Disadvantaged to benefit from new education initiatives

Disadvanataged to benefit from new education initiatives
Tony Blair will announce three education initiatives on Monday to help both gifted and disadvantaged children as part of a policy review of the public services.
Source:- The Guardian, Saturday 17 March 2007, page 14

Care home ‘must close within days’
A care home being investigated by police following the suspicious deaths of seven elderly residents has been ordered to close “within days” under an emergency order. The Commission for Social Care Inspection said it had issued the order after a “total lack of co-operation” by the owners of Parkfields residential care home in Butleigh, Somerset.
Source:- Daily Telegraph, Saturday 17 March 2007, page 2

Care home ‘cruelty’
Three “cruel and despicable” care home staff who encouraged patients to fight and racially abuse each other have been jailed. Eulalee Hall, 51, and Noleen Bailey, 31, from north London, and Glendeen Nedd, 36, from east London, were each sentenced to six months at Snaresbrook crown court in London.
Source:- The Times, Saturday 17 March 2007, page 7

Town hall finance review risks becoming farce
The long-awaited inquiry, carried out by Sir Michael Lyons, is to be published on Budget Day next week nearly five years after ministers began searching for new ways of paying for local services. Council leaders want a far-reaching overhaul to give local authorities greater control over their finances and more devolved powers. But they fear that the review has ducked the big issues and offers little beyond an already leaked plan to add two council tax bands to the existing eight.
Source:- Daily Telegraph, Saturday 17 March 2007, page 8

Drunken sex risks of young
Boozy youngsters admit sleeping around and cheating on their partners after drinking too much. A fifth of 18 to 24-year-olds have reckless sex – because they are too drunk to care, says the Government’s Know Your Limits study.
Source:- Daily Mirror, Saturday 17 March 2007, page 31

Therapy ‘cures heroin addiction’
A cure for heroin addiction – which both detoxes addicts and removes their cravings for the drug – has been successfully tested in Scotland. Plans are now underway to have the experiment repeated on a larger scale, involving 700 inmates of an entire prison.The treatment is neuro-electric therapy, which works on the same principle as acupuncture.
Source:- The Independent, Saturday 17 March 2007, page 14

Woman ‘stabbed by neighbour’s 7-year old’
A seven-year-old boy has been referred by police to social workers after allegedly stabbing a woman more than 20 times with a kitchen knife.
Source:- Daily Telegraph, Saturday 17 March 2007, page 13

We’re facing a public health crisis, say Tories
More public health campaigns, such as the “tombstone” television advertisements in the 1980s warning of the dangers of HIV/Aids, are needed to combat soaring rates of obesity, drink problems and sexually transmitted infections, David Cameron said yesterday.
Source:- Daily Telegraph, Saturday 17 March 2007, page 12

Benefits ‘destroying family life’
Couples who pretend to live apart can gain up to £10,000 a year in benefits, according to a book published today by sociologist and author Patricia Morgan.
Source:- Daily Telegraph, Saturday 17 March 2007, page 10

Disabled woman and carer found murdered in flat
A murder hunt was launched early yesterday after police broke into a flat in Southampton and discovered the bodies of a disabled woman and her carer.
Source:- The Guardian, Saturday 17 March 2007, page 14

Mother wrongly jailed over the deaths of sons found dead
Sally Clark, the mother wrongly jailed for murdering her two baby sons, has died at the age of 42, four years after being released from prison.
Source:- The Times, Saturday 17 March 2007, page 7

Women facing jail after goading toddlers to fight
A home video of two toddlers being goaded into punching each other left a judge shocked yesterday.
The youngsters’ grandmother, mother and two aunts were warned that they faced jail after the film of them forcing the brother and sister to fight was shown to magistrates.
Source:- The Times, Saturday 17 March 2007, page 25

Four teenagers charged over stabbing
Four teenagers have been charged with the murder of west London schoolboy Kodjo Yenga, Scotland Yard said last night.
Source:- The Guardian, Saturday 17 March 2007, page 11

