Sex offender teachers to be banned for life
Teachers who accept a police caution over a sex offence against a child as a means of escaping prosecution will be barred from the classroom for life, under proposals published yesterday. New regulations will mean that all staff working with children will be placed on the controversial List 99 if they are found guilty or cautioned.
Source:- Independent, Saturday 14 October 2006, page 18
Lawyers win a rethink on reforms to legal aid
The Lord Chancellor was forced into retreat yesterday over plans to overhaul the £2 billion-a-year legal aid scheme in the face of mounting opposition from solicitors.
Research by the Law Society predicted that the Lord Chancellor’s plans would have led to more than 800 firms going out of business.
Hundreds of solicitors, already struggling on present fee levels, would not continue under the proposed fixed-costs regime, leaving the most vulnerable members of society without access to justice, it suggested.
Solicitors doing childcare cases, other family work and civil disputes were particularly dismayed, calling the proposals unviable.
Source:- The Times, Saturday 14 October 2006, page 2
Dinner ladies demand a labourer’s wage
Fifty low-paid women working for Birmingham Council on a basic salary of £9,500 a year have brought a legal claim for compensation and equal pay against their employer after learning that their male counterparts could earn up to £53,000 through a complex system of overtime and bonuses.
Source:- The Times, Saturday 14 October 2006, page 11
Carers cannot help woman, 99, on stairs
A woman aged 99 has been told that carers cannot help her climb the stairs in case she injures them in a fall. After a care provision risk-assessment, Mrs Singer received a letter from Enara Community Care, which is contracted by Oxfordshire County Council and visits clients in the morning and evening.
Sandra Stapley, the council’s operations manager for adult social care, said: “This is not a case of health and safety gone mad. This is a case of a care provider deciding, after carrying out at least two risk assessments, that supporting a frail, unsteady elderly lady up and down the stairs was unsafe for both herself and their staff.”
Source:- The Times, Saturday 14 October 2006, page 17
Charity vows to stop Madonna adopting a baby from Malawi
Malawi’s Eye of the Child group will seek a court injunction banning Madonna from taking a baby out of the poverty-stricken country. UK agencies including Parents and Children Together and the Overseas Adoption Support and Information Service have also criticised the “fast-track” adoption.
Source:- Daily Mirror, Saturday 14 October 2006, page 5
Alarm as ministers ditch plan to overhaul drug classification
Plans to overhaul the 30-year-old scheme for classifying illegal drugs were ditched by the government yesterday, drawing condemnation from MPs and drugs charities.
Source:- The Guardian, Saturday 14 October 2006, page 8
Campaign aims at binge drinkers
Young binge drinkers in the 18-24 age group are the target of the government’s first national advertising campaign to encourage sensible drinking of alcohol, which will show young people who think they are “superheroes” when drunk falling victim to horrific accidents, rapes and assaults.
Source:- The Guardian, Saturday 14 October 2006, page 13
Most doctors help end lives of terminally ill patients, says study
Doctors help about two-thirds of terminally ill patients to die by withholding treatment or giving them painkillers they know will shorten life – but do it only when they believe death is a few days away and after consulting patients, relatives or other doctors, according to research.
Source:- The Guardian, Saturday 14 October 2006, page 16
Interview with Constance Briscoe, black judge and abuse victim
A beautiful advocate who chases her racial abuser and corners him until he surrenders to police. A tragic abuse victim who rose above adversity to write a bestselling memoir. Briscoe one of the UK’s very few black judges (the eighth appointed, she tells me), is all of these things and more.
Source:- The Guardian, Saturday 14 October 2006, page 29
Council workers may get right to impose on-the-spot fines
The government is to extend the power to issue on-the-spot fines to “authority” figures other than the police. They could include teachers, council workers and even RSPCA inspectors, who would be given the same right as police officers to mete out summary justice for offences expected to include vandalism, antisocial behaviour and theft.
Source:- Sunday Times, 15 October 2006, page 1
Police want spy planes to patrol troubled estates
Police chiefs are considering using unmanned surveillance drones to hover over problem estates as part of plans for Britain’s first “yob squad” to tackle antisocial behaviour.
Merseyside Police’s new Anti-Social Behaviour Task Force, already known locally as “the yob squad”, will have an annual budget of £1 million, and a staff of 137 drawn from the fire service as well as the police.
Source:- Sunday Telegraph, 15 October 2006, page 6
Just say no – ministers about turn in drive to cut teenage pregnancies
In a radical change of direction by the government in its drive to cut teenage pregnancies, young people are to be told not to have sex – at least not until they are over 16. The change of tack follows an admission by the prime minister this year that the government had made limited progress with the £163 million spent since 1998 trying to tackle teenage pregnancy.
Source:- Sunday Telegraph, 15 October 2006, page 10
Cabinet split over new rights for gays
The cabinet is in open warfare over new gay rights legislation after Tony Blair and Ruth Kelly, the Communities Secretary, who is a devout Catholic, blocked the plans following protests from religious organisations.
The battle between what is being dubbed the government’s ‘Catholic tendency’ and their more liberal colleagues centres on proposals to stop schools, companies and other agencies refusing services to people purely because of their sexuality. Tony Blair, who sent three of his children to Catholic schools, is said to be anxious about the impact on faith schools and faith-based adoption agencies, which are demanding to be exempt from the law.
Source:- The Observer, Sunday 15 October 2006, page 1
Adoption agencies shun UK
Britons adopt fewer children from abroad than any other country because an increasing number of developing countries believe Britain is an unsuitable home, new research has revealed.
