Breaking: Leadsom resigns from Cabinet | The SKWAWKBOX


Tory chaos goes up a gear with what may be first of series of resignations to pressure PM May

Andrea Leadsom has resigned from her Cabinet position as Leader of the House of Commons.

In a letter to Theresa May, Leadsom blamed failure to deliver Brexit and a breakdown in government processes for her decision and urged May to step down:

 

Source: Breaking: Leadsom resigns from Cabinet | The SKWAWKBOX

Excl: Enfield councillor who failed to pass panel now dep to leader who altered papers to let him stand | The SKWAWKBOX


A series of exclusives by the SKWAWKBOX revealed the ‘irregularities‘ in the selection process for local election candidates – overseen by then-local campaigns secretary Nesil Caliskan – that ultimately led to right-winger Ms Caliskan becoming leader of Enfield council in London.

The councillors who elected her included a significant number who had only become council candidates via the irregular process she ran.

The skewed selection process also led, shockingly, to the deselection of all the borough’s black councillors and triggered a series of protests and calls for investigation across the Labour political spectrum – including half the council’s Cabinet – and the resignation of all of Enfield Labour group’s female officers except Ms Caliskan, amid accusations of bullying, intimidation and physical threats.

The national party was forced to step in, effectively putting Enfield Labour group into special measures.

 

Source: Excl: Enfield councillor who failed to pass panel now dep to leader who altered papers to let him stand | The SKWAWKBOX

Winterbourne reforms will fail unless more money is provided for learning disability care, warn care leaders | Learning Disability Today


Care standards for people with learning disabilities will slip back if the government does not provide more funding for vital services, with the risk that the transformation agenda prompted by the Winterbourne View scandal will fail, learning disability care providers have warned.

Source: Winterbourne reforms will fail unless more money is provided for learning disability care, warn care leaders | Learning Disability Today

Donald Trump and his art of the deal


He is a showman not a statesman, he ridicules and insults people, he is forever contradicting himself by bending his comments to each particular audience and he never believes he his wrong. Is this what a President should be, for he would push America where he feels it should be and will not be bothered who will suffer the consequences be they be friend or foe.

A president does need to be strong, but needs to consider what the results of his actions will be, for if he fails can he create another country as can be done when one busuness fails and if you have the resources you can start another. Business and country are not interchangeable for when a country fails it fails and it may well take the world with it.

Phil Ebersole's Blog

Man is the most vicious of all animals, and life is a series of battles ending in victory or defeat.  You just can’t let people make a sucker out of you.
        ==Donald Trump, in a 1981 interview

∞∞∞

What kind of a businessman is Donald Trump?  What does his business career reveal about what kind of a President he would be?

the-trumps-9780743210799_hrI read two biographies, THE TRUMPS: Three Generations That Built an Empire by Gwenda Blair (2000) and  NEVER ENOUGH: Donald Trump and the Pursuit of Success by Michael D’Antonio (2015), and some magazine articles to try to learn an answer.

Gwenda Blair’s book goes into Trump’s family background – his immigrant grandfather, Frederick Trump (originally Friedrich Drumpf), who operated saloons during the Klondike Gold Rush of the 1890s, and his father, Fred Trump, who built FHA-subsidized housing in Brooklyn.

Michael D’Antonio’s book brings his career down nearly…

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Justice ministry refuses to probe DWP’s WCA suicide report ‘cover-up’ | DisabledGo News and Blog


The Ministry of Justice is refusing to investigate why the Department for Work and Pensions failed to fulfil its legal duty to respond to a coroner’s report that linked a disabled man’s suicide to its “fitness for work” test. The coroner’s report was written in late March 2010 following an inquest into the death of 41-year-old Stephen Carre, from Eaton Bray, Bedfordshire, who had taken his own life in January 2010*. Disability News Service (DNS) has seen a series of letters that show that the coroner gave the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) all the information it needed to carry out an urgent review of the safety of key aspects of the work capability assessment (WCA) in 2010. But that review – ordered by coroner Tom Osborne through a process known as a Rule 43 letter – appears never to have been carried out. Legislation updated in 2008 makes it clear that a copy of the DWP response to Osborne’s report should have been sent to the Lord Chancellor . The Ministry of Justice (MoJ)

Source: Justice ministry refuses to probe DWP’s WCA suicide report ‘cover-up’ | DisabledGo News and Blog

Worse than the worst case scenario, £300 Million workfare scheme is a disaster


the void

boycott-workfare-real-jobsThe DWP have finally released some scant information on the performance of  George Osborne’s Help To Work scheme – the £300 million workfare programme announced at the 2013 Tory Party conference and then quietly scrapped in last month’s Autumn statement.

