News round-up: Teacher has sex with pupil; Girls’ weight worries

Teacher, 39, jailed for sex with 15-year-old pupil

A religious education teacher who admitted 10 charges of engaging a 15-year-old pupil in sexual activity has been jailed today.

Madeleine Martin, 39, of Knutsford, Cheshire, admitted beginning a week-long relationship with the boy, who was under 16 at the time, when she appeared in court in September.

Read more on this story in The Guardian

Only one in five disabled students has received vital funding

Only one in five disabled students has received vital funding to pay for specialist equipment and helpers at university due to delays at the crisis-hit Student Loans Company (SLC), it emerged today , while official figures revealed that tens of millions of pounds in grants and loans is still unallocated two months into term.

Thousands of students have received none or only part of their funding after the crisis triggered widespread delays, lost documents and jammed phone helplines. The government has ordered an official inquiry, which is expected to report before Christmas.

Read more on this story in The Guardian

Sexual abuse by Catholic priests in Ireland was covered up for decades, report says

Widespread child sexual abuse by Catholic priests in Dublin was covered up for decades by senior clerics, a damning report will say.

Four Archbishops, including Cardinal Desmond Connell, will be named over their mishandling of hundreds of allegations, including not reporting crimes to the police.

The senior clerics’ motive was to protect the church above defenceless children, the report will find.

Read more on this story in The Daily Telegraph

Teenager who tried to rape girl, 11, avoids jail in ‘pathetic’ ruling

A teenager who subjected an 11-year-old girl to a horrific sexual attack has escaped a prison sentence in a ruling branded ‘pathetic’ by the victim’s family.

The 15-year-old boy sexually assaulted the youngster as she was playing near her home.

Read more on this story in The Daily Mail

Three-year-old girls worry about their weight, study finds

Research among preschool girls found that up to 50 per cent were already anxious about how they look while a third wanted to lose weight or change their hair colour.

But exposure to images of idealised beauty, such as princesses in films, does not appear to make their anxiety worse, according to the study published in the British Journal of Developmental Psychology. 

Read more on this story in The Daily Telegraph

Employees resigned to working beyond retirement age

The economic crisis will lead to a surge in the proportion of people who intend to work beyond the state retirement age of 65, according to a report by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

Some 71% of workers over 55 who replied to the Employee Outlook survey of 2,000 people said they planned to work beyond the state pension age, compared with 40% of respondents to a similar survey two years ago.

Read more on this story in The Guardian

Police ignore rape allegations if victim has been drinking, says Sara Payne

Police officers are still refusing to take complaints of rape seriously if the victims come from “the wrong part of town”, if they have been drinking or if they have made previous allegations, according to a report by Sara Payne, the national victims’ champion.

Payne, who was appointed by the government in January, says this culture of disbelief is matched by a generally held misconception across the criminal justice system that a rapist is a stranger who breaks into victims’ homes or attacks them in public places, and who uses force.

Read more on this story in The Guardian

What role should teachers have in preventing domestic violence?

Evidence demonstrates that one in four women will experience some form of domestic violence during their lifetime. What is often overlooked is the impact of this abuse on the thousands of children and young people who witness, experience and in some cases perpetuate this violence.

Read more on this story in The Guardian

Tory’s lead on cuts falls

The public is becoming marginally more realistic about the need to cut spending on public services to deal with the deficit, but somewhat more sceptical that the Conservatives are the right party to do it.

That is the latest finding from the regular Ipsos MORI public spending index which shows that the public remains split on the issue. Forty-three per cent agree spending needs to be cut but 44 per cent still disagree – a net balance of 1 percentage point who disagree against a gap of 11 points in June.

Read more on this story in The Financial Times

Labour’s plan to dismantle Whitehall revealed

Tens of thousands of civil servants may be moved out of London in a dramatic downscaling of Whitehall under Labour plans to cut public debts and instil a culture of “smarter government”.

Leaked sections of a report to be published in a fortnight reveal that the government wants a review into the possibility of relocating some of the 132,000 civil servants and 90,000 employees of “arm’s-length bodies” currently based in London and the south-east.

Read more on this story in The Guardian

Gifted Cambridge-bound student who died after two-year anorexia battle

A gifted teenager who died after suffering a severe eating disorder for two years was let down by health chiefs, an inquest heard today.

Alice Rae, who scored 9 A*s in her GSCEs and had been offered a place at Cambridge University, was found dead in her bed by her mother on January 14.

Read more on this story in The Daily Mail

Fern Britton: ‘I still can’t see that I was wrong’

On ITV1’s This Morning, and, indeed, throughout a 30-year career that began with helping a glove puppet to read out birthdays on Westward Television, Fern Britton has always given the impression that she is levelling with us.

There has been a freshness to her turn of phrase, an earthiness to her laughter, an empathy and an occasional belligerence in her interviewing that has made her nearer one of us than one of them. She was also, let us be honest, for many years plumper than most telly women, and that brought her closer to us as well. Perhaps it was for those reasons that we felt so betrayed.

Read more on this story in The Times



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