Monday 21 February 2005

By Maria Ahmed, Simeon Brody, Derren Hayes and Amy

Academies “will create two-tier school system”

Government plans to replace failing inner city schools with
privately-run academies threatens to create a two-tier education
system based on social class.

The confidential study by PriceWaterhouseCoopers warned the growth
of academies could create a “quasi-market” in education
and cast doubt on their ability to improve standards.

Source:- The Guardian Saturday 19 February 2005 page

Town hall staff fire starting gun on pension revolt

A wave of strikes may follow a demonstration by thousands of public
sector workers against changes to their pension schemes

Unison predicted that 800,000 council workers could vote for strike
action on March 23.

Source:- The Guardian Saturday 19 February 2005 page

Ofsted to ask all pupils to report on their schools

Ofsted’s new inspection regime is to include a questionnaire
sent out to all pupils to find out what they think of their schools
and teachers.

The questionnaire is part of the government’s plan to judge
schools based on five outcomes: be healthy, stay safe, enjoy and
achieve, make a positive contribution, and achieve economic well

Source:- The Daily Telegraph Saturday 19 February 2005
page 5

Just 107 convicted in crackdown on asylum seekers

Just 208 people have been charged and 107 convicted of new offences
introduced in September against asylum seekers who destroy their
travel documents. When the rules were announced the Home Office
said up to 70 per cent of asylum seekers arrived without

Source:- Daily Mail Saturday 19 February 2005 page

Yob who says Asbo breached his human rights

A 20-year-old man is to appeal to the Court of Appeal claiming that
an Asbo banning him from his home village is preventing his right
to a family life under the Human Rights Act.

If the appeal succeeds, others could be overturned using similar

Source:- Daily Mail  Saturday 19 February 2005 page

Reid to spend £1bn on private sector diagnostic

John Reid plans to spend £1 billion over the next five years
to expand private sector diagnostic treatment in the NHS.

The programme would increase the number of scans a year by 40 per
cent and cut average waiting times for this part of treatment to
three weeks by 2008.

Source:- Financial Times Saturday 19 February 2005 page

Shame of Britain’s 1,000 abortions for

The number of girls aged 14 and under having abortions has topped
1,000 for the first time, according to statistics disclosed using
the new Freedom of Information Act.

Source:- The Mail on Sunday Sunday 21 February 2005 page

The gran tagged to keep her away from car boot sales

A 67-year old woman from Bolton, Lancashire, has been
electronically tagged after pleading guilty to a second offence of
selling counterfeit goods.

Source:- The Mail on Sunday Sunday 21 February 2005 page

Controversial gambling bill must be dropped, ministers

Ministers are preparing to abandon their controversial attempt to
relax gambling laws rather than allow the issue to dominate
Labour’s election campaign.

Source:- The Independent on Sunday Sunday 21 February 2005 page

Three years ago, Hilary Truscott and other parents lost their fight
to save a special school. Today, their children are still suffering
the consequences of Labour’s policy of

Source:- The Sunday Telegraph Sunday 21 February 2005 page

Blair’s pension offer to mothers

Tony Blair is planning to woo stay-at-home mothers in the
forthcoming general election by pledging a big increase in their
basic state pension if Labour is re-elected. The proposed manifesto
pledge, worth at least £3 billion, would mean that women would
be entitled to full state pensions regardless of how many years
they had worked.

Source:- The Sunday Times Sunday 20 February 2005 page

Drug surge follows change in laws

Demand for cannabis has exploded in the wake of the relaxation of
drugs laws, according to senior Scotland Yard officers.

Source:- The Observer Sunday 20 February 2005 page 1

Free the children

The government must instigate a ‘cultural change’ to
cut the number of children in prison, a report by the National
Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders has

Source:- The Observer Sunday 20 February 2005 page 5

Radical bid to aid women addicts in jail

Women who leave prison with drug problems should be relocated to
another part of the country, with access to all-female treatment to
give them the best chance of a new life and rehabilitation,
according to a report by Drugscope published tomorrow.

