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Tag Archive | "Parents"

ASK THE EXPERTS: Parents’ deposit fears if son and partner split

This week’s experts are JOHN WHITE, head of financial management at national financial adviser RSM Tenon; MEL KENNY, a chartered financial planner at Radcliffe & Newlands in the City of London; and CLAIRE EVANS, a director in the Birmingham office of accountant PricewaterhouseCoopers.

T.R. writes: We are looking to help our son and his partner with a deposit for a flat. Is there any way to safeguard this gift in case their relationship does not last? J.W. replies: This can be a tricky situation that many parents now face. If there is a mortgage in joint names, the property itself will have to be registered in the names of both your son and his partner. There are two options. First, the purchase can be structured so that the percentage of the property owned by your son and his partner reflects the value of any contribution you make.

So rather than the flat being owned 50:50, the split might be 60:40 or even 70:30 in your son’s favour. When the property is sold, the proceeds are split accordingly.

The alternative is to have a solicitor draw up an agreement, signed by both your son and his partner, saying that when the property is sold, your contribution will be repaid to you first before the remaining proceeds are distributed.

Source: DAILYMAIL>> Read full article and comment

Posted in Finance, ParentsComments Off

Why do parents buy chickenpox lollies?

US authorities have warned parents that posting infected lollipops to other families who want their children to get chickenpox is against the law. But why are the parents doing it?

The news that some parents have been apparently posting saliva-soaked tissues and licked lollipops to each other in an attempt to spread chickenpox among their children has been greeted with widespread condemnation.

Doctors have cautioned that licking a supposedly infected lollipop is unlikely to pass on chickenpox – which is mostly an airborne virus – but could expose a child to other, more serious ailments.

And Jerry Martin, US attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee, warned that anyone attempting to send so-called “pox packages” through the mail would be breaking federal laws against shipping biohazards across state lines.

Source: BBC NEWS>> Read full article and comment

Posted in Family Health, HealthComments Off

‘You’re a liar… no wonder nobody likes you’

Two teachers ‘caught abusing girl, 14, after parents hid tape recorder on her’

Two teachers have allegedly been caught calling a 14-year-old girl with special needs ‘dumb’ and ‘lazy’ – after she recorded them.

When the student’s parents, from Washington Court House, Ohio, feared their daughter was being bullied, they hid a tape recorder in her clothing.

They were stunned to hear teacher Christy Wilt and her aide Kelly Chaffins allegedly poking fun at the teenager’s weight and forcing her to run on a treadmill. Chaffins, 46, who had worked at the Miami Trace Middle School since August 2008, was asked to resign by the district after her comments came to light.

But teacher Wilt, 30, still remains at the school, after the officials claimed her involvement ‘did not meet what the educational aide had done’.

Source: DAILYMAIL>> Read full article and comment

Posted in Family, TeenagersComments Off

Reading with child ‘highlight of the day for parents’

Parents in England and Northern Ireland are spending more time reading to their children for pleasure, a survey for the reading scheme Booktime suggests.

The poll found parents spent an average of one hour and 26 minutes a week reading with their children in 2011, up from one hour 18 minutes in 2009.

For the majority (71%) reading with their child is one of the highlights of their day.

But the poll of over 1,000 parents found 18% felt too stressed to do so.

Two-fifths (41%) said that a child’s tiredness stopped reading together being fun, while 30% cited their own tiredness as a problem.

More than a third (36%) of the 1,011 survey participants said they were too tired to spend longer reading.

Source: BBC NEWS>> Read full article and comment

Posted in Books and Reading, LearningComments Off

How do I tell my parents that I’m marrying a man who is twice my age?

Vicki and Octavia, our mother and daughter agony aunts, answer your questions

I have been living with my boyfriend for two years and haven’t told my parents. He’s twice my age – I’m 24, he’s 48. We’ve now decided that we want to get married but I have no idea how to let my parents know without getting a painfully negative reaction, as I haven’t even told them I have a boyfriend
VICKI Bang on their door together and step over the threshold together. But you do the talking: ‘Mum, Dad, this is X, we’re in love and we’re getting married.’ If the Aged Ps are anything like me, they will be so gobsmacked that their immediate reaction will be neither negative nor positive but simply open-mouthed shock.

Source: TELEGRAPH>> Read full article and comment

Posted in FamilyComments Off

South Korean parents told: pre-school English ‘harmful’

Pressure group argues that money spent on early year classes is wasted and urges starting at age 10

Parents in South Korea who put their pre-school-age children into English language classes are wasting their money and could be slowing their educational development.

This is the message that an education pressure group, World Without Worries About Private Education, is trying to get across in a society where pressure to attain exam success has created a boom in private tuition and growing numbers of English language classes for kindergarten-aged children.

World Without Worries has distributed 200,000 copies of its latest booklet, What a Waste – Private English Education, in an attempt to change opinion about early-year language classes and convince parents that their children are likely to acquire more English if they start learning later.

Source: GUARDIAN>> Read full article and comment

Posted in Learning, Learning difficultiesComments Off

Boarding schools – one way to beat the nanny fees

Are boarding schools the new budget option for time-poor parents?

