Hospitals are treating the elderly ‘like slabs of meat’ says damning report into NHS care
Hospitals are accused today of treating elderly patients like ‘slabs of meat’ in a damning report that lists a catalogue of abuse. Nurses have refused to give painkillers to dying patients, while relatives were so concerned at the lack of care for their loved ones that they stayed on the wards round the clock.
The shocking examples have been highlighted by the Patients Association in a report which provides yet further evidence of poor care across the NHS. The charity has compiled a dossier of 16 distressing cases based on accounts by either relatives or the patients themselves, but said it has been made aware of hundreds of examples from calls to its helpline.
The Mail has persistently highlighted the plight of elderly patients in hospitals and care homes as part of our Dignity For The Elderly campaign.
As part of the campaign last year, generous Mail readers helped raise £100,000 to enable the Patients Association to pay for extra staff to man its dedicated helpline.
Last year, a joint campaign with the Mail and the Patients Association triggered hospital inspections by the Care Quality Commission, which last month reported that in a fifth of them the care was so bad they were breaking the law.
The charity says that the number of calls to its hotline has risen significantly in recent weeks. One family revealed how their dying elderly mother was treated like a ‘slab of meat’. The family of Immacolata Lacovara said that nurses at Central Middlesex Hospital in North London ‘treated her roughly and left her covered in bedsores and bruises’.
Her son Matt also discovered they had put a ‘Do Not Resuscitate’ order in her notes without asking the family, and claims nurses ‘stood back and watched my mother die’ during her final hours.
Angela Rippon OBE, the former newsreader who is vice-president of the Patients Association, said: ‘This report raises serious issues about the quality of care.’
In another case, Sheila Wood said she believed her husband Bill was sent home on December 22 last year – when he was so breathless from pneumonia he could not speak – to ease staff workload in the festive period. He died on Christmas Day.
And relatives of Sally Abbott-Sienkiewicz were told by nurses days before her death that she could not have sedatives because she ‘wasn’t a priority’. When they resorted to fetching from home the painkillers prescribed by her GP, the nurses confiscated them.
Katherine Murphy, the charity’s chief executive, said the accounts should ‘shame everyone involved’.
A Department of Health spokesperson said: ‘Everyone admitted to hospital deserves to be treated with compassion and dignity. Many parts of the NHS provide really good care, but some sadly fall short of what we demand.
‘That’s why we asked the Care Quality Commission to carry out unannounced inspections on issues including patient dignity and nutrition. So far, 100 inspections have already been carried out and 700 more will be carried out next year. ‘Wherever there is poor performance we will root it out, and whatever the reason for that poor performance we will tackle it.
‘The Patients Association is right to raise these examples and issues, and we will work with them and with the NHS to sort these problems out.’
One in ten breast cancer victims faces five-month wait for diagnosis
No routine scans. They cost money
Thousands of women with breast cancer suffer delays of up to five months for a diagnosis because their symptoms are missed by GPs, according to a study. It found that for one in ten patients, there was a 20-week delay between first being seen by a GP and being told they have the disease.
While those visiting their doctors with obvious signs such as a lump may be diagnosed sooner, many go to GPs with more subtle symptoms such as tiredness, weight loss or anaemia.
The study, presented at the National Cancer Research Institute in Liverpool, also showed that the average waiting time for a woman to be diagnosed with breast cancer has fallen by just two days since 2002, despite millions of pounds of Government investment to reduce this. On average women now wait 25 days for a diagnosis after visiting their doctor, compared with 27 days in 2002.
There are around 48,000 new cases of breast cancer a year and the findings suggest as many as 4,800 of these women wait five months for a diagnosis.
Specialists say one of the main reasons the chances of surviving all forms of cancer are much lower in the UK compared with other countries in the West is that doctors are not spotting tumours early enough.
Although survival rates for breast cancer have improved and 81 per cent of patients can expect to live beyond five years after diagnosis, they still lag behind those in Australia and Sweden, for example, where more than 88 per cent survive for this time.
Figures show that around 12,000 women die of breast cancer in the UK every year.
Researchers from the University of Bangor in Wales looked at the records of more than 14,400 patients with common forms of cancer, including breast, bowel, lung, pancreatic and stomach. They compared the average time it took for patients to be diagnosed with cancer after first going to their GP between 2001/2 and 2007/8. They found that the ‘diagnostic time’ for breast cancer was virtually unchanged.
