Sunday, June 25, 2006

Recent Bonfires- 21

In the news this week:

£420m on teacher sickies- "Teachers took a record number of sick days last year, costing taxpayers £420 million in supply cover. Classroom teachers missed an average of 9.3 days, compared with six days for private-sector workers. Schools lost 2.8 million teaching days to staff illness in 2005, with 302,300 teachers missing work - the first time the total has topped 300,000. Unions blame the demands of the job, long hours, red tape, endless Government initiatives and unruly pupils." (Sunday Telegraph 18.6.06)

£3bn Sure Start scheme making things worse- "Labour's flagship project to help deprived children and families is making crime and truancy worse, not better, an alarming investigation revealed. The £3 billion Sure Start scheme is adding to the difficulties of schools and the spread of violence and stealing instead of helping to solve them. Families with 'greater personal resources' may have been able to edge out less able families from Sure Start benefits like help with affordable childcare and play, while the worst-off families may have found attention from Sure Start workers 'stressful and intrusive'. Earlier this week Sure Start children's centres began distributing a 'Dad Pack' which advised fathers that if they wished to play with their child they could go to a playground. It added as a safety tip that they should check whether bath water was too hot before putting a baby in it." (Mail 16.6.06)

£5m for unworkable gun register- "The National Firearms Register promised by the Government in the aftermath of the Dunblane massacre has been condemned as "fundamentally flawed and not fit for purpose". An internal police report describes the database, intended to carry information on everybody who has applied for a gun licence, as unworkable. A report by Lancashire Police reveals that the current system is so riddled with problems that its officers had to abandon a pilot scheme last year. The system is described as having "persistent and immense problems" and "delays of a magnitude which could not be reasonably expected". (Telegraph 11.6.06)

Total for week: £3,425,000,000

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