Created: Friday, 18 March 2011 15:21
Right now, the government is pushing through changes to our health service which could spell the END of the NHS as we know it. Meanwhile, a funding squeeze means wards are closing and doctors and nurses are being laid off.
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Created: Saturday, 04 December 2010 18:40
Patrick Wintour The Guardian, Friday 3 December 2010
The Labour MP Frank Field chaired the independent review into poverty and life chances.
He asserts: "A healthy pregnancy, positive but authoritative parenting, high quality childcare, a positive approach to learning at home and an improvement in parents' qualifications, can … trump class background and parental income."
He argues there is little sign that schools close these attainment gaps, with children who arrive in the bottom range of ability tending to stay there. He proposes:
• parenting classes throughout school life, arguing that Britain believes parenting is learnt through osmosis;
• a new index of life chances that can be monitored annually;
• a focus on foundation years equal to primary and secondary schools;
• a rationalisation of children's services, including post-natal work, from the womb to going to school;
• a working-class version of Mumsnet, the online forum for parents;
• kite marking children's tv programmes to help speech development.
He says: "This goal of changing the distribution of income will be achieved by ensuring that poorer children in the future have the range of abilities necessary to secure better paid, higher skilled jobs."
New mothers and fathers should have parenting classes – Frank Field report