Lack of discipline destroying the education of young British children
Excluding children is the only means schools have of dealing with disruptive and violent behaviour. The situation will get ever-worse until they bring back the cane
Thousands of very young children are being excluded from primary schools for physically attacking pupils and teachers, research by The Times shows. It exposes the extent to which children of infant-school age are being expelled or suspended, even though the tactic is more commonly associated with uncontrollable teenagers.
The Times survey of 25 local authorities found that almost 4,000 primary school children had been excluded for fixed periods in 2007-08. This is the national equivalent to 25,128, a 6 per cent increase on last year, if extrapolated to cover the whole of England. Over the same period the primary school population fell by almost 20,000, so the real rise is 6.7 per cent.
More than three quarters of those who gave reasons said that one of the biggest causes of exclusion was the child physically assaulting another pupil. Another main reason was attacking a teacher.
Our findings underline national figures, which show temporary exclusions in primary schools have risen by 10 per cent in three years, from 41,300 in 2004 to 45,730 in 2007, because staff could not cope with their threatening and disruptive behaviour. More than 1,200 of the fixed-term exclusions in 2007 involved children aged 4 and under. Another 12,000 were under the age of 8.
Our survey paints a picture of teachers struggling to deal with violence from ever-younger children, some of whom in effect drop out of the education system before reaching secondary school.
John Bangs, head of education at the National Union of Teachers, said: “There’s a small and growing group of very young children creating very real problems, over whom parents seem to have no control. It’s a relatively new phenomenon for primary schools. They are reporting that groups of parents have real problems with their young children.”
Professor Carl Parsons, who has researched primary school exclusions for 16 years, said that children may be picking up bad behaviour younger. “The rise in fixed-term exclusions could be because there are more socially troubled families who are more isolated and less able to provide guidance and support for children.”
Many primary schools do not have the resources to deal with aggressive children in any other way, as they lack staff to offer one-to-one teaching and do not have on-call child psychiatrists. One teacher from a primary school in Norfolk told The Times: “I have worked at several schools and there has been a marked deterioration in behaviour in the last five years. Behaviour strategies don’t seem to work because schools have no power. Teachers are left to get on with it.”
Our survey showed that schools in Kingston-upon-Thames, southwest London, suspended 87 young children last year, including three from reception class and another seven aged 7 and under.
NHS Hospital "sorry" as young mother dies after meningitis is undiagnosed for 15 hours
The rapid progression of meningococcal disease is well-known but it can normally be cured by antibiotics if diagnosed immediately on presentation to a doctor. Treatment should be commenced immediately if there is any doubt
A health trust has apologised after a young mother died when doctors took 15 hours to spot that she had contracted the meningitis that eventually killed her. Shazia Ahmed, 26, died in hospital five days after contracting the bug after out-of-hours doctors twice failed to respond to emergency calls. Health bosses yesterday admitted that she may have lived if they had treated her more quickly.
Miss Ahmed, who lived in Oxford and was engaged to marry her partner Aaron Willett next year, had a six-year-old son called Kaishaan. She began to feel ill on February 20 and phoned an out-of-hours service to explain her symptoms of a tingling sensation in her legs at 7pm and was told she probably had a virus and that a doctor would not visit her.
By 2am she felt worse and was told to collect an anti-sickness tablet from the NHS out-of-hours centre but, again, no doctor was available. Her condition worsened, she began to vomit and suffer diarrhoea and she developed a purple rash so Miss Ahmed's mother Lorraine Lewis, 50, took her to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.
Mrs Lewis said: "When we got there I overheard a doctor outside the cubicle asking a consultant if he thought it could be meningitis? He just said 'no, it won't be that'. "Then from 5.30am to 9.40am, they just left her and we mopped up her vomit and diarrhoea. "They realised her condition was really bad and took her through to intensive care. "Those hours definitely made a difference."
Miss Ahmed was put into a coma in the intensive care unit before suffering a brain haemorrhage four days later.
