News round-up: Revamp special schools; No booze for under-15s

Special needs system requires ‘radical overhaul’

The government should “radically overhaul” the system for children with special educational needs, to provide new support for parents and pressurise schools to cater properly for pupils whose learning difficulties put them at risk of being left behind, a government commissioned review reports today.

Read more on this story in The Guardian

No alcohol for under-15s, Liam Donaldson tells parents

Parents who give their children watered-down wine in the hope of introducing them to sensible drinking habits are misguided, according to the chief medical officer, who today recommends that no young person under the age of 15 should drink at all.

Sir Liam Donaldson, who announced this week he would be standing down in May, said that parents should set their children a good example and 15- to 17-year-olds should be allowed to drink only under parental supervision.

Read more on this story in The Guardian

Stop giving children alcohol: Top doctor’s warning to parents on ‘middle-class obsession’

The ‘middle-class obsession’ of giving teenagers a small taste of alcohol to ‘wean’ them was yesterday condemned by the Government’s chief medical officer.

In the first official advice on drinking and children, Sir Liam Donaldson said parents should give under-15s no alcohol at all.

Read more on this story in The Daily Mail

Peter Tobin guilty of Dinah McNicol murder

Peter Tobin, the convicted child rapist and killer already serving life sentences for the murders of two young women, was found guilty today of killing a third, amid fears that more victims could emerge.

A jury at Chelmsford crown court took just 13 minutes – believed to be one of the shortest deliberations ever in a trial of this nature – to find Tobin, 63, guilty of kidnapping, drugging and murdering 18-year-old Dinah McNicol, who disappeared in August 1991 as she hitchhiked home from a music festival.

Read more on this story in The Guardian

Beatings hell of 3 ex-wives

TOBIN’S three ex-wives told last night how he kept them prisoner and dished out constant beatings.

First wife Margaret Mountney, 58, was even stabbed in the side and left for dead.

Read more on thits story in The Sun

Peter Tatchell drops bid to be Green Oxford MP due to ‘Mugabe injuries’

Peter Tatchell, the gay rights activist, has stepped down as a Green parliamentary candidate, claiming that brain injuries sustained from attacks by Robert Mugabe’s bodyguards and Russian neo-Nazis have left him unfit to campaign.

Read more on this story in The Times

10-year-old boys charged with raping girl, 8

The alleged sex attack relates to an incident at a park in Hayes, west London, during the half-term holidays in October.

Police launched an investigation after the girl told her mother that she had been raped by the boys while they were left to play in the park unsupervised. 

Read more on this story in The Daily Telegraph

Artistic men are happier, study finds

Scientists have found that men who took the time to engage in cultural activities or artistic pursuits were less likely to suffer from depression, a condition that affects one in five Britons.

Cultural factors were shown to have a stronger effect on happiness than personal wealth or occupation.

Read more on this story in The Daily Telegraph

Inside Yarl’s Wood immigration centre

Author Beverley Naidoo, who herself first came to the UK seeking refuge, is moved and saddened by the plight of children she meets detained in a UK immigration centre.

Read more on this story in The Guardian

What’s wrong with wellbeing?

The ultimate goal of government should be promoting wellbeing. It’s not ‘surreal’ to make policies on that basis.

Read more on this story in The Guardian

Social policy in the noughties: 10 years of change and controversy

At the fag end of a turbulent decade for public services, Guardian specialist writers assess the winners and losers.

Read more on this story in The Guardian


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