Source:- The Observer Sunday 20 February 2005 page 8

‘It should never happen again’

Interview with Angela Cannings about her wrongful conviction for
killing her children and why she hopes a new BBC film will prevent
similar miscarriages of justice

Source:- The Observer Sunday 20 February 205 page 20

Hyperactive children at high risk of family split

Children who suffer from the most severe form of hyperactivity
disorder are three times more likely to be taken away from their
families than children with behavioural or mental health problems,
according to research by Dr David Foreman, of the Child and
Adolescent Mental Health Service, Bracknell, Berks.

Source:- The Daily Telegraph Monday 21 February 2005 page

Scottish newspapers

‘£10m or we stop taking refugees,’ say Scottish councils

Scotland’s largest councils will refuse to accept asylum
seekers unless the executive gives them an extra £10 million a
year to cover the cost of looking after them, the Scotland on
has found.

Local authorities are threatening to pull out of the UK’s
asylum seekers’ accommodation scheme unless first minister
Jack McConnell solves a funding crisis over the cost of schools,
police, health and social services for refugees.

If agreed, the deal would see asylum seekers placed throughout
Scotland, instead of just Glasgow.

Source:- Scotland on Sunday 20 February

Third of female employees work in public sector

A third of the female working population in Britain now works in
the public sector, a new report will reveal tomorrow. Almost half
of all jobs created in the UK since 1997 have been in the public
sector, taking the state’s share of the workforce to one in
four, the survey by broker Williams de Broë will also

Source:- Scotland on Sunday 20 February

Angela Cannings speaks of difficulty rebuilding her life
following wrongful conviction

Angela Cannings, who served 20 months of a life sentence after
being wrongfully convicted of the murder of her two babies, talks
to the Sunday Herald about the difficulties on moving on with her
life. Cannings and her husband Terry talk about how they fear their
marriage may never recover from the trauma of the ordeal. They were
speaking ahead of the airing of a BBC film, Cherished,
Timothy Spall and Sarah Lancashire, which dramatises the events
surrounding her case.

Source:- Sunday Herald Sunday 20 February

Patients ‘at risk’ in staff crisis at NHS

Doctor’s leaders have warned that patients’ health is being
put at risk after unreleased figures showed NHS 24, the
round-the-clock assessment service, is 25 per cent short of its
staffing target.

The British Medical Association said some callers were facing
delays of up to five hours waiting for a nurse to ring them back.
More than a quarter of the service’s staff have left since the
service was launched.

Source:- The Herald Monday 21 February

Minister orders inquiry into top-up fees at care

The Scottish executive has admitted it has no idea how many older
people are being charged top-up fees for residential care home

Rhona Brankin, the deputy health minister, has ordered officials to
assess the scale of the problem. A television programme, to be
aired tonight, found large numbers of care homes charged their
poorest residents top-ups of £20 or more per week, even though
all their costs should be met by the local authority.

Source:- The Herald Monday 21 February

Welsh newspapers

Labour accused of mismanaging Welsh health service

A Plaid Cymru administration would improve home care and attempts
to cut bed-blocking, the party’s Assembly leader Leuan Wyn
Jones said today.

He made the comments in a speech at Plaid’s spring conference
in Caernarfon, north Wales.

Source:- icWales Saturday 19 February

Charities call for new child protection laws

Welsh children’s charities have called for children to be
given the same level of protection against assault as adults by the

The charities make the call in a six-point children’s
manifesto which aims to help vulnerable children in Wales.

The manifesto has been launched as the pre-election party
conferences begin.

Source:- Western Mail Saturday 19 February

Drugs bust a top Welsh school

Five boys at one of the top state schools in Wales have been
arrested accused of possessing cannabis. The pupils, who attend
Cowbridge Comprehensive in the Vale of Glamorgan, are being
questioned by the police. One of them has been expelled from the
school accused of dealing cannabis in the classroom. The four
others are being asked about an incident at the school on Monday,
January 24. They have not been charged or permanently

Source:- Wales on Sunday 20 February

Ex-matron on trial for manslaughter

An ex-matron of a nursing home with go on trial today accused of
the manslaughter of one of the residents.

William Henry Pettener died at Bodawen Nursing Home in Tremadog,
Porthmadog, north Wales, in April last year while Avola Mair
Humphreys, 60, was the matron.

Humphreys is also charged with assaulting four other residents
between September 2003 and May 2004.

Source:- icWales Monday 21 February



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