A spokesman for the Oxfordshire Primary Care Trust yesterday said: "We are deeply sorry for the distress which Shazia's family are experiencing following her tragic death. "It is possible that an earlier diagnosis may have had a different outcome but it is impossible to say what this might have been in Shazia's case."
The British far-Left do their best to generate publicity and sympathy for anti-immigration party
What they really want is self-publicity but they just succeeed in showing who the real thugs are
When Nick Griffin was pelted with eggs outside Parliament this week, the protest divided public opinion over whether it was a legitimate expression of anger or a foolhardy stunt that handed unwarranted publicity to the British National Party. It has also widened a rift in the anti-fascist movement over how to combat the rise of the far-right party.
United Against Fascism (UAF) is planning a series of physical demonstrations over the coming months based on Tuesday’s confrontation, which forced Mr Griffin, the BNP leader and newly elected MEP, to abandon his victory press conference. The approach has frustrated seasoned anti-BNP campaigners, who believe that the stunt allowed Mr Griffin to portray himself as a martyr.
There were violent tussles between the protesters and supporters of Mr Griffin and Andrew Brons, who won the BNP’s second European seat in Yorkshire and the Humber region, and police are investigating two allegations of common assault. UAF, which was set up five years ago as an umbrella organisation for anti-racism groups and trade unions, says that it will picket Mr Griffin wherever he goes. It accepts that there is potential for further violence but insists that the action is necessary to combat the BNP.
Searchlight, a separate organisation that has campaigned against the BNP and its predecessors since the 1960s, is cautious about such protests and says that a more “constructive” approach is needed. Searchlight initially joined UAF when it was created but broke away following policy differences. This week it launched a widespread digital media initiative called Not In My Name. The organisation is being advised by Blue State Digital, the internet strategy firm responsible for President Obama’s winning US campaign, and plans a variety of online initiatives to raise awareness and funds.
This weekend an appeal video featuring various celebrities will be posted online to urge the public to donate. More than 84,500 people have already signed up to its database, making it bigger than those of any of the mainstream political parties.
The Royal British Legion yesterday accused Mr Griffin of trying to politicise “one of the nation’s most beloved symbols” after he repeatedly wore a red poppy during the European election campaign. The charity is demanding that Mr Griffin stop wearing the poppy, after private appeals to his “sense of honour” were ignored. In an open letter to The Guardian, the charity wrote: “True valour deserves respect regardless of a person’s ethnic origin . . . Stop it, Mr Griffin.”
Campaigners are also organising a petition to take to the European Parliament next month, saying that while the BNP has won seats, it does not represent Britain. The number of signatures had exceeded 56,000 by Wednesday, only two days after it was begun. Campaigners aim to surpass 132,094, signatures — the number of votes that Mr Griffin attracted in the North West region.
Searchlight is hoping to raise enough money to wage its biggest campaign against the BNP, from advertisements on buses to leaflets aimed at areas where voters are BNP-friendly. Nick Lowles, the campaign coordinator, said it was a positive way to express discontent. “We need to harness people’s anger in a constructive way, rather than throwing eggs at the BNP,” he said.
However, Anindya Bhattacharyya, a spokesman for UAF, claimed that the strategy was not adequate to defeat the BNP. “If fascists simply organised on the internet then it would be fine. But they foment their race hatred on to the streets. That’s where we have to stand up to them,” he said. UAF is planning an emergency national conference in Manchester on July 18 and aims to picket events such as the BNP’s annual rally in August. Mr Bhattacharyya defended the tactics displayed on Tuesday. He said: “I think the far greater danger is that he [Mr Griffin] becomes legitimised.”
Arrogant feminist who thinks men should bring up babies to represent "families" in Britain
A hardline feminist has been chosen as the Government's new chief spokesman on families. Dr Katherine Rake, who wants to see men bring up babies, will head the Family and Parenting Institute, a heavily state-financed organisation set up by Labour to speak for parents and children. The Institute boasts that it 'brings alive the real issues for families' and 'listens to parents and carers across the country'.
