By Clare Jerrom, Reg McKay and Alex Dobson.
Schools forced to hire unqualified teachers
Head teachers have been forced to recruit record numbers of
unqualified staff as a result of the growing teacher shortages in
Government figures yesterday showed that there were 7,600
untrained teachers in schools in England in January, which is more
than treble the rate of 2,300 when labour came to power in
Ministers said yesterday that the strategy to recruit from other
professions and abroad to fill positions was paying dividends, with
an increase of more than 9,000 in the number of full-time teachers
over the past year to 419,600. The number of empty posts dropped
from 2,110 to 1,800.
But Alan Smithers, professor of education at Liverpool
university, said the figures underestimated the true scale of the
shortages because the government only counts a position vacant if
it has been advertised and unfilled for a school term.
His own survey showed there to be a shortage of more than 7,000
staff in England.
Source:- The Times Tuesday 6 August page 2
Unions call off strikes after new pay offer
Plans to launch another wave of public sector strikes were
suspended by union leaders yesterday after they were offered a new
two-year pay deal by local authorities.
Unison, the GMB and the Transport and General Workers’
Union’s decision comes after two days of talks at the
headquarters of Acas, the arbitration and conciliation service in
They have agreed to review recommendations from Acas designed to
settle a pay dispute involving 1.2 million council staff.
The Acas recommendations involve a two-year pay deal with
increases ranging from 7.7 per cent to 10.9 per cent. It includes a
minimum hourly rate of £5 for the 270,000 lowest-paid council
Both sides are now to consult their respective memberships on
whether to accept the Acas plans.
The consultation is likely to last six weeks, and all industrial
action has been suspended in the meantime, the unions said.
Source:- The Times Tuesday 6 August page 2
Jail attack on Sarah Payne killer
The man convicted of murdering Sarah Payne has been stabbed by a
fellow inmate in a top security jail.
Roy Whiting was taken to hospital with severe facial injuries
and was discharged a few hours later.
Whiting is to press charges and has given a statement to the
police. An internal Prison Service inquiry was underway yesterday
to determine how the attacker was able to obtain a knife.
His alleged attacker was taken to the segregation unit at
Wakefield prison after the incident, which took place in the
vulnerable prisoners unit of the prison.
Whiting was jailed for life last year for the murder of
eight-year-old Sarah Payne, who was snatched from near her
grandparents’ home in West Sussex in July 2000.
Source:- The Times Tuesday 6 August page 3
UK immigration figure of 2m rejected by home
The home office and campaign groups united yesterday to dismiss
an assertion that more than 2 million migrants will arrive in the
UK over the next decade.
The figure was produced by Migration Watch UK, founded by Sir
Andrew Green and David Coleman.
The research combines government statistics with estimates from
the group itself of figures such as the number of illegal
A home office spokesperson flatly denied that the group’s
figures were accurate, and said the country was likely to see net
migration of around 135,000 a year which is a far cry from the
200,000 claimed by Migration Watch UK.
“The figures in the report are an overestimate,” the
spokesperson said. “They include returning British citizens, for
example, as well as people who are not settling here
Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 6 August page 5
What a difference a year makes
A year to the day after the murder of asylum seeker Firsat Dag,
both sides of the community that is trouble torn Sighthill in
Glasgow, united in remembrance.
A year ago the sides were in dispute and locals campaigned to
have the refugees moved on. Following the murder of Dag, hostile
street scenes broke out.
Yesterday the two sides marched together to commemorate Dag, but
also all the other victims of violence, suicide and drug addiction
Source:- The Scotsman Tuesday 6 August page 2
Street drinkers ‘need a house’
A ‘wet’ house for street drinkers could soon be set
up in Newport, south Wales.
The project will use an ordinary house in a residential area
that could then be converted into a centre that will help homeless
people cope with their alcohol problems.
The charity, Newport Action for Single Homeless, will run the
centre. Director Richard Frame said that there was an obvious need
for this sort of project, and that the charity is currently looking
for a suitable building.
The aim of the scheme is to put a stop to people congregating
and drinking in public areas, and to support people with alcohol
problems to help them gradually cut down on the amount they
Inspector Eddie Mayne of Newport police said he thought the
‘wet’ house was a good idea. He said he had visited a
similar project in Cardiff and he was impressed by the results. He
added that people had access to social workers and health
officials, and that this helped them integrate back into
Source:- South Wales Argus Monday 5 August page 4