For bowel cancer, the diagnostic time fell by three weeks and patients now wait an average of 75 days – although this is still longer than for breast cancer.
Researchers are unclear why it is taking so long for some breast cancers to be diagnosed as symptoms such as a lump are more obvious than those for other tumours. One reason may be that if women first go to their GP with less obvious symptoms they won’t be referred urgently to a hospital specialist under the two-week referral target for suspected cancers, and it could be months before they are seen.
The longer a woman waits for a diagnosis, the greater the chance that the tumour will spread. It is then more likely she will have to lose her breast and in some cases the disease will advance to other organs and become terminal.
Dr Richard Neal, lead researcher from the North Wales Centre for Primary Care Research at Bangor University, said: ‘A lot of sufferers may not qualify. ‘The GP may think that they don’t have cancer, in which case they do not qualify for the two-week waiting time. Diagnostic intervals were longer for patients with harder-to-diagnose cancers and for those presenting with symptoms that did not qualify for an urgent referral. ‘In particular, the diagnostic intervals for the 10 per cent of patients who are diagnosed most slowly remain very long for most cancers.’
In 1999 the Labour government pledged to invest £10million every year to improve the diagnosis waiting times for women with suspected breast cancer. Since then, millions more has been invested in strategies to speed up the time between patients first seeing their GP and being given a diagnosis.
Sara Hiom, of Cancer Research UK, said: ‘It’s clearly vital for GPs to have access to good-quality information to make the best decisions for their patients.’
Breast cancer campaigner Kris Hallenga, 25, of East London, set up a support group to highlight the issue after waiting eight months for a diagnosis. When she first went to her GP with a lump in her breast, she was told not to worry because ‘I was too young to have anything seriously wrong with me’.
She insisted that she be referred to a hospital and eight months later her worst fears were realised when she was finally screened for breast cancer. Miss Hallenga is still being treated for the illness and also has traces of cancer in her pelvis and liver.
Blunder allowed ‘danger migrants’ to vanish: Britain will never know how many terrorists or criminals got in, admits Home Secretary
We will never know how many terrorists and criminals entered Britain in the latest borders blunder. Theresa May made the admission yesterday as she explained to MPs her role in the relaxation of controls this summer.
The Home Secretary said she ordered a ‘pilot’ scheme to water down passport checks in July for Britons and other EU nationals – without telling Parliament. Up to five million foreign nationals may have entered the UK during the downgrade, which applied at every port and airport. It will never be known how many were illegals.
Senior Home Office sources conceded Mrs May agreed to extend the pilot scheme in September – even though she did not know whether it was working properly.
Last night a damaging leaked document also revealed that the rule change was brought in to cut queues at airports, not for security reasons. Home Office sources also admitted Mrs May was kept informed about the original scheme.
The scandal is hugely embarrassing for the Tories, who campaigned at the election on a platform of reducing immigration to ‘tens of thousands’ a year, after it soared to more than a quarter of a million under Labour.
UK Borders Agency boss Brodie Clark was suspended on Thursday after Mrs May was told a separate round of additional checks on foreigners from outside the EU against a ‘watch list’ had also been suspended at Calais as well as some Heathrow fingerprint checks.
But last night the Public and Commercial Services Union – which represents hundreds of Border Agency officials – claimed the fingerprint checks were actually scrapped months before the pilot scheme was introduced.
Mrs May’s critics, however, have still to produce ‘smoking gun’ evidence that she knew of Mr Clark’s decision to further water down the checks last summer.
Yesterday Labour disclosed an email – circulated on July 28 – which ordered UKBA staff to ‘cease routinely opening the chip’ in biometric passports from the EU.
Officials were also told to stop ‘routinely checking’ children from the EU ‘against the Warnings Index’, which is designed to weed out possible terrorists and criminal gangs.
And staff were told to not routinely question visa holders from outside the EU on arrival in the UK either – though Home Office officials said this was standard practice. Crucially, the document also gave the green light for the border staff to take ‘further measures’ without clearing them with ministers.
Extraordinarily, the document makes clear that the downgrade in checks was carried out to ‘ensure good order in the arrival hall, disruption to flight schedules’ and prevent ‘passengers being held on the aircraft’.
That revelation is particularly damaging for ministers as union chiefs say the changes were made because ministers are laying off 5,200 staff as part of cut-backs and there aren’t enough staff to handle the volume of passengers at peak times.
