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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