Useless British ambulance service: They just don’t make an effort if there are any difficulties
Did faulty satnav stop 999 crew from saving my son’s life? Tragedy of boy, 9, who died after ambulance was delayed on way to hospital
A mother has called for an inquiry following the death of her nine-year-old son because she claims the ambulance was delayed when its satnav broke.
Melanie Carver says her son Corey suffered heart failure brought on by a severe asthma attack while he was getting ready for school.
Though the nearest ambulance station was just a mile and a half away, the 999 crew took 24 minutes to arrive. The target response time is eight minutes. By the time Corey reached hospital, it was too late to save him.
Ambulance bosses have since admitted there was a satnav fault and Miss Carver, 40, has demanded an explanation. She said: ‘I need to know whether a broken satnav meant the difference between life and death for my son.’ Corey had suffered from brittle asthma – a chronic form of the condition – since he was a baby.
He regularly had to be taken by West Midlands Ambulance Service from the family home in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, to the Alexandra Hospital, in nearby Redditch.
But on September 13 last year, Corey suffered his most severe attack yet as he ate breakfast.
Miss Carver, who was pregnant with her ninth child at the time, said: ‘I knew we had to get an ambulance … but instead they sent a car. The paramedic who turned up did all he could, but he saw how desperate the situation was and he was asking where the ambulance was.
‘I phoned them at 8.22am but the ambulance did not arrive until 8.46am. By that time Corey had suffered a heart attack. ‘I will never forget what he said to me. He just looked up at me and whispered: “Mum, I can’t do this any more.”’
Miss Carver said she was later told by a social worker that the ambulance had taken so long to arrive because its satnav had broken. ‘I could not believe what I was hearing,’ she said. ‘How can highly trained medical professionals be so reliant on a satnav? ‘It has made me determined to find out what happened on that day.’
Worcestershire Coroner Geraint Williams adjourned the inquest into Corey’s death last Wednesday awaiting further information.
West Midlands Ambulance Service said: ‘We can confirm that a fault with the satnav did occur. ‘The service does not solely rely on the satnav. Ambulance crews also have alternatives such as map books, and the Emergency Operations Centre can advise crews with the use of GPS location systems.
‘The Coroner has not yet completed his inquest into the case, but the Trust continues to assist him fully. ‘We are saddened to hear of the death of this patient and offer our sincere condolences to the family.’
The Trust said it had not been contacted by the family.
It took ONLY 20 years to stop this guy?? Useless British “regulators” again
GP struck off after tribunal finds he abused string of women patients over 20 years
A GP has been barred from practising after a tribunal found he sexually abused a string of young women over a 20-year period. Dr Navin Zala from Gravesend, Kent, carried on treating patients despite facing at least nine different complaints and a series of police investigations.
After four criminal trials – none of which ended in a conviction – he was finally struck off following an investigation by West Kent NHS Trust. A tribunal upheld the decision.
In a damning report, the tribunal panel outlined a litany of mistakes by police, prosecutors and health officials which left the disgraced doctor in his position. It found that Dr Zala abused six patients – four of them pregnant – by carrying out inappropriate breast and internal exams at his Gravesend practice between 1998 and 2007.
His victims, all young women, were ‘carefully selected so as to avoid confrontation, complaint and detection’, according to the report, seen by the Sunday Telegraph. It concluded: ‘The findings reveal a pattern of behaviour by Dr Zala towards each of these women that was abusive, exploitative and sexually motivated over a period of many years.’
A female GP who practised nearby and helped one victim to make a complaint claimed Dr Zala had been helped to dodge complaints by an ‘old boys’ club’ of his colleagues. She said: ‘I don’t think he thought he was doing anything wrong. That’s the other awful thing about it. He thought what he was doing was acceptable.’
Dr Zala, who lives with his wife, Helen, started working as a GP in Gravesend in the early Eighties after qualifying in Poona, India, in 1975. He faced his first complaint in 1992, when a woman claimed he examined her inappropriately. Three more women then came forward alleging incidents dating as far back as 1988.
According to one, she went to him about a sore throat and he insisted in examining her breasts ‘while you are here’.
The doctor stood trial at Maidstone Crown Court in 1994, where he faced eight charges of indecent assault against three women.
Following a retrial, he was acquitted of all the charges – in part because it emerged that evidence had been ‘contaminated’ after NHS officials had arranged a meeting between two victims before they contacted police.
A pregnant patient accused Dr Zala of touching her breasts and stroking her leg that same year, leaving her feeling ‘like she had been raped’. He faced magistrates over that complaint and was committed for a crown court trial, but it never happened.
Later that decade, Dr Zala was again cleared after standing trial over allegations from another female patient.
Dr Zala was again arrested in January 2008, after three more women came forward with allegations that he had behaved inappropriately towards them. One of the women claimed she had visited him complaining of a headache as a teenager in the late Eighties and he had stood behind her and pressed himself into her.
On another occasion, she had gone to see him while suffering from abdominal pains and he had ‘cupped her breasts’, she claimed. Seven months after his arrest, however, police told Dr Zala no action would be taken against him.
The decision to drop the case came after officers discovered two complainants had discussed their allegations before coming forward, which meant there was a risk their evidence could not be relied on in court.