Announcing no fewer than three inquiries into the fiasco, the Home Secretary insisted the measures were authorised on the basis that they were subject to a ‘risk-based assessment’ and not used routinely. But that claim was in tatters as Borders Agency whistleblowers said passport controls were relaxed for half of working shifts at most ports of entry and ‘almost round the clock’ at some airports like Luton and Stansted.
Mrs May placed the blame squarely at the door of Brodie Clark, telling MPs he ‘authorised the wider relaxation of border controls without ministerial sanction’. ‘Indeed I told officials explicitly that the pilot was to go no further than we had agreed,’ she said.
‘As a result of these unauthorised actions, we will never know how many people entered the country who should have been prevented from doing so after being flagged by the Warnings Index.’
Around 100,000 foreign nationals enter Britain every day. If the rules were relaxed for half of all shifts, it is likely that up to five million foreign nationals entered the UK while the weaker rules were in operation.
A briefing note circulated by Tory whips yesterday urged Conservative MPs to ask the Home Secretary whether those responsible should be prosecuted – effectively agitating for Mr Clark to be charged.
UKBA sources, unions and opposition politicians said it was inconceivable that the Home Office did not know what was going on.
Home Office officials admitted Mrs May did receive an update on the operation of the scheme when she signed off a decision to extend it from mid-September to November.
Aides said she would not have seen the ‘operational instruction’ from Border Agency bosses to frontline staff at ports of entry.
Mrs May was supported by David Cameron, but Downing Street made clear he was only informed about the pilot scheme in recent days ‘when it was apparent that there was a problem’.
Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper accused Mrs May of ‘doing nothing, even now, to find out and assess who has entered the country and what the security risk might be’. Mrs May will be grilled again today on the fiasco when she appears in front of the influential Home Affairs Select Committee.
Welcome to the era of the post-moral panic
In our morally unanchored society, elite fearmongers prefer to use so-called science rather than moralism to reshape our behaviour
One question we should ask ourselves is whether it’s possible to have a moral panic at a time when there is no moral consensus. At a time when traditional values are going down the toilet, and when traditional morality no longer holds sway, is it possible to have a panic about ‘folk devils’ who allegedly pose a threat to the moral fabric?
I don’t think it is. Because in order to have a proper moral panic, you need to have some proper morality. You need to have a generally agreed-upon set of moral values that people can be accused of transgressing. And we just don’t have that today. In our era of moral relativism, it is actually increasingly difficult to have an old-fashioned moral panic.
That might sound like good news. No one is really in favour of moral panics, except maybe the Daily Mail. But the tragedy is that moral panics have been replaced by something even worse – by panics underpinned by science rather than by morality. And these new, post-moral panics are having a seriously detrimental impact on society.
What we have seen over the past few years is a massive rupture between panic and morality, a massive dissociation of the politics of fear from any system of moral meaning. These days, panics are not motored by moral sensibilities – they’re motored by scientific claims or health advice or what are presented to us as objective facts.
Consider the panics about young people. In the past, there were moral panics about young people drinking too much, fornicating and being generally depraved. These randy, alcoholic youth were accused of sinning against the natural moral order.
Today, there are still panics about young people’s behaviour, but they’re presented as health advice. So young people are warned off underage sex and sex outside of a committed relationship through adverts telling them they will get chlamydia or gonorrhoea. They’re warned off boozing with graphic photographs of what too much drink might do to their livers.
A society that has no clear moral line on marriage or sex or hedonism is forced to fall back on a grisly, bovine form of moral pressure. Incapable of telling young people what is right and what is wrong, our society prefers to spread panic about physical decay and physical ailments. It appeals to us to modify our behaviour, not in the name of morality and decency, but in the name of protecting our own livers and genitalia from disease.
Often, what we have today is the rehabilitation of old forms of moral disgust in a new pseudo-scientific language. So one of the most unhinged panics of modern times – the panic about the so-called obesity epidemic – is really just the resurrection of the sins of gluttony and sloth. But because society lacks the moral resources to lecture people about being gluttonous and slothful, which would involve making moral judgements and behaving with explicit superiority, it instead spreads all sorts of nonsense about Body Mass Index, calorie counting, and so on.
Even the moral panic about football hooligans, one of the great mad panics of the 1970s and 1980s, has been put through the de-moralisation process and turned into a pseudo-scientific issue. So recently, Cardiff University published a report arguing that gatherings of 70,000 or more football fans are a threat to the environment. Apparently such gatherings leave an eco-footprint 3,000 times the size of the pitch at Wembley. This eco-unfriendly mass of people leaves behind it 37 tonnes of glass and eight tonnes of paper.
