Confusion and concern over Labour’s plan to house young mothers in supervised homes
The prospect of supervised homes for teenage mothers was one of the most eye-catching policy announcements Gordon Brown made in his speech, but the absence of any clear detail about how the commitment would be implemented triggered unease from charities who support young parents.
“I do think it’s time to address a problem that for too long has gone unspoken, the number of children having children. For it cannot be right, for a girl of 16, to get pregnant, be given the keys to a council flat and be left on her own,” Brown told the conference.
‘Billions could be saved’ in public services revamp, Total Place finds
Billions of pounds could be saved if public services were rethought on the basis of themes rather than organisations, according to the findings of a scheme seeking low-pain ways to cut government spending.
Services could be improved in quality and better tailored to the needs of the individual as well as becoming more cost-effective, the Total Place programme is indicating in early feedback to ministers.
Enhance foster care to lift children’s prospects, says Fostering Network
Radical reform of the fostering system is needed if the poor prospects for tens of thousands of children living in care are to be improved, a report from the UK’s leading fostering charity will say on Wednesday.
The Fostering Network report calls for foster carers to be better trained and paid, and given an enhanced status within the children’s workforce. By making fostering a more attractive option, the charity hopes to increase the quantity and calibre of people putting themselves forward as candidates
Read more on this story in The Guardian
Ed Balls to tell parents: tackle unruly pupils
The schools secretary, Ed Balls, will today unveil a strategy to tackle unruly behaviour in classrooms, setting out the responsibility parents must take for tackling their children’s indiscipline.
Parents will have to sign up to home-school agreements promising to support teachers if their child misbehaves.
Police guard Simmons family after death threats made over Pilkington suicide
The family accused of tormenting Fiona Pilkington and her disabled children have received death threats, it was claimed yesterday, as police patrols were stepped up near their home.
Police officers drove past the Simmons family home at least 11 times and made a 30-minute visit to the home of Dorothy Simmons, the matriarch of the family.
Read more on this story in The Times
Brown ‘mugs’ middle-class to buy nursery care for Britain’s needy
Gordon Brown was accused yesterday of ‘mugging’ the middle classes by increasing free childcare for the poor at the expense of better-off families.
The Prime Minister announced that about 250,000 two-year-olds from ‘modest or middle incomes’ will receive ten hours of free childcare a week in five years.
But he risked undermining his pledge to stand up for the ‘squeezed’ middle classes by axing tax relief for workers given help with childcare care costs through the Employer Supported Childcare scheme.