3,300 sales and rising – ultrasonic answer to teenage gangs sets alarm bells ringing
A black box emitting a high pitched pulsing sound designed to deter loitering teenagers is being used in thousands of sites around Britain just a year after its launch, prompting warnings from civil liberties campaigners that it is a “sonic weapon” that could be illegal.
The Mosquito device, whose high-frequency shriek is audible only to those under around 25, has been bought by police, local councils, shops, and even private home owners, to tackle concerns over groups of young people congregating and causing disruption.
Source:- The Guardian, Saturday 17 March 2007, page 13

State nannies to be sent in to target ‘at risk’ families
Jailed fathers of young children can expect their families to be automatically targeted by state-sponsored nannies in a dramatic escalation of “early intervention” policies to be unveiled by Tony Blair this week. The state should step in to turn around young lives at the first sign they are becoming blighted by crime, poverty, violence and drug abuse, Mr Blair will say.
If a parent is sent to jail, families could be given a period of “intensive home visits” by health visitors, suggest officials.
On Tuesday, ministers will launch a review expanding existing policies aimed at identifying potential troublemakers in the womb, with home visits for “vulnerable” mothers over a two-year period. Cabinet Office sources suggested that the project could be extended to include families in which there is domestic violence or a parent has been sent to jail.
Source:- Independent on Sunday, 18 March 2007, page 2

Reid out to crush 21st-century slave trade
The UK Action Plan on Human Trafficking, to be announced on Friday by the home secretary, will set up a network of refuges and support services for trafficking victims in towns and cities across the UK. There is currently only one government-funded refuge for women who escape from the gangs. Ministers say many more are urgently needed because of the “alarming” scale of the trade described as “21st century slavery”. There is mounting concern over the growing number of child slaves being brought to the UK.
Source:- Sunday Telegraph, 18 March 2007, page 7

Mystery of asylum charity’s missing Lottery grants
A charity was unable to account for more than £100,000 of National Lottery money, according to a damning report by the Charity Commission. The Detainee Support and Help Unit received £390,000 in grants over a five-year period. Yet an inquiry found it had suffered from “serious mismanagement” and appeared to do little charitable work.
Source:- Sunday Telegraph, 18 March 2007, page 7

Cannabis: An apology
Record numbers of teenagers are requiring drug treatment as a result of smoking skunk, the highly potent cannabis strain that is 25 times stronger than resin sold a decade ago.
More than 22,000 people were treated last year for cannabis addiction – and almost half of those affected were under 18.
With doctors and drugs experts warning that skunk can be as damaging as cocaine and heroin, leading to mental health problems and psychosis for thousands of teenagers, The Independent on Sunday has today reversed its landmark campaign for cannabis use to be decriminalised.
Source:- Independent on Sunday, 18 March 2007, page 1

Call for paid time off over ill children
Parents should be given a statutory right to paid time off work when their children are ill, according to Harriet Harman, a senior minister and a candidate for Labour’s deputy leadership. Her proposal was published as part of a “Mother’s Day manifesto” of family-friendly policies.
Source:- Sunday Times, 18 March 2007, page 7

‘No alcohol’ warning for pregnant women
Women will be told not to drink while pregnant or even when trying for a baby in controversial government guidelines which will mean warning labels being put on bottles of wine, spirits and beer.
Source:- The Observer, Sunday 18 March 2007, page 1

Patients miss out as NHS cash floods in
Money pumped into the NHS has gone on improving the salaries of GPs and consultants and paying for increased pensions rather than on improvements in patient care and frontline services. A damning report by think-tank the King’s Fund reveals that productivity in the health service has actually declined, despite the huge injection of cash.
Source:- The Observer, Sunday 18 March 2007, page 2

Sally Clark ‘let down’ by authorities
Friends of Sally Clark, who died on Friday, yesterday attacked the authorities for failing to support her after she was freed from prison. Angela Cannings, who was also falsely convicted for the murder of her two sons and was close to Clark, launched an angry broadside against health and social service teams for leaving the former solicitor to cope without professional help.
Source:- The Observer, Sunday 18 March 2007, page 6

Pensioners given hope of council tax relief
Pensioners on fixed incomes living in higher-value homes are expected to be offered some relief from soaring council tax bills by a report out this week.
Sir Michael Lyons, whose recommendations on reforming the council tax system will be published alongside Gordon Brown’s Budget on Wednesday, is understood to have concluded that pensioners are being unfairly penalized
Source:- Sunday Telegraph, 18 March 2007, page 2