But critics said the appointment of Dr Rake, currently director of the women's equality campaign group the Fawcett Society, showed the Institute was out of touch with the concerns of ordinary families.
The organisation was set up in 1999 by then Home Secretary Jack Straw to shore up family life and encourage parents. Last year it received nearly £8million from Ed Balls's Department for Children, Schools and Families towards its declared mission of 'supporting parents in bringing up children'.
Dr Rake, who will take over from the Institute's founding chief executive Mary MacLeod, has long declared her intention is not to support parents as they are, but to revolutionise their lives. Writing in The Guardian three years ago, she said: 'We want to transform the most intimate and private relations between women and men. 'We want to change not just who holds power in international conglomerations, but who controls the household budget. 'We want to change not just what childcare the state provides, but who changes the nappies at home.' Dr Rake added: 'It is only when men are ready to share caring and work responsibilities with women that we will be able to fulfil our true potential to form equal partnerships in which we have respect, autonomy and dignity.'
Under the direction of Dr Rake, a former London School of Economics lecturer, the Fawcett Society has campaigned for a 'changing role' for men. The group, which is chaired by prominent gay rights campaigner Angela Mason, says the role reversal should be backed by longer paid parental leave, official encouragement for men to apply for flexible work hours, and the opening of mother and toddler groups to stay-at-home fathers. It has complained that women will never achieve equality with men at work without 'challenging the traditional roles of homemaker and breadwinner'.
Fawcett has also condemned Tory plans to give tax breaks to married couples, complaining that 'it penalises all those children living with unmarried parents or with one parent'.
The appointment of Dr Rake, who is likely to earn £60,000 a year, comes at a time of growing pressure on mothers to go out to work. Despite overwhelming evidence that a majority would prefer to stay home to bring up young children, ministers have piled pressure on them to take jobs and warned that those who fail to do so, and who rely on the income of a husband or partner, are likely to face poverty.
Only two million mothers now bring up their children full time. Official figures show that two out of three children aged three and four now spend at least part of their week in nurseries.
Jill Kirby, of the centre-right think-tank Centre for Policy Studies, said: 'This appointment to a body which is supposed to speak for the interests of ordinary parents and families shows how out of touch the leadership of the organisation is with real life in Britain. 'Katherine Rake's agenda is more about reversing sex roles than helping parents.'
The chairman of the National Parenting Institute is Fiona Millar, long-term partner of Tony Blair's former spokesman Alastair Campbell. She said that Dr Rake 'has a strong track record in research, policy and campaigning and will be a great asset to the organisation at a time when the recession is putting extra pressure on families up and down the country'.
An understandable immigration goof but a big one
The woman explained but getting bureaucrats to listen or even think is always mountainously difficult. That someone from Argentina might want to come to Britain to learn Welsh sounds a very unlikely story -- but what if that person actually is of Welsh ancestry with family connections in Wales?
A Patagonian woman was sent back to her home country after British immigration officials refused to believe she was travelling to Wales to learn Welsh. Evelyn Talcadrini, from Puerto Madryn, Argentina, was on her way to Glyndyfrdwy, near Llangollen, to spend six months living with a local family to practise her Welsh. But she was put on a flight back to South America within hours of landing in the UK.
Now the Government has agreed to launch an investigation into her treatment after Plaid Cymru's Hywel Williams and Elfyn Llwyd raised the case in the House of Commons during Welsh questions. Mr Williams, Caernarfon MP, said: "She travelled for 35 hours to get to Heathrow, but was summarily ejected and sent back. She is not the only young Welsh Patagonian who has, unfortunately, suffered summary ejection for no good cause that I can see."
The MP said it was a "disgraceful stain on our welcome to Welsh Patagonians." Some 20,000 Welsh people settled in Patagonia in the mid-19th century because they wanted to keep their language and religion at at time when English was becoming the predominant tongue. The first group sailed aboard the Mimosa from Liverpool in May 1865.