As with stays in the Priory and tabloid sex scandals, sending your child to a posh private school is a well-trodden path for even the most rebellious rock star. So the news that Madonna is planning to send her sons to Marlborough College – the English boarding school that shaped the Middleton sisters – should not be a surprise.
The woman who once devoted a whole book to the photographic exultation of her ladybits apparently hopes to send her son, Rocco, 11, to the upmarket Wiltshire school when he is 13; his brother, David, will follow later. Their father, Guy Ritchie, allegedly wants the boys to board “just as he did”.
And they’re not alone. New figures show that the number of children boarding to age 13 has increased by more than 5 per cent in the past 12 months alone. After a generation of decline, schools are now building new boarding facilities to cope with demand.

Source: TELEGRAPH>> Read full article and comment

Posted in Learning, TutoringComments Off

Parents who name children ‘Adolf Hitler’ and ‘Aryan Nation’ claim they’ve wrongly lost custody of their kids

The parents who gave their children Nazi-inspired names say they were found not guilty of child abuse Tuesday though have yet to receive their children from protective custody.

Heath and Deborah Campbell of New Jersey say their children Adolf Hitler, 5, Aryan Nation, 4, and Honszlynn Hinler Jeannie Campbell, 3, received their names simply because they liked them and they were unique, not equating to child abuse.

But 33 months later, their children are still being held in foster care, despite a court ruling Tuesday the parents say was in their favour. Officials with the New Jersey Family Court had no comment Tuesday.

‘I don’t sleep, I don’t eat much. I miss my kids. Miss their pitter patters on the floor,’ their mother told NBC 10. ‘It’s hard. I fall asleep with their pictures.’

Source: DAILYMAIL>> Read full article and comment

Posted in Childcare, ParentsComments Off

My son’s specialist care is under threat

There is no miracle cure for Sam’s cerebral palsy, but cuts will limit his access to therapists who make a difference to his life

In February this year I wrote to David Cameron. I asked him to reassure me that the government was considering how its cuts would affect people like my son Sam, a little boy of almost two with cerebral palsy.

Sam loves to laugh and play but his life is tough: he finds it very hard to swallow so he is mainly fed through a tube in his tummy; he is unable to grasp objects or play with most toys; and he is still developing his head and trunk control so can’t yet sit on his own.

There is no miracle cure for Sam’s condition; the damage to his brain, caused at his birth, is done. But through a persistent regime of therapy, we can help his body learn. What he needs is hours of unglamorous exercises and activities with therapists who know what they’re doing.

I’m worried that there is a threat to the vital support Sam gets from our local authority.

Source: GUARDIAN>> Read full article and comment

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Nationwide revamps its child basic savings accounts

With the spotlight on children’s accounts in the run-up to the launch of the Junior Isa next week, Nationwide has revamped its youngsters’ basic savings accounts.

Its new 14-month fixed-rate bond starts at 3.15 per cent before tax. It can be opened by a child over seven or by an adult on their behalf.

Its easy access account pays 0.75 per cent, but this is well below the top deal of 3 per cent with Northern Rock Little Rock Access Account. Lloyds TSB also pays 3 per cent on its easy access Young Saver on balances up to £20,000, but you need a current account with the bank to benefit.
C&G Young Saver, Chelsea Ready Steady Save and Halifax Young Saver all pay 2 per cent. Halifax also offers a top deal at 6 per cent fixed for parents or adults wanting to put aside between £10 and £100 each month. At £100 a month, you will have built up £1,239 after a year, including £39 before-tax interest.

Source: DAILYMAIL>> Read full article and comment

Posted in Finance, ParentsComments Off

‘Crazy’ sea rescue near Rhyl of mother and son, 15

A mother and her 15-year-old son have been criticised after they were rescued drifting out to sea on an inflatable rubber ring.

Rescuers at the incident at Towyn, near Rhyl, on Tuesday said neither were properly equipped, and were heading out to sea in a strong offshore wind.

Coastguards called their actions “crazy”, and said people should use common sense.

The mother and son were treated in hospital for the cold. The pair had gone into the sea at Towyn beach near Knightly’s funfair and had taken two inflatables with them, but lost one.

Holyhead Coastguard watch manager Ray Carson said they were lucky they were spotted by the Rhyl lifeboat station, and a member of the public who called police.

Source: BBC NEWS>> Read full article and comment

Posted in Parents, Tweens and TeensComments Off

Girl who gave birth at 14 loses right to keep her baby after judge hears she is ‘barely able to care for herself’

One-year-old child will be put up for adoption
Judge turned down grandmother’s plea to be allowed to care for the baby

A desperate mother who gave birth aged 14 has failed to save the baby she loves from adoption after a judge heard she is barely mature enough to look after herself.

The baby girl’s father has had little to do with her, but her mother has fought through the courts to keep the one-year-old within her natural family.

But a family judge at London’s Appeal Court, Lord Justice Munby, today dashed her hopes after hearing that the ‘well-intentioned’ mother is young for her age and ‘barely able to care for herself, let alone care for a young child’.