Those sent on Help To Work can be expected to sign on everyday at Jobcentres, face intensive and mandatory ‘interventions’ supposed to help them find work or in many cases be sent on an unpaid ‘Community Work Placement’ for six months.  Previously published statistics revealed that such is the unpopularity of workfare amongst charities and community organisations that these placements could only be found for half of those referred to the scheme.  What they didn’t tell us is how many people had found jobs.  It is only now, 20 months after Help To Work began and in a week when most journalists are pissed or on holiday, that the…

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Too much too soon? What should we be teaching four-year-olds


Original post from The Conversation 

‘……………..By Courtenay NorburyProfessor, Department of Psychology at Royal Holloway and Debbie GoochPostdoctoral Research Assistant at Royal Holloway

Maybe not so smiley on the second day of school. First day of school by gorillaimages/www.shutterstock.com
Maybe not so smiley on the second day of school. First day of school by gorillaimages/www.shutterstock.com

The first day of school is a momentous event in the life of a child. For many it is a day filled with pride and excitement. For others it is more stressful; they may cling to their parents, unused to being parted for so long.

In England, these extremes of experience are particularly marked because of the very young age at which children start formal schooling. Children begin school in the year in which they turn five, meaning that many children start school shortly after their fourth birthdays. England is unusual in this regard; in 31 out of 37 European countries children do not start formal education until they are at least six.

The age at which children start school may not matter as much as what happens to them once they get to the classroom. Given our backgrounds in developmental psychology and speech-language therapy, we think the current targets set for children in their first year at school are not developmentally appropriate. Our research published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry demonstrates that the youngest children in the class find these targets particularly challenging.

England has a curriculum for Early Years Foundation Stage, which outlines developmental goals from birth to five years old. This includes three prime areas of learning such as personal, social and emotional development; physical development; communication and language; as well as specific areas of learning such as maths and literacy.

In 2012, the New Early Years Foundation Stage Profile was introduced, to document attainment at the end of the early years curriculum. The profile is completed by the teacher at the end of the first year in school, and children are assessed on the extent to which they meet or exceed expected progress on 12 key targets across these areas of learning. Those making expected progress are deemed to have achieved a “good level of development”. Here are a few of the key targets:

  1. Understanding: children follow instructions involving several ideas or actions. They answer “how” and “why” questions about their experiences and in response to stories or events.
  2. Health and self-care: children know the importance for good health of physical exercise, and a healthy diet, and talk about ways to keep healthy and safe.
  3. Writing: They write simple sentences which can be read by themselves and others. Some words are spelt correctly and others are phonetically plausible.
  4. Numbers: children count reliably with numbers from one to 20, place them in order and say which number is one more or one less than a given number. They solve problems, including doubling, halving and sharing.
Up to 20 by five years old. Child counting via PhotoUG/www.shutterstock.com
Up to 20 by five years old. Child counting via PhotoUG/www.shutterstock.com

Government statistics confirm a 22% attainment gap between the oldest and the youngest children in the reception year. It is therefore not surprising that there have been calls to adjust the assessments at the end of the reception year for age, so that at least on paper, younger children are not disadvantaged.

Half of all children don’t meet the targets

But our study highlights a much bigger issue. We sampled more than 7,000 children in mainstream reception classrooms in Surrey, a relatively affluent county in south-east England. Across this population, only 57% of children achieved a “good level of development”, comparable to national estimates of 52%. If half the children in the country can’t meet the targets, we argue that perhaps the targets are wrong.

Yet age is not the only, or even the most important, factor in predicting academic success in the reception year. In our study, there were other things that contributed to poorer academic progress: being a boy, living in more impoverished neighbourhoods, speaking more than one language, and displaying more behavioural difficulties.

However, oral language – such as vocabulary, grammar and story-telling skills – was the most important predictor of progress on curriculum targets. This is because the curriculum requires children to listen, comprehend, explain themselves and use words to solve problems. In our study, twice as many younger children were reported to have poor language skills at school entry, relative to their oldest peers. And fewer than 5% children with low language proficiency achieved a good level of development on the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile.

Years of research has also told us that language is the foundation for literacy. Children arriving at school with lower levels of oral language proficiency, for whatever reason, are therefore at a distinct disadvantage for learning.

Don’t set children up for failure

We suggest that focusing the first reception year on developing children’s oral language abilities may help to attenuate the attainment gaps experienced by younger children. It is also possible that a focus on oral language will narrow the gap for children from impoverished communities and those who are learning English as an additional language. We predict that ensuring a good foundation in oral language will also improve reading and writing in later school years, even for the oldest children in the class.

Literacy targets, particularly writing, have been introduced at ever younger ages in an effort to improve standards, but we fear this may do more harm than good. Asking children to engage in tasks that are developmentally out of their reach increases frustration and experience of failure. Many of the children that we have followed up over time tell us at the tender age of six, that they “aren’t good at reading” or they “can’t do writing.” This is a tragedy.

We need to develop children’s oral language skills early and leave formal classroom instruction until children have the foundation skills they need to achieve. This should raise the attainments, and esteem, of all children.  …………’

 

Failure; To be or not to be.


From the blog of Cristian Mihai

Why should we be afraid of failure, for we are all human and there may be many reasons why everything we do can not always be successful, many reasons be outside the control of ourselves. For one day you could do something and it is not a success, but do the same the next and it is. For success and failure is not always based on the abilities of ourself. Surely you have to be in the right place at the right time to obtain success, for to be in the right place at the wrong time, or the right time, but the wrong place, will have abearing on the feasibility of success or failure.

If you like and care for what you do, then keep on doing it, surely you do it for you and not mainly for others.