Monday 27th February

New cabinet minister on social exclusion
Labour’s record in helping the worst off is not good enough, Tony Blair said in a speech.
He announced the appointment of a cabinet minister to co-ordinate work on social exclusion, tipped to be Home Office minister Hazel Blears.
Source:- Guardian, Saturday 25 February 2006, page 10

Naming and shaming guidance on Asbos condemned
Professor Rod Morgan, chairman of the Youth Justice Board, has criticized the naming and shaming of youngsters subjected to antisocial behaviour orders as “not the sort of thing that would be tolerated in most countries.”
Source:- Guardian, Saturday 25 February 2006, page 12

Jealous father gets life for torture and murder of son
A father who tortured and battered his three month old son to death was jailed for life yesterday. A report into the baby’s death by the local safeguarding children board discovered that the mother’s probation officer was concerned about the baby’s welfare and alerted social services. Despite completing an initial child protection assessment they failed to protect the baby. Catherine Fitt, executive director of children’s services at Newcastle Council, said health and social workers should have done more to see the baby.
Source:- Guardian, Saturday 25 February 2006, page 7

Livingstone suspended
Ken Livingstone yesterday faced suspension from office after a disciplinary tribunal found him guilty of bringing his position into disrepute by likening a Jewish reporter to a concentration camp guard.
Source:- Guardian, Saturday 25 February 2006, page 1

Girl guides shed church image to attract minorities
The girl guides are trying to shed their Christian, white and middle class image by launching a recruitment drive among ethnic minorities.
Source:- Daily Telegraph, Saturday 25 February 2006, page 7

Two year old girl walks home alone from nursery
A two year old girl walked out of her pre-school nursery and wandered half a mile to her home. Manor Road pre-school in Southampton is to improve its security after a visit by Ofsted following the incident. Southampton Council is responsible for the pre-school.
Source:- Daily Telegraph, Saturday 25 February 2006, page 5

Triple murderer will die in prison
A homeless man who murdered three women in Nottingham, all of whom were sleeping rough when killed, was ordered to serve a full life term.
Source:- The Times, Saturday 25 February 2006, page 23

Violent offender gets school caretaker job
A man with drug and violence convictions got a job at a school, despite government promises of a crackdown on offenders in classrooms.
Source:- Daily Mirror, Saturday 25 February 2006, page 35

Massive rise in child porn websites
The number of websites found to be offering child pornography to UK internet users increased by 75 per cent last year amid fears of an explosion in illegal images
Source:- The Observer, Sunday 26 February 2006, page 12

Ten-fold rise in children with adult diabetes is tip of iceberg
Soaring levels of obesity have sparked a crisis of “adult” diabetes in children, a new study has revealed.
Source:- The Sunday Telegraph, Sunday 26 February 2006, page 1

Sue Whitehall for breaking race law
The chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality accused the government yesterday of “deep institutional complacency” for failing to enforce its own laws to safeguard the rights of ethnic minorities.
Source:- The Sunday Telegraph, Sunday 26 February 2006, page 2

Confusion and chaos: just another week in the magistrates’ court
More than one in three magistrates’ court cases fail to proceed on any given day because of needless adjournments, an investigation has discovered.
Source:- The Sunday Telegraph, Sunday 26 February 2006, page 16

Bullies were promised sex if they hanged me, says pupil in £10,000 court battle
Ricky Clements, 18, a boy who survived being hanged at school by a gang of classmates who were promised sexual favours if they hurt him is suing his teachers in a landmark case against bullying. It is claimed that teachers at Thomas Peacock community college in Rye, Sussex, did nothing to stop the abuse.
Source:- The Mail on Sunday 26 February 2006, page 42

Teenage girls demand better sex education
More than 2,000 teenage girls have signed a petition demanding compulsory sex and relationship in every secondary school. The petition will be delivered to Downing Street tomorrow by the editor of Cosmogirl! magazine, which is organising the protest.
Source:- The Observer, Sunday 26 February 2006, page 10

