News round-up: Tesco boss criticises UK education system

Tesco boss criticises UK education system

The chief executive of Tesco, the nation’s largest private employer, has criticised educational standards for failing to prepare teenagers for the workplace.

Sir Terry Leahy said that standards in schools were often “woefully low” and that the education system left it to private companies to “pick up the pieces”. He said that teachers were hindered from doing their jobs by red tape and criticised the system’s “back office” bureaucracy.

Read more on this story in The Times

Patients can post online comments about GP practice

The system will give patients more information about their local surgeries in England helping them to choose which is best for them.

It comes after ministers announced that GP practice boundaries will be abolished within a year meaning it will be easier to change family doctor and register nearer to work than home.

Read more on this story in The Daily Telegraph

Just one in 20 sickness benefit applicants ‘permanently unable to work’

Only five per cent of applicants were eligible for the full allowance under tough new Government tests.

The figures suggest that many of the 2.6 million on incapacity benefits could see their payments slashed when their claims are reassessed under the new system.

Read more on this story in The Daily Telegraph

Tories claim 140,000 missed out on university

More than 140,000 applicants missed out on university places this year, the Tories claim, accusing the Government of “betraying” a generation of students.
The party’s universities spokesman David Willetts said 141,000 applicants missed out – an increase of nearly 30 per cent on the year before.
He accused the Government of ”blocking people’s aspirations and betraying a generation” because of the shortfall.

Read more on this story in The Daily Telegraph

Cot death linked to shared beds

More than half of cot deaths happen when a baby is sleeping with a parent, a study reveals today.

Researchers said this could be linked to the baby’s parent having been drinking or taking drugs, before falling asleep with the baby in bed or on a sofa. Despite a dramatic drop in the rate of cot deaths in the UK since the early 1990s, experts are advising parents to avoid sleeping with their babies in order to help reduce these deaths even further.

Read more on this story in The Independent

Rise in unemployment less than expected

Unemployment rose by less than feared in September, with the number of people signing up for jobless benefit rising by the smallest amount in 16 months.

The Office for National Statistics reported this morning that the claimant count rose by 20,800 in September, below economists’ expectations of a 24,500 rise. This means there are now 1.6268 million people out of work and claiming benefit in Britain.

Read more on this story in The Guardian

Paramedics may get powers to give drugs to patients

Paramedics could be given greater powers to dispense drugs under an initiative to redesign emergency services and keep patients at home.

The change was proposed as the Department of Health released fresh figures today showing that demand for ambulance services is rising at 6.5% a year, adding an extra £60m to the NHS budget each year.

Read more on this story in The Guardian

Health chiefs recommend minimum price for alcohol
The introduction of a minimum price for alcohol was recommended yesterday by the Government’s advisory body on medical treatment.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) wants to make it more difficult for young people and binge drinkers to buy hazardous amounts of alcohol.

Read more on this story in The Times

Polanski is finishing latest film from his cell, says Robert Harris

Roman Polanski is putting the finishing touches to his forthcoming film from his prison cell in Switzerland, his friend and colleague Robert Harris said yesterday at The Times Cheltenham Literature Festival.

Harris, who wrote the screenplay for the film, said that the director is making decisions about The Ghost so that it will be ready for its scheduled premiere at the Berlin Film Festival in February. Polanski, who is fighting extradition to America where he is wanted for raping a 13-year-old girl in 1977, recently gave instructions about the film score to Alexandre Desplat, the composer best known for writing music for The Queen and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

Read more on this story in The Times


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