Minimum wage fine welcomed

By Maria Ahmed, Mithran Samuel, Caroline Lovell, Derren Hayes and Amy Taylor

Minimum wage fine welcomed

Union leaders yesterday welcomed the first criminal prosecution of an employer for breaching minimum wage rules.

Teresa Aguda, owner of Rascals Day Nursery in Walthamstow, east London, was fined £2,500 after admitting obstructing Revenue and Customs officials trying to establish whether she paid the minimum wage.

Source:- The Financial Times Wednesday 29 August 2007 page 4

Could do better, Ofsted report tells nurseries

Almost six in ten daycare settings, responsible for 285,000 children, were judged as good or outstanding in a report published by Ofsted today.

The proportion deemed to be inadequate was 4%, the same as in 2005-6.

Source:- The Guardian Wednesday 29 August 2007 page 5

Nurses loath to report abuse of the elderly

More than half of nurses would not report the abuse of an older person in their care, according to a survey commissioned by Help the Aged.

The poll found 58% would not report abuse because they would fear getting it wrong, while 68% felt that a lack of training in how to deal with elder abuse was a barrier to providing decent care.

Source:- The Guardian Wednesday 29 August 2007 page 7

A life turned around

A young woman who won a test case against Sutton Council in London over its failure to treat her as a child in need on leaving custody – and thus entitled to accommodation – has spoken about the huge resettlement challenges faced by custody leavers.

Jade Saunders, who spent ten months at Medway Secure Training Centre for her part in a knife-point robbery, was taken to a hostel and given £50 to cover her expenses on her release, and is still living on just £25 a week after housing costs.

Chris Callender, assistant director of the Howard League for Penal Reform, who represented her, said there was a systematic failure on the part of councils to support young people leaving custody who have no home to go to.

Source:- Society Guardian Wednesday 29 August 2007 page 1

Absent minded

A recent court judgement has exposed councils’ practice in unreasonably refusing to allow housing tenants to move if they are vulnerable because of a medical condition.

The appeal court judgement concerned Birmingham Council’s use of a company called NowMedical to assess the health needs of a woman who had suffered from depression and post-traumatic stress, and felt her home environment was worsening her plight.

The court ruled that the council had not taken account of all medical evidence available, after referring the woman’s medical notes to NowMedical who concluded there was nothing of particular severity in her condition.

Source:- Society Guardian Wednesday 29 August 2007 page 3

Cost of school uniforms is pricing the poorest out of state education
A Citizen’s Advice survey revealed that three out of four parents struggle to pay basic state school education costs – such as school uniforms, school trips, photos and books – which can amount to more than £1000 a year.  
Source: – The Independent, Wednesday 29 August 2007, page 16

At least 1,000 nurseries failing in care for young

Babies and young children in at least 1,000 nurseries and childcare facilities were let down last year by staff failing to provide them with stimulating activities, or leaving them to get bored or cry themselves to sleep.

Source:- The Times Wednesday 29 August 2007, page 4
Suspended at age 4

Children as young as 4 were suspended from Leicestershire schools last year, including one five-year-old who was expelled for sexual misconduct.

Source:- The Times, Wednesday 29 August 2007, page 4

Minimum wage case

A children’s nursery owner was fined £2,500 in the first criminal prosecution over the national minimum wage.

Source:- The Times, Wednesday 29 August 2007, page 9

Scottish news

Record numbers crowded into Scots prisons

Scotland’s prison population has reached a record high of 7,497, with young offenders and those on remand accounting for the bulk of the latest increase.

The average population of the country’s prisons – estimated last year provisionally at 7,111 – is up more than 9% on the 2005 figure of 6,792.

There are also more than 200 prisoners currently on Home Detention Curfew (HDC) – which means they are serving the remainder of their sentence tagged at home.

Source:- The Herald, Wednesday 29 August

Nursery places face financial axe

Closing nursery schools will not be enough to ease Edinburgh Council’s financial shortfall.

Speaking at the council’s education committee, the children and families director, Gillian Tee, revealed the number of full-time nursery places would have to fall to meet the target of saving nearly £1.8 million from the early years sector.

But MP for Edinburgh South West Alistair Darling urged pupils and parents of a school threatened with closure in his area to fight for it to remain open.

Source:- The Scotsman, Wednesday 29 August

Welsh news

Council in cash bid to attract social workers

A council whose social services were recently criticised by inspectors is considering offering £2,000 incentives in an attempt to recruit experience social workers to work on the frontline.

Earlier this year the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales said it had serious concerns about Swansea Council’s family services.

A report due to be discussed by the council’s cabinet tomorrow says that social services staff with more than two to three years experience are in the minority and proposes offering £2,000 golden hellos to try to tempt experienced social workers into working on its frontline.

Source:- Western Mail, Wednesday, August 29 2007
Assembly fights child trafficking

A new set of measures to combat child trafficking were launched by the Welsh Assembly yesterday.

The guidance says that there is an every growing problem of children being smuggled to Wales from Ireland on the ferry. Children are usually trafficking for financial reasons and made to work as prostitutes or forced into other kinds of labour.

Source:-Western Mail, Wednesday, August 29 2007

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