It reveals a lot about the moral disarray of today’s cultural elite that even one of their favourite, easiest moral panics, even their disgust with working-class football fans, now has to be swaddled in a kind of neutral academic lingo.
The rise and rise of these post-moral panics has led to some extraordinary double standards in the arena of the politics of fear. Because the new post-moral panic-mongers are often the people who are most sniffy about old-fashioned moral panics promoted by the likes of the Daily Mail.
So the broadsheet journalists who criticise right-wing tabloids and politicians for spreading panic about terrorism are the same ones who argue that actually global warming is going to burn us all to death and it’s all the fault of unthinking people taking too many cheap flights. The people who argue that the working classes are making themselves sick by eating Turkey Twizzlers are the same ones who balk when the Daily Mail says that chavs undermine moral decency.
This double standard was really brought home at the end of October. After the Lib-Con government published its report on the August rioting in England, which revealed that 42 per cent of the rioters had received free school meals, some clever members of the Twitterati started tweeting: ‘Oh I bet I know what the Daily Mail’s headline will be. It will be “Free School Meals Cause Riots”.’ Hilarious, right? But what these Twits forgot is that actually that panic has already been done. Over the past few years, respectable publications like the Times Higher Education have published articles with headlines like ‘Unhealthy school dinners linked to anti-social behaviour’, a fancier way of saying ‘School meals cause rioting’.
So the moralists at the Daily Mail can be slated for even thinking about pursuing a panic that had already been done by others, in post-moral, respectable language, of course. Today, there is no real constituency for traditionalist moral panics – it’s the new post-moral, pseudo-scientific panics that make a big impact.
The post-moral panic-mongers have developed their own language to try to distinguish themselves from their forebears. So where they accuse right-wingers of ‘playing the fear card’, they claim that they are simply trying to ‘raise awareness’. They’re always ‘raising awareness’, whether it’s about the imminent collapse of the biosphere or the gastronomical depravity of the working classes. Where they accuse old-style moral panickers of using shame and stigma, they claim only to be interested in ‘modifying behaviour’. Through such terminology, they seek to make their own playing of the fear card and their moral fury with the little people appear good, decent, driven by expertise rather than moral judgementalism.
There is one really key difference between old moral panics and the new post-moral panics. Where the old moral panics were attempts to express or enforce an already-existing moral outlook, the new post-moral panics are a substitute for any coherent moral outlook. Today, fear is used not as a complement to morality but as a stand-in for morality. We have a situation today where society tries to reconstruct something approaching a moral outlook through fearmongering. This is quite new, and it is giving rise to a situation where basically we have constant panic – one fleeting scare after another, as our superiors try to magic up some behavioural norms and behavioural barriers in our morally bereft society.
As to what impact post-moral panics have on the public – it is a bit weird and contradictory. On one hand, precisely because the new fearmongering is detached from any bigger moral picture it doesn’t have the purchase that the old moral panics had. It doesn’t connect with the public in the same way. The politics of fear is no longer experienced collectively, as it was when we were all told to be scared of the prospect of Hell, but rather is experienced in a super-individuated way, as people are encouraged to panic about their own livers or hearts or waistlines.
But on the other hand, because there are so many post-moral panics, there is a cumulative effect. The fleeting scares build on each other to create a kind of free-floating sense of unease and dread – and often unease and dread about the most mundane things, such as eating and socialising and having half a glass of wine.
Even the moralistic panic-merchants of old never achieved something as destructive as what we have today, courtesy of the pseudo-scientific scaremongering lobby: a kind of everyday, run-of-the-mill doom.
British Government Orders YouTube To Censor Protest Videos
In a frightening example of how the state is tightening its grip around the free Internet, it has emerged that You Tube is complying with thousands of requests from governments to censor and remove videos that show protests and other examples of citizens simply asserting their rights, while also deleting search terms by government mandate.
The latest example is You Tube’s compliance with a request from the British government to censor footage of the British Constitution Group’s Lawful Rebellion protest, during which they attempted to civilly arrest Judge Michael Peake at Birkenhead county court.
Peake was ruling on a case involving Roger Hayes, former member of UKIP, who has refused to pay council tax, both as a protest against the government’s treasonous activities in sacrificing Britain to globalist interests and as a result of Hayes clearly proving that council tax is illegal.
