U-turn on plan to take babies from refugees
Controversial plans to take the children of failed asylum seekers into care unless their parents agree to leave Britain are to be scrapped in a dramatic government U-turn.
Source:- The Observer, Sunday 29 January 2006, page 16

Why mentoring problem children may be useless
The first systematic evaluation of youth mentoring has found the schemes are far less effective and considerably more expensive than had been thought, according to professor Ian St James-Roberts of the Thomas Coram Research Unit. The research was commissioned by the Youth Justice Board and is published tomorrow (Monday).
Source:- The Observer, Sunday 29 January 2006, page 14

Councils to be run by directly elected executives
Councils in England would in future be run by directly elected “cabinets” under government plans for reform of local authority structures. Another proposal being pushed by Whitehall, ahead of a white paper due in the spring, is to abolish multiple member council wards and replace them with a single “super-councillor” to help attract new talent into local government.
Source:- The Daily Telegraph, Saturday 28 January 2006, page 4

Disabled campaign seeks end to daily humiliation
A group of people with physical and mental disabilities are to lead a £1.2 million advertising campaign, launched by the Disability Rights Commission, highlighting the unfair treatment, poverty and exclusion faced by the 10million people in Britain who have a disability.
Source:- The Independent, Monday 30 January 2006, page 16

Hewitt wants private firms to provide health services
Private companies are to provide GP services in rundown areas in an attempt to close the “health gap” between the middle and working classes. The health white paper will allow commercial operators to set up surgeries in areas with a shortage of doctors.
Source:- The Independent, Monday 30 January 2006, page 4

NHS MoTs to give early warning of illnesses
All British people will be offered an NHS “MoT” in which they will be told how likely they are to develop certain diseases and illnesses based on tests taken at five stages during their lives. The tests will be revealed in the health white paper.
Source:- The Guardian, Saturday 28 January 2006, page 12

Hewitt plans £4bn shift out of hospitals to new clinics
A big switch of NHS resources out of hospitals into GP health centres and German-style polyclinics will be proposed today in the health white paper.
Source:- The Guardian, Monday 30 January 2006, page 4

Hospital building plans face 40% cuts
The NHS hospital building programme in England under the private finance initiative faces a cut of up to 40 per cent. In most cases the cut is likely to be a reduction in the size of projects rather than their total abandonment.
Source:- Financial Times, Saturday 28 January 2006, page 1

We will deliver social justice where Blair has failed, claims Cameron
David Cameron will today portray himself as the man to complete the reforms Tony Blair will fail to complete before he leaves office.
Source:- The Independent, Monday 30 January 2006, page 21

Police inquiry into racist attacks at jail
Police have launched an investigation into claims of “systematic” racial assaults, abuse and brutality by prison officers at maximum security Whitemoor prison in Cambridgeshire.
Source:- The Guardian, Monday 30 January 2006, page 1

Girl of 11 bought heroin
An 11-year old girl from Glasgow has received hospital treatment after collapsing from the effects of smoking heroin.
Source:- Daily Telegraph, Monday 30 Jamuary, page 1

Schoolgirl convicted for theft yet no one told parents
The parents of a schoolgirl who went to court and was sentenced for theft without their knowledge are urging head teachers to review their policy on confidentiality.
Source:- Daily Telegraph, Monday 30 Jamuary, page 3

Abuse of elderly goes unnoticed, says Help the Aged
Help the Aged has launched the first national campaign on elder abuse.
Source:- Daily Telegraph, Monday 30 Jamuary, page 6

Meeting of minds may lead to autism
The recent rise in autism may be driven by the tendency of like-minded engineers, physicists, mathmeticians and other “systemizers” to marry each other, according to a Cambridge University professor in a new study.
Source:- Daily Telegraph, Monday 30 January, page 9

Police chief says sorry to parents for Soham race remark
Sir Ian Blair has been forced to make an “unreserved apology” to the parents of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman after claiming the Soham killings received too much media coverage.
Source:- The Independent, Saturday 28 January 2006, page 4

Kelly picks education fight with Tories to win back Labour rebels
Ruth Kelly is planning to add a clause to her education bill reinforcing the ban on comprehensive schools selecting pupils for their ability in basic subjects like maths and English.
Source:- The Independent, Saturday 28 January 2006, page 18

Free fruit and veg scheme for young pupils hits problems
The government’s programme to promote fruit and vegetables in schools had been hit by a freeze on health spending and by an official evaluation that it has made little impact on children’s consumption.
Source:- The Guardian, Saturday 28 January 2006, page 5

Pupils banned from putting hands up
Pupils in a Dagenham school have been stopped from putting their hands up to answer questions because their school believes it leads to feelings of victimisation.
Source:- The Daily Telegraph, Saturday 28 January 2006, page 1

Tory authority show the way to cut tax through more efficiency
King’s Lynn and West Norfolk borough council is reducing its council tax bill by 3 per cent in the coming year and promising no reduction in services.
Source:- The Daily Telegraph, Saturday 28 January 2006, page 4

Police cocaine sting on middle class
Undercover Scotland Yard officers are operating as drug suppliers to catch middle class cocaine users, it was revealed today.
Source:- The Times, Saturday 28 January 2006, page 1

No 10 threat to Prescott
Downing Street is threatening revenge against John Prescott for rebelling over school reforms by demoting his protégés in a reshuffle. The strain between Tony Blair and his deputy has reached an unprecedented level.
Source:- The Observer, Sunday 29 January 2006, page 4