Woman handed 20-year Asbo
A woman has been given an antisocial behaviour order that will control her for the next 20 years – thought to be the longest ever imposed.
Source:- Mail on Sunday, 18 March 2007, page 51

£30m Budget lifeline for kids
Gordon Brown will hand children’s helplines a £30million lifeline in Wednesday’s Budget. The chancellor will also give kids’ protection charities regular state funding.He will answer the NSPCC’s prayers with a £10million annual handout for the Childline emergency hotline.
The money will also go to the NSPCC’s child protection helpline.
Mr Brown will also announce cash for an internet help site — called there4me.com — aimed at teenagers with problems.
Source:- The Sun, Monday 19 March 2007, page 2

Young at risk as knife thugs seek ‘respect’
Poorer people are twice as likely to be killed with a knife or cutting implement as the rest of society, with such weapons accounting for 60 per cent of lower income killings, studies show.
Figures also show that three in ten killings now involve a cutting instrument and rates have increased by 20 per cent over the past five years.
There have been eight fatal stabbings across England and Wales over four days.
Source:- The Times, Monday 19 March 2007, page 7

Vote to stop gay-rights law, bishops told
Lay members of the Church of England’s general synod are urging bishops to vote against regulations outlawing discrimination against gay people in the provision of goods and services when they are voted on in the House of Lords on Wednesday.
The regulations would prevent gay couples from being discriminated against by adoption agencies, something the Catholic Church mounted an unsuccessful campaign to prevent.
Source:- The Times, Monday 19 March 2007, page 11

Courts face week of disruption as defence solicitors work to rule
More than 1,000 people are expected to take part in a lobby of parliament against plans to reform legal aid to replace hourly rates by fixed fees which lawyers warn will drive many firms out of business.
Source:- The Guardian, Monday 19 March 2007, page 17

Downside of rural life: poverty, racism and mental illness
The country is experiencing increased inequality driven by spiralling house prices, while many rural dwellers have reduced access to basic services such as healthcare, a report this week finds.
The Young Foundation report, published on Wednesday, says homelessness and mental illnesses are going unreported as a result of the changes.
Source:- The Independent, Monday 19 March 2007, page 21

Scottish news
Failed asylum-seeker sets himself on fire
A failed asylum seeker in Edinburgh doused himself with petrol and set himself alight as he awaited a second hearing at the asylum and immigration tribunal in Glasgow last week.
The man was a journalist who fled Nepal after police began investigating a story he wrote claiming a top actress was a prostitute. She later killed herself.
Friends said the father-of-two was sedated in hospital where he had burns to his face, chest and arms and a chest infection.
Source:- The Scotsman, Saturday 18 March 2007

SNP promises £10m to warn against drugs
The Scottish National Party has pledged £10 million for drugs education in schools.
In a speech to the SNP’s pre-election conference in Glasgow, deputy leader Nicola Sturgeon is to highlight the fight against drugs as one of the major challenges facing Scotland.
Sturgeon is to call for tougher action against dealers – “vile people who make a living out of the misery of others”.
Source-: The Scotsman, Saturday 18 March 2007

Welsh news

Value of voluntary work ‘in millions’
Voluntary religious groups provide millions of pounds worth of services in Wales according to new research.
The first ever survey of the groups is being carried out using funding from the Welsh Assembly government and the Home Office.
Source:- Western Mail, Saturday 17 March 2007

Youth services boost for councils
Local authority and voluntary sector youth services in Wales are set to be expanded. The plan is contained in a new assembly government document – the national youth service strategy.
Source:- Western Mail, Saturday 17 March 2007

2,100 children in Wales at risk of child abuse
More than 2, 100 children Wales are at risk of physical, sexual and emotional abuse NSPCC Cymru warned today.
The children are all on the at risk register in Wales. The warning came as NSPCC Cymru launched a new campaign aiming to get people to act.
Source:- Western Mail, Monday 19 March 2007

Special needs job help bid
More support needs to be available to young people with special educational needs trying to get jobs, research out today says.
The report, which was published by the Welsh Assembly’s education committee, says that as few as 5 per cent of young people with SENs have jobs.
Source:- Western Mail, Monday 19 March  2007



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