Coalition to start means testing for Sure Start


9:20 am - November 14th 2010

by Newswire    


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Middle-class parents are likely to be charged for an increasing number of services at their local children’s centres under radical plans to overhaul Sure Start – the Labour government’s flagship childcare programme.

Sarah Teather, the children’s minister, will tell councils and charities that run the 3,500 centres to target resources towards the “neediest” families and consider charging the better-off for “fun” activities. Teather told the Observer that children’s centres would keep their “universal front door”.

“I’m not saying that Sure Start children’s services will be closed to some families in the area… We want it to be a non-stigmatising service. But within that service, we want it to be much better at targeting the resources,” she said.

The plans have already been denounced as a “disaster” by one Labour MP, who said that they were the first step towards ending the programme’s comprehensive nature. “The beauty of Sure Start is that it brings together families from different backgrounds – the entire community buys into it,” said Lisa Nandy, the MP for Wigan, who used to work at the Children’s Society. Even charging for a few services would change the whole ethos, she argued.

…more at The Guardian

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Reader comments


I’m torn between my anger at this happening, and my resignation that we told people this would happen during the election and they still voted tory (of either colour)

Sure Start was one of the truly ambitious things Labour did in power – it has been a massive success – so of course the new government wants to get rid of it. If they let it last it will become iconic and loved by too many people – and like the NHS will then be nigh on impossible to scrap.

So they have to undermine it quickly. Before a whole generation has benefited.

Could someone, please, remind me of when it was that Britain’s society wasn’t broken and which other countries are reckoned to have unbroken societies?

The latest disturbing news about Denmark, it that along with New Zealand and Singapore, it came out top on Transparency International’s Preceived Corruption Index (PCI) for 2010 – meaning that the three countries were perceived as being the least corrupt among the 178 countries assessed: http://transparency.org/news_room/latest_news/press_releases/2010/2010_10_26_cpi2010_en

Britain’s rank had slipped to 20 on this latest assessment by Transparency International.

Readers may recall a previous post of mine worrying about the state of Denmark:

Denmark was confirmed as the OECD’s highest-tax country, followed by Sweden.

By reports, Denmark’s Gini co-efficient shows the least inequality of post-tax income distribution among countries for which income distribution data are available :
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_income_equality

Curiously, according to Eurostat data, Denmark is not impoverished, indeed it comes out as one of the most affluent countries in the EU. By other assessments, it also appears that Denmark is the ‘happiest place on earth’:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/5224306.stm

On the evidence, Denmark presumably counts as having a relatively unbroken society.

3. Chaise Guevara

@ 2

“Could someone, please, remind me of when it was that Britain’s society wasn’t broken and which other countries are reckoned to have unbroken societies?”

Well said. I’m really not sure why this site is using lazy rightwing rhetoric like this.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

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  2. GORDON LYEW

    RT @libcon: Coalition to start means testing for Sure Start centres http://bit.ly/d1rjS7

  3. John Turner

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  4. superbrutal

    RT @libcon: Coalition to start means testing for Sure Start centres http://bit.ly/d1rjS7

  5. diana smith

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  6. diana smith

    @libcon I seem to remember some very clear election promises that Sure Start was safe. http://bit.ly/d1rjS7

  7. Nigel Cooke

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  8. ALLY SAUNDERS

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  9. Jonathan Taylor

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  10. Pucci Dellanno

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  11. Naadir Jeewa

    Reading: Coalition to start means testing for Sure Start centres: Middle-class parents are likely to be charged … http://bit.ly/bsLhTB

  12. Nicholas Stewart

    Coalition to start means testing for Sure Start centres http://j.mp/dyHLJO – ARRRRGH

  13. Spir.Sotiropoulou

    RT @libcon: Coalition to start means testing for Sure Start http://bit.ly/d1rjS7

  14. Jane Ayres

    RT @libcon Coalition to start means testing for Sure Start centres http://bit.ly/d1rjS7 < :'(





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