News round-up: Doncaster child services; mum helps daughter die

Doncaster child services criticised over brothers who attacked boys in quarry

Social services in Doncaster missed more than 30 opportunities to intervene in the lives of two young brothers who went on to beat, torture and sexually assault a pair of boys last year, according to a leaked investigation report.

A total of nine separate agencies failed in their dealings with the family of the brothers, and their eventual attack was both predictable and preventable, the Safeguarding Children Board, which represents the organisations involved, said.

See more on this story in The Guardian

‘Devoted mother’ on trial for helping daughter die

A “devoted mother” who discovered her desperately ill daughter in the midst of a suicide attempt spent 28 hours administering a cocktail of lethal drugs to her after failing to convince her to go on living, a court heard today.

From the middle of the night, through the whole of the next day and into the following morning, Kay Gilderdale, 55, helped her daughter Lynn, 31, to end the pain of the “unimaginably wretched” form of ME (myalgic encephalopathy) she suffered, Lewes crown court was told.

Read more on this story in The Guardian

Mother in court over death of daughter with ME

A “caring and loving” mother helped end her daughter’s life following a 17-year battle with illness by handing her a lethal dose of morphine and a cocktail of drugs, a court heard today.

Bridget Kathleen Gilderdale, 55, known as Kay, passed two syringes filled with large doses of morphine to 31-year-old Lynn Gilderdale, who injected the pain-relieving medicine herself in a suicide attempt at the family home, the court was told.

Read more on this story in The Guardian

Heads criticise Tory plans for residential units in schools

Headteachers have criticised Tory plans for state schools to set up residential wings for children in care, warning that they will create enclaves of damaged young people.

Michael Gove, the shadow schools secretary, has said he wants schools, particularly academies, to set up living quarters for children who would otherwise sleep in care homes or at the homes of foster parents.

Read more on this story in The Guardian

Edlington report finds multiple failings by numerous agencies

An horrific assault in which two children were almost killed by brothers aged 10 and 11 should have been prevented by the agencies that were supposed to be caring for the young attackers, a report has found.

Two boys aged 9 and 11 were left for dead in April last year after being lured to scrubland near a South Yorkshire mining village.

Read more on this story in The Times

Darling sharpens axe on spending

Alistair Darling will order ministers this week to start work on the most swingeing public spending review in a generation, as officials acknowledged that some departments could see cuts of about 16 per cent over three years.

The chancellor wants to use his pre-election Budget to show voters that Labour is serious about attacking the £178bn deficit, in a move which might reassure the markets but concern those in the Labour party anxious to avoid discussing cuts.

Read more on this story in The Financial Times

Conservatives target child poverty strategy

The Conservatives look set to water down Labour’s commitment to ending child poverty, according to people who have seen late drafts of the party’s election manifesto.

They would do this by adopting such broad indicators of deprivation that it would be hard to identify or measure progress.

Read more on this story in The Financial Times

‘Smoking’ baby Facebook picture sparks investigation into teenage mother

A teenage mother was investigated by police after photographs of her six-month-old son with a cigarette in his mouth were posted on Facebook.

Rebecca Davey, 18, was reported by online friends who spotted the picture of baby Ollie.

Read more on this story in the Daily Mail

Charlotte Raven: Should I take my own life?

In 2006, 18 months after the birth of my baby, I tested positive for Huntington’s disease. The nurse who delivered the news hugged me consolingly and left me with my husband and a mug of sweet tea to cry. In the days that followed, I began to realise why so few of the people at risk of inheriting this ­incurable neurodegenerative ­disorder chose to find out.

This incuriosity had seemed to me irresponsible. Having discovered the previous year that my ­father had the disease, I had been offered a test that would tell me for certain if I, too, had i­nherited the gene.

Read more on this story in The Guardian

Government abandons key proposals in Milburn report on social mobility

The government rejected or shelved key aspects of Alan Milburn’s report into social mobility today. Among the plans abandoned by ministers are proposals for parental vouchers in failing schools, closure of the government’s careers advice service, and reform of the cadet service.

But they insisted they had accepted the huge majority of the report, especially many proposals designed to extend internships in the professions and improve the soft skills of children.

See more on this story in The Guardian

New code on alcohol sales to include ban on drinking games

Mandatory licensing conditions designed to call time on the “binge drinking ­culture” in pubs and clubs across England and Wales will come into force later this year, ministers will announce today.

The crackdown will include a ban on drinking games such as the “dentist’s chair”, where drink is poured straight into the mouths of customers, and compulsory identity checks on all customers who look under 18.

See more on this story in The Guardian




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