
A Liberal Democrat MSP has persuaded the Scottish
education minister, Peter Peacock, to meet to discuss his concerns
that asylum seeker children are being held in a Scottish detention
centre for too long.
Robert Brown, the coverner of  the Scottish Parliament’s
education committee, arranged the meeting after raising concerns
about the length of time children were kept up at the Dungavel
centre near Strathaven.
Source:- The Scotsman Tuesday 24 June
Kids are spared ordeal in court
Children aged under 12-years-old will no longer have to appear in
court to give evidence, under new measures to be announced
Instead children will be able to have their testimony recorded
before the hearing and played back in court.
Source:- The Daily Record Tuesday 24 June
City centre hearings for asylum appeals

Asylum seekers appeals are to be heard in the centre of Newport
from next week.
The Immigration Appellates Authority (IAA) will open a temporary
appeal centre in the city because a permanent court that was
proposed at Langstone on the outskirts of Newport has not yet
opened following objections from local people.
A public inquiry will be held on July 15 to decide if Columbus
House in Langstone can be used as an appeals centre, as residents
claim that the site is unsuitable.
Source:- South Wales Argus Monday June 23 page 5
New rule bites on child play
Changes in child-care regulations may mean that some centres
offering pre school provision will be forced to close.
The situation could be particularly hard for some playgroups in
rural Welsh-speaking communities because new rules that are aimed
at ensuring uniformity may require staff to upgrade their
Guidelines brought in by the Care Standards Inspectorate for Wales
mean that many playgroup staff will need extra qualifications and
some playleaders who have had years of experience are unwilling to
take part in the courses that would lead to the additional
Source:- Western Mail Tuesday 24 June page 3

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