Sure Start success in helping children of poor families hailed
The government’s Sure Start programme appears to be succeeding in its aim of improving the chances of children born into deprived families, the latest evaluation shows today.
The ambitious programme, launched in 1999, supports parents in the poorest communities and tries to intervene to overcome the disadvantages their babies experience from birth. Children from deprived backgrounds generally suffer from worse health, do less well at school and are more likely to end up involved in crime than children from more affluent neighbourhoods.
Over 4,000 under-fives suspended from school
There were more than 4,000 suspensions of children aged 5 and under in England last year, prompting calls for teachers to have greater powers of restraint over violent and disruptive pupils.
Of the 400 suspensions of children aged 2 and 3 from nursery last year, 310 involved accusations of physical assault or threatening behaviour against a child or an adult, government figures show.
Read more on this story in The Times
Britain now official drugs capital of Europe
Drug abuse in Britain is worse than anywhere else in Europe, a devastating analysis showed yesterday.
Young people in the UK are more likely to take cocaine, Ecstasy and amphetamine than those in any other country on the Continent, it said.
They are using cocaine in quantities and with a frequency unmatched anywhere else in the world apart from the U.S., the report found.