The baby’s maternal grandmother has already failed in an attempt to be allowed to look after her and today’s decision means the little girl is now destined for a “closed adoption” – after which her natural family may never see her again.

Source: DAILYMAIL>> Read full article and comment

Posted in Adopting and Fostering, Parents, Tweens and TeensComments Off

First hint of Junior Isa rates as Nationwide unveils 3% account to launch on 1 November

Parents got a first glimpse of Junior Isa savings rates today when Nationwide promised a 3 per cent deal.

Britain’s biggest building society has laid down a marker for the new children’s savings accounts, with major savings provides and banking giants like RBS, Santander, and HSBC expected to compete in a new savings market.

Nationwide will launch its Smart Junior Cash Isa on 1 November at 3 per cent, paying interest tax-free.

The Government gave the green light to Junior Isas in March but until now tight-lipped banks and societies have kept quiet over the rates they’ll offer.

Nationwide is the first major savings provider to reveal its rate on the new tax-free accounts for under 18s.

Junior Isas – often shortened to Jisas – are the Government’s replacement for Child Trust Funds, which were binned on 1 January this year.

Source: DAILYMAIL>> Read full article and comment

Posted in Finance, ParentsComments Off

Switched at birth, then meeting aged 12

Two Russian families are united by a terrible event more than a decade ago. Their newborn daughters were accidentally mixed up in the maternity hospital and grew up with the “wrong” parents.

In a tiny flat in the Ural Mountains, Yulia Belyaeva and her 12-year-old daughter Irina are looking through family photos.

One of the pictures shows Irina as a newborn baby swaddled in a blanket. It was taken the day mother and daughter left hospital. But 12 years on, Yulia Belyaeva has discovered that the baby she’d taken home – the daughter she’d thought she’d given birth to – is not her child.

“I found this out when my ex-husband refused to pay maintenance,” says Yulia. “I took him to court to prove that he was Irina’s father. We did all the DNA tests. But the results were a total surprise. Not only does my ex-husband have no biological link to Irina – neither do I.”

Source: BBC NEWS>> Read full article and comment

Posted in Maternity, Parents, Tweens and TeensComments Off

Half of arrested looters were unable to read or write by the age of 11

Half of the juveniles arrested during the summer riots were educational failures who had not mastered the basics by the age of 11, the Government revealed today.

An official report shows that 48 per cent of young people arrested by police were unable to read or write properly by the time they left primary school. A total of 49 per cent could not do sums adequately.

Many young rioters are also “persistent absentees” from class, have special needs and come from poorer backgrounds in a further sign of how their lives have been blighted from their earliest years.

The findings come in the most comprehensive assessment so far of the backgrounds of the rioters.

It also reveals that:

Source: THISISLONDAN>> Read full article and comment

Posted in Parents, Tweens and TeensComments Off

Cinderella’s Castle a ‘danger to children’ as Disneyland is warned of ‘excessive’ levels of lead

Environment group sues California theme park over ‘numerous attractions’

Stained glass windows in castle and brass door knobs at Minnie’s House among those said to contain to much lead
Group demands that Disney put up health warnings. Disneyland is full of attractions that can expose children to potentially dangerous levels of lead, according to an environmental group.

The theme park in Anaheim, California, was sued by the Mateel Environment Justice Foundation in April.
The lawsuit claims that stained glass windows in Cinderella’s Castle, brass door knobs at Minnie’s House, its Sword In The Stone attraction and other items contained excessive levels of lead.

Source: DAILYMAIL>> Read full article and comment

Posted in Childcare, ParentsComments Off

Teenage girl in coma after she’s burned alive by friends in ‘satanic ritual’

An 18-year-old South African woman was in a coma Monday after being doused in petrol and burned alive by friends in a Johannesburg park, in what police suspect was a satanic ritual.

Kirsty Theologo suffered burns over three quarters of her body, damaging her lungs and throat, when she was set alight in a park in southern Johannesburg, her sister Samantha told The Star newspaper.
A 16-year-old girl tried to put out the flames by rolling Theologo in the sand, burning herself in the process, the paper said. She was also hospitalised.
Samantha Theologo claimed the group ran away, telling South African media that her sister and the other girl had to walk two kilometres for help.
“I wasn’t home, but my mom told me she found my sister in the bathroom washing her face,” she was quoted as saying. “My mom said it was horrific.”

Source: TELEGRAPH>> Read full article and comment

Posted in Parents, Tweens and TeensComments Off

Boy mauled by dog that was ‘drunk on Stella’

A 10-year-old boy could be scarred for life after being bitten in the face by a dog that had been given strong lager by its owners.

Joseph Pickering was attacked by the Staffordshire bull terrier just minutes after it had been fed a can of Stella Artois that had been poured down its throat “because it was thirsty”.
The boy, from Colne in Lancashire, was bitten in the face by the dog after leaning over his next door neighbour’s fence to stroke it.
He was rushed to hospital with facial wounds just above his eye and needed a skin graft to treat the injury.
A hearing at Burnley magistrates’ court heard that the dog, called Diesel, had been fed lager by its owner’s uncle after complaints that the dog was thirsty and needed a drink.

