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ROUNDUP OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT STORIES IN THE SUNDAY PAPERS

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COUNCILS TO FUND BOARDING PLACES FOR LOOKED-AFTER CHILDREN...
COUNCILS TO FUND BOARDING PLACES FOR LOOKED-AFTER CHILDREN

Children in care are to be offered up to 2,000 local authority-funded places in boarding schools, the Sunday Telegraph reports (p3).

A pilot scheme, due to be launched next year, is being planned by a working group of government officials, local authority staff, boarding schools and relevant charities.

Only 6% of looked-after children gain five or more A* to C GCSEs and over a third fail to take a single GCSE, the paper says.

Adrian Underwood, director of the Boarding Schools Association, said the scheme might only involve 50 to 60 children in the short term, but he hoped it would expand to make a significant difference to the fate of children in care in this country.

SCHOOLS TOLD TO WEIGH ALL PRIMARY PUPILS

The government has decreed that all primary schools should routinely weigh their pupils and notify their parents if they are obese, the Independent on Sunday reports on its front page.

Initially, schools are expected to weigh four to 10 year olds this term to help build a national 'map' of childhood obesity. No information will be passed on to parents, unless they ask for it, and no help will be offered to overweight children.

From next year, however, parents of an obese child will be given a letter outlining the long-term health damage.

Health minister Caroline Flint has overruled Al Aynsley-Green, the children's commissioner, who warned that obesity screening at four could do more harm than good.

NEW 'FIELD HOSPITALS' IN CITIES WILL COPE WITH EXPECTED RISE IN DRINK-RELATED VIOLENCE

NHS trusts are planning to set up field hospitals in cities across the country in the summer to prepare for an anticipated surge in drink-related violence, according to the Independent on Sunday (p4).

Successful trials have been conducted in Cardiff and Newcastle, and tented clinics to help over-stretched A&E wards are now expected to be set up in places like Croydon and Liverpool.

Emergency services are predicting a rise in injuries related to alcohol due to extended licensing hours and events such as the World Cup.

PUBLIC SECTOR PENSION COSTS RISE BY£6BN IN SEVEN MONTHS

The costs of public sector pension plans have increased by£6bn in seven months due to ministers' decisions to back down over key reforms, according to the Sunday Telegraph (p1).

The Institute of Economic Affairs has calculated that the failure to raise the retirement ages of three million public sector workers from 60 to 65 meant the government has missed out of£11.4bn of savings a year.

Since then, the government has hired another 60,000 workers on final salary pension schemes.

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