Monday 16 December 2002

By Amy Taylor, Nicola Barry and Alex

Teacher unions join fight to save special

Teacher union leaders are asking the government to issue fresh
guidance to education authorities over the proposed closure of
around 100 special schools.

They support parents who have launched a national campaign to
keep the schools open against the government’s policy of inclusion
for all, but for those with the most serious disabilities.

Source:- The Daily Telegraph Saturday 14 December page

Disabled man jailed in India on ‘absurd’ drugs charges
returns after two years

A disabled charity worker arrived back in England yesterday
after spending two years in a primitive Indian prison cell.

Ian Stillman, whose imprisonment for drugs charges was described
as one of the worst miscarriages of justice, was freed after
intervention by Tony Blair and foreign secretary Jack Straw.

His family had insisted he was innocent and campaigned for his

Source:- The Independent, Saturday 14 December, page

£100,000 every day (The price we are paying to
close down Sangatte)

The moving of Sangatte refugees to Britain is costing taxpayers
an estimated £100,000 a day, officials said yesterday.

And last night the government was accused of trying to cover up
the bad way it had been handled.

Last night it emerged that a letter sent to councils underlined
the problems surrounding the transfer and admitted ‘the clearance
of Sangatte was very much on an emergency basis.’

Source:-Daily Mail Saturday 14 December page 4

So who’s the real victim?

One is a brutal thug serving life. The other is the prison
officer whose throat he cut. This week one of them won £75,000
damages. No prizes for guessing who. And the reason? A judge
decided he’d been sent to the ‘wrong’ school…

Source:- Daily Mail Saturday 14 December page 20

Sex scandal brings down America’s top

The most powerful Roman Catholic in America resigned after it
was revealed that he had covered up dozens of sex scandals
involving priests.

Secret documents released from Cardinal Bernard Law’s files show
how he simply transferred priests to unsuspecting parishes when he
discovered they had been involved in sexual abuse, often with

Source:- Daily Mail Saturday 14 December page 23

Sex charge social worker is cleared

A married social worker was cleared of having sex with two
15-year-old boys in her care.

Source:- Daily Mail Saturday 14 December page 32

Sex trade fears over lost children

Hundreds of children smuggled into Britain by professional gangs
over the past few years have been ‘lost’ by authorities who have no
idea what has happened to them.

In two separate cases ‘people smugglers’ are alleged
to have brought over up to 100 children from China and Angola
through British airports in the past few years.

Children’s rights campaigners and some police officers believe
they are just two examples of a lucrative trade where children are
forced into prostitution, domestic slavery or private ‘fostering’
by violent adults.

Source:-The Guardian Saturday 14 December, page 1

Sold into slavery – children smuggled into

Authorities caught on back foot as thousands of youngsters are
forced into prostitution or domestic work.

Source:- The Guardian Saturday 14 December page 4

Single mother has to pay for rescuing her refugee

The plight of a Zimbabwean family in Reading highlights a double
standard in official treatment of fugitives from the murderous
chaos in Zimbabwe and asylum seekers from other parts of the

Source:- The Sunday Telegraph 15 December page 12

Refugees ‘will be forced to return’

Refugees face being stripped of their right to permanent
sanctuary in Europe under a controversial overhaul of

The proposal will mean any new refugees could be deported as
soon as their countries of origin are seen as safe to return, and
without taking into account how long they may have been living in
their new country.

The plan, contained in leaked documents from the Council of the
European Union, aims to keep successful asylum seekers under review
with a view to terminating their status as refugees as soon as

Source:- The Observer Sunday 15 December page 2

Violent fathers gain access to children

Children could be in danger of domestic violence from their
violent fathers in three in five of divorce cases being handled in
the family courts, according to a study of 300 recent cases.

The study revealed that 61 per cent of the fathers involved in
the court system had allegations of domestic violence made against

Source:- The Observer Sunday 15 December page 3

Army to battle school truancy

The army is to be brought in to try to stem the increase of
truancy and bad behaviour in schools.

Army officers are set to take classes, organise one-to-one
‘tutorials’ for children with discipline problems and encourage
non-academic children to take part in vocational schemes such as
the Duke of Edinburgh award and life-saving courses.

Source:- The Observer Sunday 15 December page 7

Cuts to leave mentally ill on the streets

Patients with mental health problems could end up on the streets
due to councils being faced with diverting money into different
services to avoid bed-blocking fines.

Mental health charities are concerned that hundreds of community
care projects could loose their funding within the year.

Under government plans, councils can be fined £120 a day if
they fail to find the right accommodation for bed-blockers, leading
them to divert funding to providing more residential places.

Source:- The Observer Sunday 15 December page 10

Prisoners take up their right to father children from

Six convicted criminals have been allowed to father children
from jail by artificial insemination.

The procedures, most of which are thought to have resulted in
successful pregnancies, were confirmed by the home office last week
after permission had been granted in hearings behind closed

Request levels from inmates have jumped since the Human Rights
Act was introduced last year.

Source:- The Sunday Times 15 December, page 12

Banned – paedophile fear forces council to get tough on
parents who want to film the school play

Parents have been effectively banned from filming or
photographing their children’s school plays.

City of Edinburgh council has introduced written guidelines on
the issue for the first time over fears that pictures or video
footage could fall into the hands of paedophiles.