Hayes has embarked on an effort to legally prove that the enforced collection of council tax by government is unlawful because no contract has been agreed between the individual and the state. His argument is based on the sound legal principle that just like the council, Hayes can represent himself as a third party in court and that “Roger Hayes” is a corporation and must be treated as one in the eyes of the law.
The British government doesn’t want this kind of information going viral in the public domain because it is scared stiff of a repeat of the infamous poll tax riots of 1990, a massive tax revolt in the UK that forced the Thatcher government to scrap the poll tax altogether because of mass civil disobedience and refusal to pay.
When viewers in the UK attempt to watch videos of the protest, they are met with the message, “This content is not available in your country due to a government removal request.”
We then click through to learn that, “YouTube occasionally receives requests from governments around the world to remove content from our site, and as a result, YouTube may block specific content in order to comply with local laws in certain countries.”
You can also search by country to discover that Google, the owner of You Tube, has complied with the majority of requests from governments, particularly in the United States and the UK, not only to remove You Tube videos, but also specific web search terms and thousands of “data requests,” meaning demands for information that would reveal the true identity of a You Tube user. Google claims that the information sent to governments is “needed for legitimate criminal investigations,” but whether these “data requests” have been backed up by warrants is not divulged by the company.
“Between July 1 and Dec. 31 (2009), Google received 3,580 requests for user data from U.S. government agencies, slightly less than the 3,663 originating from Brazil,” reports PC World. “The United Kingdom and India sent more than 1,000 requests each, and smaller numbers originated from various other countries.”
With regard to search terms, one struggles to understand how a specific combination of words in a Google search can be considered a violation of any law. This is about government and Google working hand in hand to manipulate search results in order to censor inconvenient information, something which Google now freely admits to doing.
You Tube’s behavior is more despicable than the Communist Chinese, who are at least open about their censorship policies, whereas You Tube hides behind a blanket excuse and doesn’t even say what law has been broken.
Anyone who swallows the explanation that the videos were censored in this case because the government was justifiably enforcing a law that says scenes from inside a court room cannot be filmed is beyond naive. Court was not even in session in the protest footage that was removed, and the judge had already left the courtroom.
The real reason for the removal is the fact that the British government is obviously petrified of seeing a group of focused and educated citizens, black, white, old and young, male and female, go head to head with the corrupt system on its own stomping ground.
In their efforts to keep a lid on the growing populist fury that has arrived in response to rampant and growing financial and political tyranny in every sector of society, governments in the west are now mimicking Communist Chinese-style Internet censorship policies in a bid to neutralize protest movements, while hypocritically lecturing the rest of the world on maintaining web freedom.
Via a combination of cybersecurity legislation and policy that is hastily introduced with no real oversight, governments and large Internet corporations are crafting an environment where the state can simply demand information be removed on a whim with total disregard for freedom of speech protections.
Poppy ban on England football stars is an outrage, says PM
Banning England’s footballers from wearing a poppy on their shirts is an outrage, David Cameron said yesterday. The Prime Minister told the sport’s ruling body to reverse its ‘absurd’ ruling against ‘political’ symbols.
Fifa is thought to have made the decision to avoid offence being given to German players and fans. Team chiefs in Berlin insisted however they could not understand the decision, which was revealed in the Daily Mail last weekend.
Mr Cameron said: ‘This seems outrageous. The idea that wearing a poppy to remember those who have given their lives for our freedom is a political act is absurd. ‘Wearing a poppy is an act of huge respect and national pride. I hope that Fifa will reconsider.’
His intervention increases the pressure for the ruling to be overturned in time for England’s friendly against Spain on Saturday.
Fifa bosses apparently feared problems if England ever faced Germany in a fixture around Remembrance Day. They worried that the poppies could cause tensions between the sportsmen of two nations who have twice fought world wars.
That argument lay in tatters after Wolfgang Niersbach, general secretary of the German Football Federation, said he fully backed England’s move to have the symbols stitched on to their shirts. ‘I am totally surprised [by the suggestion German people may be offended], because it just hasn’t been mentioned here,’ he said. ‘To my mind, this is a decision for England to make, and we would be happy for them to make it. ‘The Federation has not heard of, or been involved in, any discussions about poppies and whether England should be allowed to wear them on Saturday.
‘I cannot imagine we would have any objection to the idea of England’s players having poppies on their shirts. It just wouldn’t be a problem.’ He said his federation had not even been contacted by Swiss-based Fifa over the issue.