Source: TELEGRAPH>> Read full article and comment

Posted in Parents, Pets and ChildrenComments Off

‘Chaotic and substandard’ care at Great Ormond Street Hospital led to agonising death of boy, 13, who needed half-hour operation

A teenage boy was left to die in agony after ‘chaotic and substandard’ care at Great Ormond Street Hospital, the parliamentary health service ombudsman ruled.

Arvind Jain, 13, died from malnutrition after waiting eight months for a routine 30-minute operation to insert a feeding tube into his stomach.

A scathing report has now found that Arvind, who suffered from Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a condition that causes muscles to weaken, would have survived were it not for a series of delays by the hospital. Following a complaint from Arvind’s family, the report concluded that ‘the care Arvind received fell so far below the applicable standards as to amount to service failure’.

Arvind’s sister, Shushma, believes her brother, who died in August 2009, would be alive today had he been treated properly and promptly.

Source: DAILYMAIL>> Read full article and comment

Posted in Parents, Tweens and TeensComments Off

Girl, 14, arrested by four police for ‘assaulting’ them

Once again the police act as shock troops for social workers.

In all my stories about the disturbing workings of the system supposedly designed to protect our children from harm, I have come across few odder than the events of last Monday. A mother and her 14-year-old daughter, I am told, jointly applied to a judge for the girl to be allowed to return home, where she has wanted to be ever since being taken into care last year. Nine months ago, she was subjected to repeated serious assaults by a friend of her foster family. This was investigated by the police, who recorded it as a case of statutory assault but took no further action. The girl was moved to a more responsible foster mother, and was allowed, with the knowledge of her social workers, to make regular unsupervised visits to her mother nearby.
On Monday, when the application for discharge of her care order was rejected, the girl was very upset. She went round to her mother, who rang the foster mother to say that her daughter would return in an hour or two when she had calmed down. On advice from the girl’s solicitor, she also rang the police to say where her daughter was and that she was at no risk of harm.

Source: TELEGRAPH>> Read full article and comment

Posted in Parents, Tweens and TeensComments Off

Boy, 14, ‘locked in filthy room in mice-infested trailer for three years’

A 14-year-old boy with mental problems was kept locked in a filthy room in a mice-infested trailer for three years, it is alleged.

The boy, described by his mother as ‘developmentally delayed,’ was only allowed out to take care of the family’s ducks, to clean and to eat, police say. He ate only about four times a week.

Authorities appear to missed numerous chances to intervene despite visiting the address numerous times. Police visited the home at least three times since 2007 but, incredibly, failed to notice that anything was wrong.

The boy’s mother Amanda Joliff, her boyfriend Richard Smith and the boy’s sister had kept him locked in the room since early 2008, he told police.

Source: DAILYMAIL>> Read full article and comment

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‘Slap a ginger day’ at school sparks police investigation after boy, 13, is attacked over his hair colour

Police have launched an investigation after cruel school children arranged a ‘slap a ginger day’.

Calculating bullies at Hove Park School in Hove, East Sussex, targeted the 13-year-old boy in humiliating scenes, just because of the colour of his hair.

It is believed the vicious gang had been planning their assault for two weeks before pouncing on the boy. One student told police he was attacked after he tried to stand up for his friend.

He said: ‘I heard about it two weeks before it happened. It was a big group of kids planning this, more or less the whole of Year 9.

Source: DAILYMAIL>> Read full article and comment

Posted in Parents, Tweens and TeensComments Off

Zero tolerance behaviour policy for pupils AND teachers should be adopted by all schools, says government expert

Schools are being encouraged to impose strict discipline on pupils and teachers alike, it was announced today.

A Government adviser says schools should use a ‘checklist’ system to ensure that they run smoothly.

The new guidelines could see teachers displaying school rules, as well as using rewards and punishments for good and bad behaviour in class, and telling parents if their child has been naughty. They would also ensure that staff would be disciplined if they failed to live up to the standards they demand of their pupils.

The checklist has been drawn up by the Government’s behaviour adviser, Charlie Taylor, who is also head of Willows Special School in Hillingdon, north-west London.

Source: DAILYMAIL>> Read full article and comment

Posted in Adopting and Fostering, ParentsComments Off

Over-55s use brains more efficiently than youth

It is the retort every parent uses to win an argument with their teenage children: being older makes you wiser.

But scientists have come up with evidence that reveals the old adage to be true, proving that the over-55s use their brains much more efficiently than younger people.
Researchers in Canada found that years of life experience makes older brains just as effective when it comes to decision-making as their younger counterparts.
Older people were found to be less bothered by making a mistake and used their brains more selectively than younger minds, only engaging certain parts at the precise moment they were required.

Source: TELEGRAPH>> Read full article and comment

Posted in Parents, Tweens and TeensComments Off

Select committee chairman disputes smacking ban powers

A senior backbench MP has called for clarification over whether the Welsh assembly can stop parents smacking their children.

