Thursday 22 April 2004

By Sally Gillen, Lauren Revans and Alex

Ofsted chief says scrap law on worship
State schools should be free to decide the religious content of any
assemblies to better reflect the diversity of Britain’s
multicultural society, according to the head of the education
watchdog Ofsted.
Chief inspector of schools David Bell told the House of Commons in
a speech to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the 1944 Education
Act that state schools should no longer be required by law to hold
a daily act of collective worship.
Source:- The Guardian, Thursday 22 April, page 9
40 babies a year die by ‘covert homicide’
As many as 40 babies under a year old might be the victims
of “covert homicide” in England and Wales every year,
experts at the Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths have
warned. This is in addition to the average 30 deaths a year that
are subsequently the subject of murder or manslaughter
The foundation has called for standard national procedures to
identify suspicious sudden death among infants, accompanied by less
adversarial procedures in criminal court cases so complex issues
can be properly examined.
Source:- The Guardian, Thursday 22 April, page 9
Tax credit system branded a disaster
The government’s handling of the pensions tax credit scheme,
which has left several thousand claimants out of pocket, was
“nothing short of disastrous”, the public accounts
committee has said.
The committee of MPs said the Inland Revenue had made an
unacceptable number of mistakes and set an unrealistic timetable
for introducing the new system last October.
Government figures show that the number of pensioners applying for
the credit has risen to 2.9 million individuals. However, a total
4.9 million are eligible.
Source:- The Guardian, Thursday 22 April, page 11
The false god of fame lures school dropouts
Skills minister Ivan Lewis has warned that children are leaving
school early without qualifications because they believe they can
become pop stars and sporting heroes.
Giving evidence to the Commons Education Select Committee, he said
growing numbers of children were dropping out of school before they
reached 16.
“We need to make the case to them, particularly where
parental aspiration does not exist, that education is extremely
important,” said Lewis.
Source:- Daily Mail, Thursday 22 April, page 22
Banning orders on the ‘imps of

A 10-year-old boy has become the youngest person in the country to
be made the subject of an anti-social behaviour order.
Robert Heneghan and his friend, 11-year-old Shaun Holt, were given
the orders following a campaign of robbery, assault and abuse in
Bispham, a suburb of Blackpool. In six months they were involved in
43 incidents.
The order, which bans them from going out together or from being
outside in a public place at night, will be in force until they are
17. If they break them, they could face a five-year jail
Source:- Daily Mail, Thursday 22 April, page 27
Pair attempt child auction on internet
A couple in Germany face prosecution for human trafficking after
they put the woman’s eight-year-old daughter up for sale on
the internet at a starting price of 67 pence.
Source:- The Independent Thursday 22 April 2004, page 11
Welsh newspapers
Curfew call for under-16s

Communities in Gwent are calling for a curfew on under 16s to help
combat anti-social behaviour. They believe that the police should
follow the example of Wigton in Cumbria, which introduced a pilot
scheme aimed at cutting disruptive behaviour by under 16s.
Councillors say that such a curfew would force parents to take
responsibility for their children and reduce crime.
Source:- South Wales Argus Wednesday 21 April pages 4-5
AM demands reply from minister as fears rise over transfers
of critically ill babies
Services for critically ill newborn babies are
understaffed, and the problems are set to become more acute,
according to new research.
There are concerns that the situation could worsen with the
introduction of the European Working Time Directive that limits the
hours doctors can work. Plaid Cymru assembly member Owen John
Thomas has voiced his concerns about neonatal care in Cardiff to
assembly health and social services minister, Jane Hutt.
Source:- Western Mail Thursday 22 April page 2

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