The move follows similar decisions by two schools in

Source:- Daily Mail Monday 16 December page 6

Sangatte is finally emptied

The Sangatte refugee camp in France stood empty last night after
two buses took a final group of refugees to England.

Source:- Daily Mail Monday 16 December, page 24

Church admits another sex abuse mistake

The Roman Catholic Church admitted yesterday that the Archbishop
of Westminster made a second ‘mistake’ over the handling of a
priest charged with child abuse.

The current Bishop of Arundel and Brighton has told how the case
of Father Christopher Maxwell-Stewart, badly managed by the current
Archbishop of Westminster, is the second in which the Church has
admitted it failed victims of abuse.

The first was the case of the paedophile priest Michael Hill,
who was appointed to the chaplaincy of Gatwick despite being a
convicted paedophile.

Source:- The Times Monday 16 December page 1

Watchdog investigates criminal checks

A government spending watchdog is planning an investigation into
the troubled Criminal Records Bureau, which has a backlog of almost
100,000 applications.

Source:- The Times Monday 16 December page 4

Pupils win legal aid to fight school closure

Twenty one primary school children in Cumbria have been granted
legal aid to fight the proposed closure of their school.

On Wednesday the high court will hear the children’s application
for judicial review of the consultation process which led to the
proposal to close Lowick primary school, near Ulverston, at the end
of the school year.

A Cumbria county council spokesperson said they decided on the
closure due to “surplus school places, the falling pupil numbers,
the school’s financial position and the effective use of resources
for education”.

Source:- The Guardian Monday 16 December page 6

Ghost-town Britain looms

The closure of shops and services in small towns and villages
could end community life in Britain within 10 years, says a report
being published by the New Economics Foundation thinktank.

Between 1995 and 2000, the country lost 30,000 local outlets –
about a fifth of its corner shops, grocers, high street banks, pubs
and post offices.

By 2005 a further 28,000 outlets may close due to the expansion
of supermarket chains.

Source:- The Guardian Monday 16 December, page 7

Brown delays children centres

A detailed statement on the government’s proposed network of
“children’s centres” is not expected until the summer, a year after
the chancellor, Gordon Brown, promised that 650,000 children would
soon be able to attend them.

The network is to consist of hundreds of programmes, some in
purpose-built units, in the fifth of wards scoring highest on
official indices of deprivation.

In his spending statement last July, Brown promised that by
March 2006, 300,000 children would be added to the 350,000 who
already have places on the schemes but since then nothing has been

Source:- The Guardian Monday 16 December page 9

Scottish newspapers

‘Golden hellos’ plan to get social workers
on the youth crime case

Golden hellos worth £2,000 may be used to attract social
workers into working with young offenders.

Both the Scottish executive and COSLA are reported to be
examining a number of ways of alleviating the recruitment crisis in
children and young people’s services.

A recent report by Audit Scotland recognised the shortage of
social workers contributed to Scotland’s youth justice system
being slow and inconsistent.

Source:- Scotland On Sunday 15 December page 11

Pimps lure children in care homes into life of

Pimps are targeting vulnerable youngsters in residential

Police have been posted to all 20 of Glasgow council’s
children’s homes to protect girls, some as young as 12, from
men trying to tempt them into prostitution with offers of jewellery
and trainers.

Two men, charged with the rape and sexual assault of four girls
living in a Glasgow care home, are alleged to have made contact
with the girls to offer them bribes in an attempt to lure them into

Source:- The Sunday Times
Scotland 15 December
page 13

Freed to kill by a system failing to rate the

Sex offenders and violent criminals are being wrongly released
from jail, putting the public in danger, because of
Scotland’s inadequate risk assessment system, a government
report suggests.

The Scottish executive research found there was no consistent,
co-ordinated approach to assessing the risks posed by offenders
guilty of sexual and violent crimes.

Assessments which failed to identify the real risk posed by
dangerous criminals prior to their releases, have led to a series
of tragedies in Scotland.

Source:- Scotland On Sunday 15 December page 11

One in four Scots has mental illness

One in four people has been diagnosed with mental health
problems in Scotland.

The Scottish executive survey into attitudes towards mental
health suggested widespread stigma. Half of those questioned said
they would not tell anyone if they had a mental health problem.

Source:- Sunday Express 15 December page 2

Jail still failing suicidal inmates

A leaked letter accuses prison officers at Scotland’s only
private jail of an “inept” approach to high-risk inmates after a
prisoner committed suicide there.

The letter claims that basic failures in procedure over
prisoners on suicide watch were commonplace.

Source:- The Scotsman Monday 16 December page 2

Welsh newspapers

Runaway Rachel back home from Turkey

A 14-year-old runaway schoolgirl, who travelled to Turkey to be
with her lover, a 24-year-old Turkish man, has returned to the

Rachel Lloyd from Wrexham in north Wales ran away from her home
to marry Mehmet Ocack

The incident sparked a major hunt for the girl involving police,
Interpol and social services.

Source:- Western Mail Monday 16 December page 1

Alienated children ‘a social time bomb’,
says lobbyist

A trend where children are turning away from an absent parent is
creating a social time bomb, according to a family law

Kenneth Lane, from Cardiff campaigns for the reform of family
law because he says that the courts are not dealing fairly with

He says that contact centres are used to incarcerate parents and
children and that this is a scandal.

Lane represents many parents, mostly fathers who are battling to
gain visiting rights to see their children and he is calling for a
radical reappraisal of the family law system.

Source:- Western Mail Monday 16 December page 6

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