Send children in care to boarding schools, says government adviser

Children in care should be sent to boarding schools, according to Sir Cyril Taylor, an adviser to Ruth Kelly, the education secretary. He said that this would be cheaper than keeping them in residential homes, and that children from broken homes were often among the best pupils.

Source:- The Times, Friday 25 November 2005, page 2

Britain catching up with America in cocaine use
Britain is now top of the European “league table” for cocaine abuse and is fast  approaching levels seen in America, according to the EU’s drug agency.
Source:- The Guardian, Friday 25 November 2005, page 4

£165,000 – the cost of bringing up a child

The average cost of raising a child from birth to the age of 21 has risen this year to a record-breaking £165,668, according to a survey published by the friendly society Liverpool Victoria. The biggest expenditure is child care and education.

Source:- The Guardian, Friday 25 November 2005, page 8

Calls unanswered at benefit centre hit by computer flaws

One million calls from jobless people seeking their first benefit payment have gone unanswered because of teething problems with a computerised call centre system, according to confidential Department for Work and Pensions documents.

Source:- The Guardian, Friday 25 November 2005, page 9

58,000 are HIV positive: record number diagnosed

More than 58,000 people in the UK are living with HIV, following a record 7,275 new diagnoses last year, the Health Protection Agency said yesterday.

Source:- The Guardian, Friday 25 November 2005, page 11

 Secondary schools plan in cities fails to improve GCSE grades

An education initiative in inner-city areas has failed to have any impact on GCSE results, according to an evaluation which will undermine the drive to boost standards in the most challenging schools. Ministers have failed the £386m Excellence in cities scheme as a key initiative for some of the poorest parts of the country but the evaluation for the Department for Education and Skills found that GCSE grades had not risen.

Source:- The Guardian, Friday 25 November 2005, page 15

 Woman missing

Police were searching last night for a mother who has been missing since she failed to collect her daughter from school. Marzuka Taran, 34, an Afghan who speaks little English, was last seen dropping off her daughter at school in Isleworth, West London, on Wednesday.  A man aged 36 has been arrested.

Source:- The Times, Friday 25 November 2005, page 2

Eviction upheld

Manchester Council, which evicted a single parent because of her son’s behaviour, has been supported by Court of Appeal judges. James Higgins, 13, wrecked a neighbour’s car and a mobility cart and assaulted a child with a learning disability. Lorraine Higgins has until January 4 to leave her home in Gorton.

Source:- The Times, Friday 25 November 2005, page 4

Three million youths admit crimes

Almost three million children and young people have been involved in crime or antisocial behaviour over the past year, according to Home Office figures published yesterday.

Source:- The Times, Friday 25 November 2005, page 28

Lawrence school in row over academy status

The school where the head teacher Philip Lawrence was stabbed to death 10 years ago is involved in controversy over a plan to turn it into a government flagship academy, amid fears it could become more selective.

Source:- The Independent Friday 25 November 2005 page 11

Rise in casual sex among young drives disease to record high

Sexually transmitted diseases among young people are soaring, with record numbers of new infections diagnosed last year, according to a government report. And infected patients face serious difficulties in getting treatment.

Source:- The Independent Friday 25 November 2005 page 18

Swimming with dolphins “is good for your soul”

An hour a day in the water with dolphins is an effective treatment for mild to moderate depression, the first controlled trial of the practice has found.

Source:- The Independent Friday 25 November 2005 page 25

Charity calls for alcohol nurses

Action on Addiction is calling for an alcohol nurse to be appointed in every hospital to deal with the rise in binge drinking. The nurses would identify problems and deal with people admitted because of over-consumption.

Source:- The Daily Telegraph Friday 25 November 2005 page 11

Private nurseries feel squeeze of council services

Private nurseries are at risk of being put out of business by government attempts to make child care more readily available, says a report by the National Day Nurseries Association.

It says more than half its members had seen their local authority create child care services that competed directly with them.

Source:- Financial Times Friday 25 November 2005 page 5

Lessons in waking up

Out-of-work youngsters need help to learn when to wake up, how to get up and how to get to their jobs on time, according to a report from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.

Source:- Daily Mail Friday 25 November 2005 page 11

Scottish news

Glasgow houses thousands as applications keep on rising

Scotland is one of the top five areas in the UK for housing asylum seekers, latest figures from the National Asylum Service has shown. At the end of September this year, 35,285 asylum seekers were living in NASS accommodation; 5450 were in Sighthill, Glasgow. About 15% live in Sighthill, while 22% live in Yorkshire and the Humber; 17% live in north–west England; 15% in the West Midlands and 10% in north-east England.

Source:-The Herald, Friday 25 November

McConnell attacks opponents over asylum

First minister Jack McConnell has hit back at critics of his attempt to safeguard children of asylum seekers who are detained during dawn raids on their homes. Ahead of talks with Tony McNulty, the immigration minister, played down differences with the Home Office.
Questioned at Holyrood, the first minister portrayed the row as the “petty politics” of  his opponents.

Source:-The Herald, Friday 24 November

Residential schools fail young offenders

Hundreds of Scotland’s young offenders are being failed by residential schools, more than a third of which are not meeting basic standards of care, according to a Care Commission report. Inspectors have identified a catalogue of weaknesses in a system designed to protect, rehabilitate and educate 1,200 of the country’s most vulnerable children.

Residential schools are frequently “ineffective” in steering often vulnerable youngsters away from a life of crime, say social work leaders who argue that money would be better spent on community rehabilitation programmes.

Source:-The Scotsman, Friday 25 November

Man who battered boys jailed for 11 years

A babysitter who battered two boys aged under five so badly that doctors assumed one had been in a car crash has been jailed for 11 years. The judge told Thomas Leishman, 26, that he was guilty of violent conduct bordering on torture over a period of months.

The boys’ family has now called for a full investigation. They say they told social workers there was a problem, but nothing was done.

Source:-The Scotsman, Friday 25 November

Workers sold dope by e-mail

Two support workers at West Dunbartonshire Council’s social work and housing office in Clydebank avoided jail after they admitted using their internal email to deal cannabis to colleagues. Caroline Stewart and Thomas McCann supplied dope over a 10-month period. They were fined and ordered to do 180 hours community service. They also lost their jobs.

Source:-The Record, Friday 25 November

Council boss in gay porn probe

Jim Haggerty, a social work boss at Renfrewshire Councill, has been suspended after technicians stumbled across gay porn images while they carried out repairs on a laptop computer he was using. Now Haggerty has been told he could lose his top job. He was relieved of his duties as area manager of Johnstone social work department 10 days ago.

Source:-The Record, Friday 25 November

Welsh news

No prosecution against Clywch cover-up claims

A former education chief accused of being involved in covering up child abuse allegations against a teacher will not be prosecuted it was announced yesterday.

Edwin Roberts, the former director of education for Mid Glamorgan Council was implicated in the Clywch inquiry last year but the Crown Prosecution Service said that there was not enough evidence to charge him.

The inquiry was launched after drama teacher John Owen killed himself when he was due to appear in court accused of indecently assaulting former pupils.

Source:- Western Mail, Friday 25 November





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