Source:- The Observer, Sunday 15 October 2006, page 13
Prince launches TV ad to rescue the ‘lost generation’ of hoodies
Prince Charles has overseen the making of his first television advertisement – aimed at putting ‘hoodies’ on the path to a better life. The 60-second commercial is designed to promote Charles’s charity, the Prince’s Trust, which helps thousands of young people who have dropped out of school, got involved in crime or have other problems in their lives.
Source:- The Observer, Sunday 15 October 2006, page 25
The Asian bride who died a lonely death in Britain
When 22-year-old Musammat Mumtahana came from Bangladesh to join her new husband in Britain, her family hoped she would find wealth and happiness. Instead she found a well of loneliness that led to her taking her own life and the lives of her two sons.
Source:- The Observer, Sunday 15 October 2006, page 26
Girl, 14, accused of dealing in machine pistols and revolvers
A 14-year-old girl has been accused of supplying firearms, in a case which raises fresh fears that children are being drawn into gun crime.
Source:- Sunday Telegraph, 15 October 2006, page 13
Blair to toughen rape laws
Men who have sex with drunken women risk being found guilty of rape under proposals to increase conviction rates.
Source:- Sunday Times, 15 October 2006, page 1
Family break-up taints day of joy for Charlotte Wyatt
Two years after hospital consultants told a High Court hearing Charlotte Wyatt was unlikely to survive the winter, the resilient toddler will celebrate her third birthday. Despite doctors deciding eight months ago that Charlotte was well enough to go home, her birthday party will take place in hospital because she no longer has a stable home to go to.
After fighting a series of lengthy court battles to stop doctors letting their brain-damaged daughter die, Charlotte’s parents, Debbie and Darren Wyatt, separated in January. After the split neither parent is able to cope with the round-the-clock demands of Charlotte alone. Since February social workers are understood to have been looking for foster parents. So far no suitable family has been found.
Source:- Sunday Times, 15 October 2006, page 12
Report on adopting from abroad focusing on Madonna.
Source:- Independent on Sunday, 15 October 2006, page 24
Council faces inquiry into how boy was taken from foster mother
Haringey Council has been referred to the Commission for Social Care Inspection over the way in which a boy was abruptly taken from his foster mother, with whom he had bonded, to be adopted.
A child psychiatrist referred the matter after reports the boy, known as Child C, was taken by two social workers from outside his foster mother’s home on the day his adoption was confirmed.
Haringey said it was investigating a complaint from the foster mother and that the boy, who was originally a victim of child trafficking, was safe and well with his adoptive parents.
Source:- The Guardian, Monday 16 October 2006, page 17
Help disabled people get work, insists Cameron
Conservative leader David Cameron will today call on businesses to do more to help disabled people into work saying it is their “social responsibility”. He will highlight research showing 40 per cent of employers are unwilling to consider applications from disabled people.
Source:- The Financial Times, Monday 16 October 2006, page 4
One mother in three is unhappy with childcare
One in three mothers is unhappy with the care their children receive in nursery, a 2000-strong survey released today by the Discovery Home & Health channel finds.Over half thought their children were left to sleep too long and a third thought that nursery staff lacked common sense, however the research was dubbed “biased and irresponsible” by the National Day Nurseries Association.
Source:- The Daily Telegraph, Monday 16 October 2006, page 11
All faith schools may have to offer places to non-believers
Councils will have the power to insist that faith schools take a quarter of their pupils from outside their faith under a government amendment to the Education and Inspections Bill. The move was criticised by Muslim school leaders, who said it was unfair.
Source:- The Times, Monday 16 October 2006, page 4
Social work staff failing to keep tabs on released sex offenders
Most councils are not meeting minimum standards on supervising violent criminals, according to a report by inspectors.
Home visits are insufficient, supervision is failing to address offending behaviour and risk assessments are inadequate, according to the results of a nationwide review by the Social Work Inspection Agency.
In the Forth Valley grouping of councils, which includes Edinburgh, a study of 13 random case files found that in nearly half the cases supervision did not focus on offending behaviour. Source:- The Scotsman, Saturday 14 October 2006
Mental illness ‘costs Scotland £8bn a year’
The social and economic cost of mental health problems in Scotland amounts to around £8.6 billion annually – equivalent to nearly the entire NHS budget this year.
Researchers took into account not only the costs associated with care and lost working days, but also the human cost of a reduced quality of life.
The study, commissioned by the Scottish Association for Mental Health, was carried out by the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health and will be published next month.
Source:- Sunday Herald, 15 October 2006
Huge rise in drug benefit claims from Scottish addicts
More than 17,000 Scots are claiming incapacity benefit for being addicted to drugs or alcohol, a figure that has doubled in the past decade.
In all, £12.5bn is paid out annually in incapacity benefit across the UK. Claimants receive £78.50 a week, about £20 more than they would receive on jobseeker’s allowance.
Also, hundreds of addicts diagnosed as needing help from the NHS are having to wait more than a year for community or residential care. Experts say this backlog makes it difficult for addicts to get their lives back on track and into work.
Source:- The Herald, Monday 16 October 2006
Asylum seekers deported to Algeria
A family of asylum seekers from Glasgow detained in a dawn raid have been deported to Algeria.
It is understood, however, that Leila Benai, 36, and her two children were not joined by her husband, Azaddine, 44, who escaped from Home Office officials by jumping from the first-floor flat during the raid last month.
The family was taken to Dungavel before being transferred to Tinsley House detention centre near Gatwick Airport. They had won a temporary court order preventing their deportation, but on Friday it emerged that they had been denied a judicial review of their case.
Source:- The Herald, Monday 16 October 2006