Wednesday, July 09, 2008

British children as young as three should be reported for 'racism', Government-funded group claims

Upsetting little children is no problem for these Fascists

Nursery teachers should inform on youngsters such as these if there is a 'racist incident', says a Government-funded advisory group. Toddlers should be taught about racism and singled out for criticism if they have racist attitudes, a Government-funded advisory group said yesterday.

It told nursery teachers, playgroup leaders and childminders to record and report every racist incident involving children as young as three. These could include saying 'Yuk' about unfamiliar food. Even babies should not be ignored in the hunt for racism because they can 'recognise different people in their lives', a new guide for nurseries and child care centres said.

The instructions for staff in charge of pre-school children in day care have been produced by the National Children's Bureau, which receives œ12million a year, mostly through taxpayer-funded organisations. The NCB, which describes itself as 'an umbrella body for the children's sector', has long used its resources to campaign on controversial issues, for example in favour of a legal ban on smacking by parents. It also runs the Sex Education Forum, a campaign for more sex education in schools.

The new 366-page guide, Young Children and Racial Justice, warned that 'racist incidents among children in early years settings-tend to be around name-calling-casual thoughtless comments, and peer group relationships'. It said such incidents could include children using words like 'blackie', 'Pakis', 'those people' or 'they smell'. Children might also 'react negatively to a culinary tradition other than their own by saying "yuk".'

Nursery staff are told: 'No racist incident should be ignored. When there is a clear racist intent, it is necessary to be specific in condemning the action.' If children 'reveal negative attitudes the lack of censure may indicate to the child that there is nothing unacceptable about such attitudes'. Nurseries are encouraged to report as many racist incidents as possible to local councils. 'Some people think that if a large number of racist incidents are reported, this will reflect badly on the institution,' it said. 'In fact, the opposite is the case.' The guidance said that anyone who disagrees is racist themselves.

It also suggests cultivating the home languages of new immigrants - despite Government anxiety to promote the learning of English. It said: 'English is now viewed as the major language of the world but this is not because it has any innate linguistic advantages - it is because English is the language of power in a world dominated by English-speaking peoples.'

Critics of the race programme for pre- school children labelled it 'totalitarian'. Author and researcher on family life Patricia Morgan said: 'Stepping in to stop severe bullying is one thing, but this is interference in the lives of children. It smacks of totalitarianism. 'It is regulation of private speech and thought. They intend nursery staff to step into children's playground squabbles and then report them to the local council as race incidents. Who would ever have thought that the anti-racism crusade would go so far?'


NHS dentistry chaos

Dentists are extracting patients' teeth rather than carrying out more complex repair work because NHS reforms have failed, an influential MPs' committee says today. The Government's overhaul of dentists' contracts, which promised to increase preventive treatments, has had the opposite effect, the Commons Health Select Committee says. The changes were designed to improve the quality of dental care and end a perceived "drill and fill" culture, in which dentists sought to slash waiting lists with quick fixes. Instead, the committee has suggested that a new payment system had made dentists even more prone to avoiding time-consuming repair work.

The number of tooth extractions, many of them unnecessary, experts say, has risen since the new contract was introduced, according to evidence presented to the committee. At the same time, the volume of more complex work such as crowns, bridges and dentures has fallen by more than half.

Dentists used to be paid a fee for each item of treatment they provided, but they now receive an annual income in return for carrying out an agreed amount of work, known as units of dental activity (UDAs).

The MPs' report, published today, said it was extraordinary that the Department of Health did not carry out pilot studies on the new payment system before introducing it across England.

Data published this month also high-lighted failings in the reforms, which were introduced in April 2006. Almost a million fewer people are now seeing an NHS dentist than before the changes, a report from the NHS Information Centre said. Less than half the population was found to have seen a dentist in the previous two years.

Setting out today's report, Kevin Barron, MP, the chairman of the committee, said that the failure of the reforms was compounded by the department's astonishing oversight in not conducting pilot tests. "While we readily accept that in some areas of the country, provision of NHS dentistry is good, overall provision is patchy," he said. "Fewer patients are visiting an NHS dentist than before the contracts were introduced in April 2006, we heard little evidence that preventive care has increased, and patients seem less likely to receive complex treatments they might require within the NHS."

The British Dental Association said: "This is a damning report which high-lights the failure of a farcical contract that has alienated the profession and caused uncertainty to patients." The new contract was introduced in 2006 with the aim of reversing the decline in NHS dentistry. It eliminated the need to register with a particular dentist, and introduced the "unit of dental activity". But the department's financial estimates were hopelessly adrift. It predicted that payments by patients in 2006-07 would be 159 million pounds higher than they actually were. The shortfall meant that primary care trusts, which are responsible for dental services, found themselves short of cash to pay for them.

In addition, targets for the UDAs were in many cases unachievable, dentists found. Nearly half of all dentists failed to meet their UDA targets in the first year, according to the British Dental Association. Some were forced to pay back money that they had already been paid.


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