Welsh Affairs Committee chairman David Davies said the issue should be referred to the Supreme Court if AMs vote in favour of a ban.

A cross-party group of four AMs has tabled a motion calling for legislation to change the law.

AMs will have a free vote when they debate it on Wednesday.

The four AMs are urging the Welsh government to introduce legislation intended to outlaw smacking by removing the defence of “chastisement” for assaulting a child.

Source: BBC NEWS>> Read full article and comment

Posted in Childcare, ParentsComments Off

Older people have a stranglehold on family homes

Parents are no longer downsizing after their children leave home, meaning today’s families are increasingly locked out of the housing market

Forty years ago my parents moved into a smart new-build estate of four-bed family homes. With a “car port” and a fitted Hygena QA kitchen, it felt like Beverley Hills after the east London terrace we’d left behind, although really it was just a cul-de-sac in Hastings. One family even had a swimming pool, but we didn’t stop to ask how they felt about the seven Collinson kids, and the numerous other children on the estate, diving in.

But now the splashing has died away. The pool is covered over and the sound of children has gone. The houses are bigger – extensions abound (some slightly less hideous than others) – but where once 20 or even 30 children roamed, now there’s just one, sometimes two. Virtually every home is now occupied by retired couples in their 70s and 80s.

Source: GUARDIAN>> Read full article and comment

Posted in Finance, Parents, Swimming and WatersportsComments Off

Children lost from care in human trafficking cases, says council

Twenty-five foreign youngsters aged 12–17 have vanished from care agencies, says Kent county council

More than two dozen children suspected of being trafficked into the UK this year through Kent’s channel ports have gone missing from care.

Kent county council said it had no way of knowing what happened to almost a quarter of the unaccompanied foreign children who were being looked after in children’s homes or by foster parents.

The disappearance of the 25 children, aged 12 to 17, sparked fresh calls for reform of care for children trafficked into exploitation including prostitution, benefit fraud and cannabis farming.

Anti-trafficking campaigners believe the children from Afghanistan, Vietnam, Algeria, Morocco, India, Albania and Palestine are likely to have fallen back into the hands of the international criminal networks who trafficked them into Britain.

Source: GUARDIAN>> Read full article and comment

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Hundreds of parents force infant school to close after refusing to send their children following staff member’s arrest for ‘sex abuse’

Police believe the alleged incident is ‘isolated’

A school has been closed after parents staged a boycott following the arrest of a staff member over allegations of sexual abuse.

The staff member, who is not a teacher, has been questioned by police about claims from a young boy of a ‘serious sexual assault’.

But worried parents say they are unhappy at the lack of information being given about the allegation and have withdrawn their children from Greenlands Nursery Infant School in Darnall, Sheffield.

Source: DAILYMAIL>> Read full article and comment

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Sheffield infant school closes after sexual assault claim

Parents threaten to withdraw children from school in Darnall after arrest of staff member

A nursery and infant school has been closed temporarily after parents threatened to withdraw their children following the arrest of a staff member over an allegation of serious sexual assault.

Police and council officials met 250 anxious parents and families at Greenlands school in Darnall, Sheffield, after the arrest was confirmed. The school hall was packed while others waited in the playground outside.

The person involved, who is understood not to be a teacher, was questioned and has been released on police bail. Detective Inspector Sean McMahon, of South Yorkshire police, said: “The investigation is being progressed as quickly as possible having regard to the serious nature of the allegation made. Matters such as this are thankfully rare.

Source: GUARDIAN>> Read full article and comment

Posted in Child Protection, ParentsComments Off

Boy is taught on his own after mother refuses to change his ‘Mohican’ haircut

A teenage boy is at the centre of a dispute over school discipline and achievement after he was taken out of class for having a banned hairstyle.

Kaine Marren, 13, is being taught on his own at his Shepherd’s Bush school after coming in with what his mother describes as a “Mohican” cut.

Burlington Danes academy – once described as a “war zone” but now one of the most improved schools in London – believes every pupil must follow the uniform and hairstyle rules to show respect and keep up standards.

But Kaine’s mother Annie is now in dispute with the school and said her son should be able to express himself.

Staff at the school, which has been praised by Education Secretary Michael Gove, have offered to pay for her son to have a haircut. Burlington Danes, which sent a pupil to speak at this year’s Conservative party conference, said children are not allowed to have shapes or patterns shaved into their hair.

Source: London Evening Standard>> Read full article and comment

Posted in Parents, Tweens and TeensComments Off

Parent pulled baby girl from Robinson Centre pool

Castlereagh Borough Council has given more detail about who rescued a baby girl found floating in a swimming pool at the weekend.

A parent pulled the toddler, who is 13 months old, from the water after she was found face down in Robinson Centre pool at 10:30 BST on Saturday.

The council said a member of staff then performed CPR on the child.

The council’s director of leisure services said the pool was not open to the public at the time.

“She was recovered from the pool by another parent and treated by council with CPR,” Heather Moore said.

“It was the council’s own officer who carried out CPR in the First Aid room adjacent to the pool side.”