Early jail release to get tougher
Tony Blair is demanding tougher supervision of offenders by the probation service amid alarm at killings by criminals released from jail early.
Source:- The Times, Monday 27 February 2006, page 30

Salt overdose manslaughter case appeal
A couple who claim they were wrongly jailed for killing their adopted son with an overdose of salt are hoping to win their freedom next month. Ian and Angela Gay believe new medical evidence will clear them of the manslaughter of Christian Blewitt, three.
Source:- Daily Mirror, Monday 27 February 2006, page 20

Anger as killer dies on hunger strike
Terry Rodgers, due to stand trial next month for the murder of his newlywed daughter died in prison after starving himself.
Source:- The Guardian, Monday 27 February 2006, page 1

Livingstone challenges suspension in court
Ken Livingstone will today go to the high court to challenge both his suspension from office by the Adjudication Panel and its findings that he brought his office into disrepute by comparing a Jewish reporter to a Nazi concentration camp guard.
Source:- The Guardian, Monday 27 February 2006, page 5

Overspending crisis hitting patient reforms
The financial crisis in the NHS deepened last night when Sir Nigel Crisp, permanent secretary at the Department of Health, issued a blunt warning that the government’s programme for improving patient services is being undermined by persistent overspending.
Source:- The Guardian, Monday 27 February 2006, page 8

Wage equality report fails to call for audits to close gap
Equality campaigners and trade unions have attacked a long-awaited paper by the Women and Work Commission because its 40 recommendations do not include any demands for legal changes such as mandatory pay audits.
Source:- The Guardian, Monday 27 February 2006, page 10

Many smokers fail to quit despite health problems
More than half of all smokers who have been diagnosed with at least one circulatory disorder continue to smoke, research published in the journal BMC Public Health has found.
Source:- The Guardian, Monday 27 February 2006, page 11

Kelly refuses to budge on veto for new local authority schools
Ruth Kelly said yesterday she will retain her veto over local authorities setting up new comprehensives under the controversial school reform bill to be published tomorrow.
Source:- The Guardian, Monday 27 February 2006, page 12

Brightest schoolchildren to be earmarked for university at 11
Secondary schools will be told the names of their brightest pupils and warned they will be held accountable if those students do not go on to get three As at A level, under a scheme to be introduced by the government’s specialist schools trust.
Source:- The Guardian, Monday 27 February 2006, page 12

Most cot deaths due to accidental suffocation, says US study
American researchers say most Sudden Infant Death Syndrome deaths are actually due to the baby’s mouth and nose being obstructed by bedding or something else. The findings support UK government advice that babies should be placed on their backs in a cot and not in an adult bed or on a sofa.
Source:- The Guardian, Monday 27 February 2006, page 14

Divorced father brings test case to publicise shared parenting deal
The secrecy surrounding the family courts in England and Wales will be challenged tomorrow in a test case brought by a divorced father who wants to publicise a ground-breaking shared parenting agreement with his former wife.
Source:- The Guardian, Monday 27 February 2006, page 17

New asylum seekers tagged
New asylum seekers are being electronically tagged to stop them vanishing if their application to stay in Britain fail. 800 tags have been bought by the Home Office and are being fitted to asylum seekers as they arrive in the country. But refugee groups say it is unnecessary and treats them like criminals.
Source:- Daily Mirror, Monday 27 February 2006, page 15

Sex trafficking exposed
Two Lithuanian girls speak out about being trafficked into prostitution. Amnesty International and the Poppy Project have launched campaigns to tackle the issue.
Source:- Daily Mirror, Monday 27 February 2006, page 16

Charlotte Wyatt serious but stable
The two year old is still in a “serious but stable” condition last night. Last week, a judge ruled that doctors could let her die, against the wishes of her parents.
Source:- Independent, Monday 27 February 2006, page 14

Black hole in public sector pensions
The black hole in public sector pensions is almost four times larger than originally estimated, Whitehall accounts show. This follows a change in the way the government works out the cost of its retirement schemes.
Source:- Daily Telegraph, Monday 27 February 2006, page 1