Sports minister Hugh Robertson yesterday wrote to Fifa asking it to reconsider allowing England and Wales to wear the poppy emblem this Saturday. In a letter to Jerome Valcke, Fifa general secretary, he said: ‘The British public feel very strongly about this issue which is seen as an act of national remembrance to commemorate those who gave their lives in the service of their country.
‘It is not religious or political in any way. Wearing a poppy is a display of national pride, just like wearing your country’s football shirt.’
But a Fifa spokesman insisted: ‘Such initiatives would open the door to similar initiatives from all over the world, jeopardising the neutrality of football.’ The governing body decrees that shirts should not carry political, religious or commercial messages.
Instead, it has allowed a period of silence to be held before Wembley’s England friendly, which comes the day before Remembrance Sunday.
England midfielder Jack Wilshere wrote on social networking website Twitter: ‘My great granddad fought for this country in WW2 and I’m sure a lot of peoples grandparents did. ‘England team should wear poppies on Saturday. It’s the nation’s tradition and it would be disrespectful not to.’ Midfielder Frank Lampard and other players in the team are also deeply unhappy.
The Poppy Appeal is in its 90th year and is run by the Royal British Legion to raise money to help thousands of serving and ex-servicemen and women and their families.
Last year it raised £36million. Patrick Mercer, a former Army officer and Tory MP, said: ‘It is telling that our former foe is happy to honour those who have laid down their lives for peace. They are riding to our rescue. It is absolutely tremendous news.
‘Again it shows the extent to which Fifa have taken their eye off the ball. There is nothing political, religious or xenophobic about the poppy. It symbolises sacrifice which is something Germany understands. It is a disgrace Fifa apparently does not.’
Colonel Richard Kemp, who commanded British forces in Afghanistan, said: ‘This symbol does not seek to perpetuate historic animosities nor to glorify war.’
Drive for more discipline in school: New teachers must show they can control pupils
Trainee teachers will be instilled with a zero-tolerance approach to ill discipline in school. They will be taught to bring back the traditions of pupils standing when a teacher enters the room and of keeping quiet in corridors.
A trainee unable to prove they can control a rowdy classroom will not qualify for a teaching post.
The radical shake-up by Education Secretary Michael Gove is designed to raise standards in state education. New teachers will have to punish any pupil who steps outside strict codes of behaviour. They will learn to discipline, or even send home, students who fail to turn up to their class without the right equipment – such as a pencil and paper.
All trainees will have to sit personality tests to prove their resilience and ability to remain calm under pressure. And the majority of their training will be conducted on the job in a classroom – rather than in a university lecture hall.
Headmasters will have the power to sack teachers who cannot control their class.
Mr Gove will also announce that graduates with first-class degrees will be handed £20,000 bursaries to train for a year as teachers.
The reforms to recruit only the best come as figures show 10 per cent of teachers leave the profession after a year – often because they cannot handle a class.
Yesterday, the Daily Mail revealed that some teachers were handed jobs despite failing numeracy tests up to 37 times. Mr Gove has limited the number of resits a trainee can take to two from 2012.
The new system of tapered bursaries will be introduced for postgraduate trainees. Students with first-class degrees are expected to receive up to £20,000 to teach secondary school subjects such as maths, physics and chemistry, which suffer the biggest staff shortages.
They would receive £13,000 to teach ‘medium priority specialisms’ such as languages, IT and design and technology, and £9,000 to teach other secondary subjects and to work in primary schools.
Students with a 2:1 degree would get £15,000 to teach shortage subjects, while those with 2:2s would receive £11,000.
Funding will be withdrawn for graduates holding less than a 2:2 degree. The tax–free bursaries can be spent however the student wishes, but it is likely that there will be an obligation to remain in the profession for an agreed period once they have completed their training.
The funds for the scheme will be found within the existing £500million teacher training budget. It is also expected that funding will be axed from some undergraduate teacher training courses as part of a shift toward training in schools.
This September, 100 schools, ranked ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted, were given specialist ‘teaching school’ status entitling them to grants to train new staff.
However, unions warned that the academically brilliant do not necessarily make good teachers. ‘We all want the brightest and best but having a first-class degree is no guarantee that you are able to communicate with children,’ said a spokesman for the Association of Teachers and Lecturers.
‘The best teachers have an enthusiasm for their subject and an understanding of how children develop. If teachers do not have the ability to convey their knowledge and passion to pupils, their academic brilliance is not going to do pupils any good.’