Source: BBC NEWS>> Read full article and comment

Posted in Death and Bereavement, Swimming and WatersportsComments Off

Parents given £100 vouchers to learn how to raise a child and halt moral decline

Around 50,000 parents will be given free parenting classes in an attempt to halt the country’s moral decline.

Mothers and fathers of children under the age of five will be handed £100 vouchers to attend the lessons which will teach issues such as discipline, communication and managing conflict.

The move, announced by ministers yesterday, comes amid concerns that millions are clueless about how to bring up their children with proper moral boundaries. David Cameron believes August’s riots underlined the need to consider dramatic steps to address the collapse in values traditionally taught by the family.

Source: DAILYMAIL>> Read full article and comment

Posted in Learning, Parents, TutoringComments Off

The courts continue to deny rights to stolen children

Children are regularly denied their right to speak on their own behalf in court.

On the desk where I write is a child’s drawing showing the 11-year-old girl who drew it, imprisoned behind bars with two adults sitting in a room next door labelled “Guards”. Around the roof of the building are the words “Help me”, written 13 times, and in the sky above glowers a black, forbidding sun. This bright, articulate girl, who was taken from her home by social workers a few months ago on what seemed to be an absurdly flimsy pretext, would love to be allowed to come to court to explain to a judge why she wants nothing more than to escape from her prison and return to her loving family. But it seems there is no way she is to be granted her wish.
We hear much these days about human rights and how, for instance, criminals cannot be deported because this would be in breach of their right under the Human Rights Act to enjoy life with their family.

Source: TELEGRAPH>> Read full article and comment

Posted in Childcare, ParentsComments Off

Chance for aspiring young investors to win an inspirational trip to New York

Students could win a fantastic, all-expenses-paid educational trip to New York, £2,000 for their school or college and £200 each in a great competition for aspiring investors.

Financial Mail is supporting the ifs School of Finance’s Student Investor Challenge, which attracts 40,000 entries a year and is part of the charity’s drive to improve financial education.

The competition goes live on October 31 and offers entrants, aged 14 to 19, a chance to experience the world of share trading. Teams of four will be given £100,000 of virtual cash to invest in the stock market over three months. Top performers make it to the finals. Last year, 77 per cent of teams made a profit on their investment.
Conor Thomas, 16, was in last year’s winning team of four from King Edward’s School, Bath, in Somerset, alongside Alice Hamer, 19, Robert Wilcox, 18, and Oliver Schofield, 18.

Source: DAILYMAIL>> Read full article and comment

Posted in Finance, ParentsComments Off

Junior Individual Savings Accounts

How to build £120,000 for your baby

Children’s savings will be given a boost next month with the launch of the Junior Individual Savings Account, the Jisa. JEFF PRESTRIDGE, Personal Finance Editor, explains how they will work and whether they are worth taking out by grandparents, parents and friends.

What is a Jisa?

IT’S a mini version of the long-standing – and popular – tax-friendly Individual Savings Account. Instead of being available to adults, it is aimed principally at parents and grandparents who want to save on behalf of a child or grandchild.
The account is held in the child’s name but opened and managed by the adult, though the child can take control at 16. The objective is to provide a tax-free fund at the age of 18 that can be used to meet university fees, as a deposit on a home or perhaps to buy a car. A Jisa builds free of capital gains tax as well as any further income tax.

Source: DAILYMAIL>> Read full article and comment

Posted in Finance, Grandparents, ParentsComments Off

SpongeBob and Dora help Blackpool to bounce back

The revival of Blackpool, one of Britain’s best-loved resorts, has never quite materialised. Budget flights abroad, poor summers and the collapse of the supercasino project stopped the town regaining the heights of its popularity in the Victorian era.

But now Blackpool Council, which is spending millions of pounds on regeneration, is hoping to see the town return to its former glory days.

Figures just filed by Blackpool Pleasure Beach, the 42-acre amusement park, show that while the company lost £764,000 on a turnover of £23.3million in the year ending April 3, the directors say its recent commercial tie-up with Nickelodeon, the cable TV channel will bring it to profitability next year. The company earlier this year opened a £9million children’s theme park, complete with rides featuring characters such as SpongeBob SquarePants and Dora the Explorer.

Source: DAILYMAIL>> Read full article and comment

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Money talks even in the internship slave trade

If you’re young and want a job, you’d better hope that your parents can pay your way

If you are young, middle class and desperate for work, what will matter most to you – that you are young or that you are middle class? A thought that is as much a bristling resentment as a coherent argument is growing among those unlucky enough to have been born around 1990. They believe that their lives will be determined by their age, not by their background or their schooling and certainly not by any help a negligent government deigns to give them.

Last week, of the 2.57m unemployed almost one million were under 24. Those who hope to get a job must first go through the intern racket, which comes close to contravening anti-slavery law.

The willingness of their elders to put them through it was encapsulated by Philip Hammond with words that ought to be etched on the minds of a generation. The richest man in the cabinet justified taking on interns for the princely wage of £0.00 by saying: “I would regard it as an abuse of taxpayer funding to pay for something that is available for nothing.”