Evelyn had been due to spend her time in Wales with Eos Griffiths and his Patagonian-born wife Carina at their home in Glyndyfrdwy, and showed a letter from them to the immigration officials at Heathrow. Mr Griffiths said: "I have known her family for more than 30 years and invited her to stay with us. I thought she would be able to improve her Welsh and learn some English and enjoy the Eisteddfod at Bala this summer."
Wales minister Wayne David said the United Kingdom welcomed Patagonians who were keen to explore their Welsh heritage. "Of course the UK Borders Agency does not have any separate policy in relation to Welsh-speaking people from Patagonia. I give my commitment that the Secretary of State and I will meet the relevant Home Office Minister as soon as possible."
How desperation has made us cast votes for extremism
An article from the heart of middle England (Staffordshire and South Cheshire)
YOU don't have to be a political genius to grasp that as long as the Government fails to tackle the problem of illegal immigration, more voters will turn to the BNP. I can't be the only one who feels that ordinary people are being driven by desperation to vote for the extremist party because their views on immigration are being ignored.
This may be an uncomfortable truth for some people to swallow, but neither Labour nor the Tories can say they haven't been warned. Only a few months ago a nationwide poll showed a majority of supporters of both the major parties putting failure to control immigration at the top of their list of worries. Yet, in spite of the genuine concern, little has been done to restrict the flow of new arrivals. To all intents, Britain operates the open-door policy introduced in 1997. All right, I can already hear the snarls of those who think it's racist even to bring up the subject of immigration, let alone complain about it.
These politically correct diehards would rather we keep silent about our fears and merely 'celebrate diversity' without looking at the consequences of failing to stem an endless tide. Let me put it like this. The worries of millions of ordinary people have nothing to do with race or colour, but everything to do with numbers. Their concern is self-preservation, and why not? It's one of our oldest characteristics. They feel that their culture and whole way of life is under threat and wonder what sort of country their grandchildren will inherit.
I remember Tony Blair acknowledging that there was "cause for complaint" about the extent of illegal immigration and promised to put everything right. But what did the former Prime Minister do? In 2005 he signed away our rights on immigration policies to the European Union. So much for empty promises. This has left Labour hamstrung and unable to initiate anything without the consent of Brussels, though I believe other EU countries have made their own rules on immigration to protect themselves. All I can recall in recent times is a project by former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith to get immigrants to earn their British citizenship, which hardly touched on the true problem.
So the BNP has played on public discontent and come up with its own drastic solutions, appealing exclusively to people in working-class districts and gaining support.
I must confess that the spectacular rise of the BNP in Stoke on-Trent surprised me. I've always believed that race relations in the Potteries are good, even very good. Yet local people no longer seem embarrassed to vote for a Far Right party, even though BNP councillors can do nothing to influence national policies on immigration. For that matter, neither can Nick Griffin or Andrew Brons in their capacity as newly-elected MEPs among the 700-odd members of the European Parliament.
I thought it was foolish for protesters to throw eggs at Griffin at Westminster this week. That's not a good way to fight the BNP. Indeed, such behaviour could work in the BNP's favour. Any violent reaction to the party can rebound. In a democracy you beat your opponents by reasoned argument.
On a different tack, I think the fashionable concept of a multicultural society is among the root causes of the problem. It urges us that immigrants have no need to integrate into our society, but remain within their own communities. I feel this is misguided and likely to cause resentment where none has previously existed. To my mind, we should work towards creating a united nation, not one divided on ethnic or religious lines. I hope that doesn't sound like an impossible dream.
But while the Government continues to dodge the issue of controlling illegal immigration, I fear the BNP will continue to thrive.
Britain: The database state: “Click a mouse, text a friend, use your credit cards, sign up for a storecard, pay your car tax or buy a TV licence, walk in the street under the gaze of CCTV, apply for social benefits, forget to tick the box on that says ‘we’d like to share your information with …’ and your ID cat is out of the bag, floating around between — well, who knows who? That’s why the proposed National Identity Register is so dangerous. And the NHS patient records system too. Tens of millions of our records, all accessible to whichever of 400,000 civil servants happens to have the right security code.”