16-year olds should be allowed to stand for parliament
Young people should be allowed to vote and stand for parliament at 16, under proposals for the biggest shake up of the electoral system since universal suffrage.
Source:- Daily Telegraph, Monday 27 February 2006, page 2

Yobs’ mums face weekend sin-bins
Parents face weekend detentions with their kids under a tough crackdown on classroom rowdies.
Source:- The Sun, Monday 27 February 2006, page 2

We must stay tough on assaults, say JPs
Magistrates have condemned plans to give softer sentences to offenders who commit assaults.
Source:- The Daily Mail, Monday 27 February 2006, page 35

Scottish news

NHS failing to account for number of Scots children prescribed Ritalin
The number of Scottish children being prescribed drugs such as Ritalin to treat hyperactivity is unknown, despite increasing concerns over a rise in their use.
An investigation has found the majority of health boards are unable to provide details of how many young people are currently on medication to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Just four health boards out of 15 were able to provide information on how many youngsters are currently receiving the medication and a breakdown of their ages.
Source:- The Sunday Herald, 26 February 2006

McConnel targets social workers
Jack McConnell yesterday promised a new bill to force social workers and others who deal with children to share information better.
Police, doctors and council employees will be put under a legal duty to communicate better under the plans announced by the first minister. If they do not, the Scottish Labour leader told his party’s conference in Aviemore, they will be reported to their professional bodies and risk being struck off.
He also promised better child protection training for frontline staff over the next two years.
Source:- Scotland on Sunday, 26 February 2006

Bishop hits out over gay adoption law
Scotland’s most senior Roman Catholic bishops has attacked the “politically correct zealots” who are supporting legislation which will allow homosexual couples to adopt.
In a letter to Jack McConnell, the Rev Joseph Devine, Bishop of Motherwell, accepted that he would be seen as a bigot for his views, but said he was “not prepared to stand by and watch the destruction of Christian values and truth”.
The bishop challenged the first minister to scrap the legislation or test the issue at a referendum, saying that the proposed law was “yet another violation of family life”.
Source:- The Herald, Monday 27 February 2006

NHS pressed to improve child protection
Jack McConnell, the first minister, wants to target doctors and health professionals in an attempt to forge co-operation between people who work with vulnerable children.
McConnell wants to impose an obligation on professionals to work with each other to ensure children do not fall between different agencies.
Those close to the first minister say his main concern is with the medical profession as it has a strong culture of protecting patient confidentiality.
Source:- The Herald, Monday 27 February 2006

Ministers fail to deliver on pledged child abuse hotline
Ministers are stalling on a promise to set up a 24-hour national child protection hotline, more than a year after the Scottish executive pledged to have put the “essential” service in place.
Three years ago, the executive said it would work with agencies and existing helplines” to provide a 24-hour national child protection service by 2005″.
But it is still considering the issue, despite having promised to have the hotline in place 14 months ago.
Source:- The Scotsman, Monday 27 February 2006

Concern over self-harming
More than half of adults in Scotland would not know how to help a young person who self-harms.
Up to one in ten teenagers in Scotland self-harm. But a survey of 1,000 people by the mental health group SeeMe has found that 41 per cent of adults think young people self-harming are attention seeking and 34 per cent feel they are manipulative.
Linda Dunion, of SeeMe, said these negative attitudes were driving the low self- esteem of self-harmers.
Source:- The Scotsman, Monday 27 February 2006

Welsh news

The forgotten children
Children’s charity Barnardo’s is urging local authorities in Wales to do more to tackle child prostitution.
It says that many councils sill do not know the warning signs to look for to prevent children from being recruited into prostitution.
Source:- Wales on Sunday, Sunday 26 February 2006

Teenagers on trial for killing of pupil Ben
Three teenagers will appear in court tomorrow charged with murdering teenager Ben Bellamy.
Andrew Rafferty, 18, of Mount Pleasant, Swansea and two boys aged 15 and 17 who are too young to be named will all deny the charges.
Bellamy’s body was found on a Swansea beach last October.
Source:- Western Mail, Monday 27 February 2006

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