Source: GUARDIAN>> Read full article and comment

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Teenage armed robber aged 13 revealed at court case

A 13-year-old member of an armed robbery gang from Liverpool was captured in a mobile phone camera picture wielding a shotgun, it has been revealed at court.

Jobe Kilbride was the youngest member of a five-strong gang jailed after going on a terrifying 10-day crime spree targeting shopkeepers and taxi drivers for their cash.
One man was shot and others left fearing for their lives as the hooded youngsters prowled the streets of north Liverpool and Huyton with a loaded shotgun in April and May.
A judge allowed Kilbride and his accomplices to be named, despite their young ages, saying the public would be “shocked and horrified” at what they had done.
The photograph of Kilbride posing up with the shotgun was discovered on his Blackberry when he was arrested.

Source: TELEGRAPH>> Read full article and comment

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Free parenting lessons trialled

Some 50,000 families are to be given free parenting lessons as part of the coalition’s drive to make society more responsible.

The classes are being piloted for mothers and fathers with children aged under five in Middlesbrough, High Peak in Derbyshire, and Camden.

They will be offered £100 vouchers to pay for the sessions, and organisations will bid for contracts to provide them.

Issues covered are likely to include communication, managing conflict, discipline, and creating routine and boundaries.

Children’s minister Sarah Teather said the trials would start next summer and run for two years. The scheme will cost £5 million for the vouchers plus set-up costs.

“The overwhelming evidence from all the experts is that a child’s development in the first five years of their life is the single biggest factor influencing their future life chances, health and educational attainment,” she said.

Source: INDEPENDENT>> Read full article and comment

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Man hunted over attempted assault of girl, 12

Detectives investigating the attempted sexual assault of a 12-year-old girl who managed to fight off her attacker have issued an image of a man they want to speak to.

The victim was walking home at 3.45pm on Monday 3 October in Salford when the attacker approached her and grabbed her tie.

The man, who police said was in his early 40s, then tried to sexually assault the schoolgirl but she managed to push him away and run off.

Police are keen to trace anyone who may have been close by the attack spot in Bakewell Road, Peel Green, and have issued an e-fit of the man.

Detective Constable Neil Jones, of Salford CID, said: “Thankfully this young girl was able to fight this man off.

Source: INDEPENDENT>> Read full article and comment

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Girl savaged by dog near playground

A six-year-old girl has undergone surgery after she was savaged by a Staffordshire bull terrier-type dog near a playground, police said.

The youngster, who has not been named, lost teeth and suffered a one inch cut to the lip when she was bitten on the face on Thursday afternoon as children made their way home from school.

She was taken to hospital following the attack at Heathfield Recreation Ground in Twickenham, south-west London, and was said to be in shock.

Her condition is described as stable.

Police are searching for a man, believed to be the dog’s owner, who took the animal away shortly after the attack, which happened between 4pm and 5pm.

Source: London Evening Standard>> Read full article and comment

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Alice Azania Jarvis: A present for the dad who wants nothing

It’s my dad’s birthday in three days. In other words: yesterday, since funnily enough this column isn’t written live as you read it (though that would be good, wouldn’t it? Me sat here at a computer, fingers poised over the keyboard, waiting for you to turn to the page).

As you do, I texted him asking what he wanted. And as he always does, he insisted he wanted nothing. Parents do this. It’s their shtick. When you do buy them something (which you knew you would all along – and, to be honest, they probably knew you would too), they chastise you like you’ve done something truly awful, like, I don’t know, stolen the gift straight from a grandmother’s kitchen. Though possibly they’d be happier with that, so strenuous is their insistence that they don’t want you to spend any money on them. “DON’T spend any money,” texts my mum in the run-up, not just to her, but also to everyone else in the family’s anniversaries.

Of course I will spend money anyway – though, as it happens, I quite like my gifts to look like they’ve been stolen straight from a grandmother’s kitchen. Particularly when it comes to my dad, for whom I rarely buy anything other than food or drink: jars of pickles, tins of gentleman’s relish, slabs of cheese, bottles of wine (though this is always a hazard, since I know precisely zero about wine other than the fact that I quite like it). But whatever: the point is it’s all a dance, this offering, this denial. In truth, my dad probably doesn’t want anything (this being a man who once gave away most of his good clothes, only to replace them with a few odds and ends from a charity shop). But most of the time, when we say we don’t, we really do.

Source: INDEPENDENT>> Read full article and comment

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Family call police after getting lost in corn maze

A corn maze near Boston proved too big a challenge for a couple and their children, who called out the local police to rescue them.

Police in Danvers, Massachusetts received a frantic call from the family at Conners Farm.
“We dispatched an officer, it happened to be our K-9 officer, Justin Ellinton, and his canine Falco went up there and they actually were yelling to the people,” Sgt Bob Bettencourt of the Danvers Police Department said.
The manager of Conners Farm, Rich Potter, helped the police find the family.
“It took us about, oh, a minute, a minute and a half to find them. We’d ask them to talk now and then. And we walked them back out again,” he said.

