Thursday 3 October 2002

By Clare Jerrom, Nicola Barry and Alex

Star ratings for nurseries dropped

The government has backtracked on plans to give nurseries and
playgroups star quality ratings.

The move follows concerns that the scheme, announced last year
by Tony Blair, would have undermined the government’s
proposals to expand subsidised nurseries in poor areas.

Critics of the scheme claim that allowing day care providers to
display their rating out of a three point scale would benefit
privately run day nurseries in rich areas that charge middle class
parents hundreds a week at the expense of subsidsed nurseries in
poor areas.

Balancing the criteria for awarding stars would have been
“totally unworkable” they claimed.

A department for education spokesperson confirmed yesterday that
following a lengthy consultation, star ratings would not be part of
the “Investing in Children” quality assurance scheme for playgroups
and nurseries.

Source:- The Times Thursday 3 October page 8

Morris firm on school discipline

Estelle Morris vowed yesterday to get tough on classroom

The education secretary declared that “one child threatening or
abusing one teacher in one of our schools is one too many …
Actually, one child showing even disrespect to a teacher is one
child too many”.

She reaffirmed that one day all schools would be specialist
schools. Defending the “comprehensive ideal” and its achievements,
Morris then admitted it had “not delivered everything I wanted”,
nor “achieved all we campaigned for”.

Morris spelt out how she hoped it would break the link between
poverty and achievement and hoped it would end the underachievement
of some ethnic minority groups.

Source:- The Times Thursday 3 October page 12

Mainstream schools seen as sanctuaries by refugee

The highlight of young refugees’ lives is found in mainstream
schools, according to a report which challenges the
government’s plans to segregate the education of asylum

Local schools offered a sanctuary for children who often lived
in a culture of fear and prejudice, the report by Save the Children
and Glasgow council found.

Researchers spoke to 700 young refugees in Glasgow and 75 per
cent said attending the local school was a positive thing in their
lives. Nearly half said it was the best thing about living in the
UK, allowing them to make friends, learn English and socialise.

Many asylum seekers reported feeling unsafe in the areas where
they had been housed. Eight seven per cent of older children said
that bullying, racism, and witnessing violence and drug abuse were
the hardest things about living in Glasgow.

Source:- The Guardian Thursday 3 October page 11

Town drops curfew on children

The first child curfew in England has been shelved following
concerns from Labour councillors that it was too tough.

Children under 15 would have been banned from the streets
between 9pm and 6am by police in Corby and Northants, but they
needed the support of Labour members to implement the plan.

But the Labour run local authority said most children in Corby
were well behaved, and instead introduced a community project to
set up youth clubs and football teams.

Conservative councillors accused Labour of caring more about
offenders than victims of rising youth crime.

Source:- Daily Telegraph Thursday 3 October page 6

Scottish newspapers

Extra £8m to provide school access for disabled is
not enough

An extra £8 million announced yesterday by the Scottish
executive to help make schools more accessible to disabled pupils
will fall far short of the amount needed, according to local

Source:- The Herald October 3 page 11

Plumber sues council for £20,000 over discarded

A plumber who claims he pricked his finger on a needle discarded
by a suspected drug user is suing Glasgow council for

Alan Shilliday alleges he was left feeling depressed after the
incident, and had to be given a vaccination for hepatitis B.

Source:- The Herald October 3 page 9

Jim’s guilty youth crime secret

A top secret spin campaign is underway to try to salvage the
executive’s flagship policy on youth crime.

Ministers are being warned the justice system, presided over by
Jim Wallace, is seen as a shambles and soft on thugs.

Source:- The Daily Record pages 1 and 2

Welsh newspapers

Blunkett’s pledge to visit drug-hit

Home secretary David Blunkett is to visit south Wales to see for
himself the communities that have been affected by drug pushers
from England.

He met with Welsh secretary Paul Murphy and a group of Welsh
MPs, who are concerned at the rise in drug trafficking in the

Gangs of drug dealers, who are flooding Valley communities with
heroin and crack cocaine, are currently targeting south Wales.

Mr Murphy said: “Mr Blunkett has agreed to highlight the issue
in talks with his officials, and will be coming to south Wales
before Christmas to study the situation for himself”.

Source:- South Wales Argus Wednesday 2 October page

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