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ROUNDUP OF LOCAL AUTHORITY STORIES IN THE NATIONAL PRESS

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LORD CHANCELLOR ASKS 'CHAOTIC' CHILD COURT BOARD TO RESIGN OVER SERVICE FAILURES ...
LORD CHANCELLOR ASKS 'CHAOTIC' CHILD COURT BOARD TO RESIGN OVER SERVICE FAILURES

Ministers demanded the resignation of the entire board of an official child protection agency yesterday amid claims that it had descended into 'chaos'. The Child and Family Court Advisory and Support Servicewas set up two years ago to protect and advise on the rights of children during court proceedings. But a report earlier this year by the Commons Constitutional Affairs Committee found there were 'serious failings' in the organisation which was unable to cope with the demand for its services. The lord chancellor, Lord Falconer, has now written asking the board to stand down so that Cafcass can make a fresh start, reports The Independent(p4).

TEACHERS INVOLVED IN CHILD ASSAULT CASES SEEK ANONYMITY

Teachers are demanding a change in the law so they can remain anonymous if accused of assault by pupils, unless convicted. The National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers has dealt with 1,782 cases of malicious claims of physical, sexual or verbal abuse against teachers in the past 12 years, its general secretary Eamonn O'Kane said yesterday, reports The Independent.

LOW-COST AIRLINES TO PAY HIGH PRICE FOR SECOND STANSTED RUNWAY

Budget airlines face a 70 per cent rise in landing charges to help finance the construction of a second runway at Stansted, reported The Daily Telegraph (4/12/03, p14). The government is poised to announce that the Essex airport should be the first location for new runway capacity in the congested south-east, with Heathrow possibly following by 2020.

JOBSHARE HEADS: TWO FAMILY-FRIENDLY CONTRACTS SOLVE RECRUITMENT PROBLEM

The Times Educational Supplement (p5) looks at Belinda Williams and Dawn Mayson, who share the headship of Stoughton Infants School in Guildford, Surrey. 'One is in contr ol on Mondays and Tuesdays, the other on Thursdays and Fridays, and on Wednesday they are both in harness,' it reports. A survey published in October by the National Association of Head Teachers and the Secondary Heads Association revealed that half of primaries receive five or fewer applications for headteacher posts.

by assistant editor Neil Watson

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