Violence fears grow as offenders go unchecked
The murder of a banker by a released convict deemed “low-risk” was a tragedy waiting to happen. Figures suggest these “level one” criminals are the most likely to reoffend
Source:- The Observer, Sunday 29 January 2006, page 7

More parents win cheaper nursery care
Some parents will gain access to cheaper nurseries for their children under plans to subsidise privately-run daycare.
Source:- The Observer, Sunday 29 January 2006, page 19

The town that puts its sex offenders on the map
Following the revelations about paedophiles working in schools, there are demands that Britain adopts an internet system used in Indiana
Source:- The Sunday Telegraph, Sunday 29 January 2006, page 10

Child tsar: anti-yob crackdown is a human rights abuse
Tony Blair’s controversial Respect agenda was thrown into chaos last night after a government tsar launched a devastating attack on his plans for tackling yobbish behaviour. Children’s commissioner Al Aynsley-Green accused the government of hypocrisy for launching a crackdown on antisocial youths while contributing to disorder by relaxing the drinking laws.
Source:- The Mail on Sunday, Sunday 29 January 2006, page 9

 Swallows & Amazons bid to liven up children
The government’s children’s commissioner Al Aynsley-Green is to campaign for youngsters to relearn how to take risks by following the example of Arthur Ransome’s pre-war novel Swallows and Amazons.
Source:- The Sunday Times, Sunday 29 January 2006, page 7

£170 million pay to families coping with “naughty children syndrome”
Parents who have a child diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder can claim disability benefits of up to £10,000 a year, a situation which some doctors believe is fuelling a rise in the number said to have the syndrome.
Source:- The Mail on Sunday, Sunday 29 January 2006, page 15

Children say mums should be at home
Mothers of under-threes shouldn’t go out to work full-time – according to their children.
Source:- The Mail on Sunday, Sunday 29 January 2006, page 19

Scottish news

Heroin girl, 11, sparks pre-teen drugs warning
Experts have warned that an 11-year-old heroin abuser who is in hospital after collapsing at school could be one of dozens of Scots pre-teens who have used the drug.
The girl admitted buying £10 bags of the class A drug outside a shopping centre in Pollok, in the south of Glasgow.
Recent research suggests about 50 children aged under 12 in Glasgow had used heroin at least once.
Source: The Herald, Monday 30 January 2006

Unison report counters attack on public sector
Unison has published a study commissioned to counter the “dogma” that the public sector is bloated.
The research is a response to comments from Sir John Ward, the chairman of Scottish Enterprise, who last October compared parts of Ayrshire with a communist-era “eastern bloc” country because it had such a high dependence on jobs funded by the taxpayer.
But the Unison report argues there is no evidence of tension between public sector spending and economic growth, particularly in a country with limited control of tax rates and no control of interest rates.
Source:- The Herald, Monday 30 January 2006

Scots girls worst for drink
Scottish girls are the world’s biggest teenage boozers, according to a survey. By the time they turn 15, more than a third of them are drinking spirits at least once a week, says the World Health Organisation report. They are also the youngest out of 35 countries worldwide to get drunk for the first time, with an average age of just 13.
Source:- The Record, Monday 30 January 2006

Residential schools better than care homes, says academic
Vulnerable children do better academically when they attend residential schools than if they are placed in care homes, according to a leading academic.
Dr Graham Connelly, a senior lecturer in education at Strathclyde University, said the exam performance of looked-after children proved that residential schools offered them the best chance of gaining good grades. Dr Connelly said that by contrast, placing the youngsters in care homes can often lead to them absconding and being suspended from school.
Source:- The Scotsman, Saturday 28 January 2006

Local authorities must do more to integrate refugees
Scottish local authorities aren’t doing enough to help refugees integrate into society, the Scottish Refugee Council has warned. Not a single council has signed up to a government scheme to take on displaced people.
Source:- The Scotsman, Saturday 28 January 2006

Councils fail to provide service tackling domestic abuse
Almost half of Scottish local authorities are failing to provide re-education schemes to help tackle the behaviour of men convicted of domestic abuse offences.  An investigation by the Sunday Herald has found that 15 of 31 councils (one did not respond) do not have re-education initiatives in place for men with a history of domestic violence.
While nearly 14,000 incidents of domestic abuse were referred to the procurator fiscal in 2004, only around 300 men go through such programmes each year, and some areas where re-education programmes are unavailable include local authorities with some of the highest incidences of domestic abuse.
Source: The Sunday Herald, Sunday 29 January 2006

Welsh news

Tragic schoolboy
A boy who committed suicide contacted his parents using his mobile phone just before laying down in front of a train it has emerged.
Jonathan Reynolds, 15, of Bridgend, lay down on the tracks at Pencoed railway station.
Police are investigating whether he was being bullied at all.
Source:- South Wales Echo, Saturday 28 January 2006

Heroin mother found dead by daughter, seven
A mother who was found dead by her seven-year-old daughter died of a heroin overdose Merthyr Tydfil coroner’s court has heard.
Melanie Sian Howells, 28, was found by her daughter Ayla in March.
She had been clean from drugs for years before the incident.
Source:- South Wales Echo, Saturday 28 January 2006

£15k boost for victims of sexual abuse
The first centre in Wales for people who have been sexually assaulted has been given a grant of £15,000.
The grant will be used to build a new examination room at the sexual assault referral centre in Merthyl Tydfil.
Source:- Western Mail, Saturday 28 January 2006







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