Source: TELEGRAPH>> Read full article and comment

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Funding childcare or fixing potholes

Coventry Council needs to save money, lots of money. Its predicament can be distilled to a very local debate: parents versus potholes.

Should it continue to fund full-time day care at its council-run Sure Start Children’s Centres and provide places for kids under two, or should this money be spent elsewhere?

Coventry mum Sam Lyle has no doubt where the council’s priorities should be.

“The council is involved in providing a whole series of services, so why shouldn’t they have a stake in nurturing and raising its youngest citizens,” she told me as she dropped off her 15-month-old son, Charlie.

Source: BBC NEWS>> Read full article and comment

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Teenage sensations move on from silly songs and bad hair

Bombay Bicycle Club played the V Festival when they were all 15 years old. Now 21, they chuckle at their past with Gillian Orr

The problem with being so precocious is that some of your youthful impulses stick around forever to gently mock you. It is something that the London indie quartet Bombay Bicycle Club know only too well. Having been on the scene since they won the “Road to V” competition when they were 15-year-old schoolboys (the prize being an opening slot at the festival), they are now all 21 years old, on their third album, and not averse to the odd cringe at some of their earlier decisions.

“The band name, for example, is pretty ridiculous,” laughs bassist Ed Nash. Yep, naming your band after a chain of Indian-takeaway restaurants certainly has all the hallmarks of a healthy adolescent sense of humour.

Source: INDEPENDENT>> Read full article and comment

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Up to 10,000 children being exploited by sex gangs, says children’s commissioner

As many as 10,000 children could be the victims of gang-related sexual abuse, it was claimed last night.

And the Children’s Commissioner’s Office said many more could be subjected to exploitation.

It is launching a two-year inquiry aimed at lifting the lid on the scale of the shocking crimes that reach into all parts of society.

The investigation will examine how often vulnerable children are being sexually exploited by organised criminal gangs and other groups.

It will study the appalling phenomenon of Asian men grooming white girls for sex and how teenage girl gang members can be forced into prostitution.

Experts said there is a lack of reliable official information about the true scale of sexual abuse across England.

Source: DAILYMAIL>> Read full article and comment

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Seventeen-year-old girl collapses and dies in agony after suffering extreme reaction while dyeing her hair with friend

17-year-old ran screaming from bathroom pulling foils from hair

‘It was really frightening. She looked just like a rag doll, limp, just lying there’. A teenage girl collapsed and died in agony just 20 minutes after applying hair dye.

Tabatha McCourt, 17, was watching the X Factor on TV when she ran screaming from the bathroom of the family home in Airdrie, Lanarkshire, pulling on her hair and vomiting before she finally collapsed.

Friends told how Tabatha’s eyes started to roll and she began having such a violent fit that it took two people to hold her down.

Source: DAILYMAIL>> Read full article and comment

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Il Volo: The boys who tempt teens to love opera

Italian pop-opera trio Il Volo have taken America by storm. Adam Sweeting reports

Manhattan’s Beacon Theatre is famous for its neo-Grecian decor, as well as legendary performances by the likes of the Rolling Stones, Steely Dan and the Allman Brothers. But as I found my seat, I could only see a 10-year-old kid called Ethan Bortnick, sitting at the piano in a miniature dinner suit and impersonating Louis Armstrong in a bizarre guttural growl. Then he started wisecracking to the audience like some cranky old Borscht Belt veteran. It was freak-show hell.
Luckily, Bortnick was only warming up for the main event, the Italian teenage “pop-opera” phenomenon Il Volo. As the trio of singers took the stage with their band and string section, the crowd – or at least its huge female contingent – hit the hysteria button, and remained in a state of shrieking frenzy for the next 80-odd minutes.

Source: TELEGRAPH>> Read full article and comment

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Schoolboy, 6, knocked down and killed by hit-and-run motorcyclist as he crossed road with mother

Two men, aged 38 and 26, arrested in connection with crash

A six-year-old boy has been knocked down and killed in a hit-and-run as he crossed the road with his mother.

Joseph Ball, known as Joe, was struck by a motorbike as he walked home from school.

Witnesses have described the motorbike, thought to be a Kawasaki, speeding off after the incident in Westcliff, Essex.

Source: DAILYMAIL>> Read full article and comment

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Teenage mother broke puppy’s neck by hurling it on floor in fit of rage

A teenage mother has been banned from looking after animals for five years after breaking a puppy’s neck by angrily throwing it to the floor.

Catrina Baker, 18, hurled three-month-old terrier Poppy the length of a car with ‘substantial’ force, resulting in the injury that proved fatal.

The broken neck lead to the paralysis of the muscles required to breathe and Poppy died of asphyxiation, Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court heard.

Baker cried in the court when she heard of how the dog probably died quickly, but only after suffering intense pain while conscious.

John Ellwood, prosecuting for the RSPCA, said: ‘The vet gave an opinion that it was rare to see an animal with a broken neck that wasn’t involved in a road traffic accident.’

Source: DAILYMAIL>> Read full article and comment

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