Nevertheless, despite the lack of any criminal convictions, West Kent PCT took Dr Zala off its ‘performers list’ in May 2009, barring him from working as a GP in the area. That decision has now been upheld by a tribunal and Dr Zala has also been removed from the national performers list, blocking him from GP work anywhere in the country.
He is now due face a ‘fitness to practice’ panel at the General Medical Council (GMC)
Criticising authorities’ failure to act sooner, the tribunal report says: ‘The lack of confidence that nearly all these patients prospectively felt about complaining to anyone in authority does not ring at all hollow when one considers what actually happened on those occasions when the concerns of some patients were brought to the attention of other health professionals, the Health Authority, the local medical committee, the police, and the GMC.’
The obscene priorities of a bureaucratic state
Britain’s Ministry of Defence civil servants paid £40m in bonuses while armed forces face deep cuts
One senior civil servant was awarded an £85,831 bonus on top of their six-figure salary – at the same time as members of the armed forces have been subject to a two-year pay freeze and 20,000 are to be made redundant.
The bonuses have been paid since April last year and have seen more than 55,000 officials awarded extra payments for their performance – out of a payroll of 83,000.
The ministry expects to pay more in bonuses in the current financial year than the last, even thought it is attempting to drastically reduce the number of civil servants as part of cuts to Government expenditure.
The MoD has been particularly heavily criticised for its financial performance, particularly in defence procurement where major projects have been criticised for being late and overspent.
The department has only just balanced its books by making deep cuts to Britain’s military – including the Army shrinking to its smallest size since the Boer War – which critics say could have been much less severe if it had not been so financially mismanaged.
Bonuses remain a controversial area of pay within the MoD and are linked to a complicated series of targets which can range from cost savings to hitting diversity targets.
Ministers have spoken of the need to rein in the bonus culture in Whitehall and make the payments genuine rewards for exceptional performances, rather than routine parts of civil servants’ remuneration.
However, The Sunday Telegraph has learned that the level of bonuses in the MoD are not expected to be reduced given that staff have faced a two year pay freeze.
In the past year 56 senior officials – those in the highest civil service grades – shared £505,000, averaging £9,000 each. Junior staff were handed a total of £37.9 million, typically taking home £697 – meaning 54,375 of its employees received bonuses, a level in contrast to ministers’ intention that bonuses are not given routinely.
The highest level of bonuses were awarded to the Department of Work and Pensions, whose employees scooped £51 million. The Department of Transport paid out £9.2million, the Foreign Office £6.4 million and the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs £2.3 million. The Department for Education spent £1.9 million on bonuses, the Department for Health £1.7 million, the Cabinet Office £1.3million and the Department for Innovation and Skills £1.1million.
But it will be the two highest bonuses which raise most questions about the culture within the ministry.
The £85,831 payment – the same as the salary of a colonel in the Army – went to an unnamed senior civil servant who is understood to be a member of the Defence Board.
It oversees every aspect of the work of the MoD and includes three civil servants – Ursula Brennan, the permanent secretary, Bernard Gray, the chief of defence materiel and Jon Thompson, the director-general of finance.
The second largest bonus was a payment of £64,459 to another unnamed senior civil servant.
The scale of the bonuses raised concern even inside the MoD.
One source said: “Time and again we have been told that we all have to tighten our belts and share some of the financial pain so it sticks in the throat when you discover that someone already earning well over £100,000 gets an £85,000 bonus.”
The payments were made at the same time as criticisms mounted over the long-running performance of the MoD.
Last week it announced that it had finally closed the £38 billion “black hole” in its budget by balancing its books – but in November received stinging criticism over its procurement policies from the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament.
Margaret Hodge, its chairman, said the MoD had been guilty of “continuous poor planning and performance with the result that the Ministry of Defence’s largest military equipment projects are delivering less, at a greater cost than planned, and taking longer to be completed”.
The report found warned that Britain’s 15 biggest defence projects are expected to cost £6bn more than first estimated and will be delayed by a combined total of 26 years.
And it highlighted the repeatedly delayed Nimrod maritime patrol aircraft, upon which £3.4bn was spent before it was scrapped, to save an estimated £1.9bn in running costs over the next 10 years.
The MoD said it was impossible to rein in bonuses this year because of a three-year pay and bonuses deal implemented by the previous Labour government.
But the payments are in stark contrast to the settlement for soldiers, sailors and RAF personnel, who have had pay rises capped at 1 per cent.
The deep cuts will see the Army made much smaller with a withdrawal from Germany, tank and artillery units slashed, the Ghurkas reduced in size and soldiers at every level made redundant and the RAF losing bases and planes.
The Navy has already lost its Harrier jump jets and now operates the smallest fleet in its history.
The Coalition is currently attempting to slash the levels of bonuses paid and the number of civil servants who receive them.
Francis Maude, the Cabinet Office minister, and Danny Alexander, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, have written to all government departments asking them to review their schemes.
In future, bonuses should only be paid for “genuine excellence” and not “run-of-the-mill performance after it emerged that up to a quarter of officials automatically qualified for rewards.
Since Britain went to war with Iraq in March 2003, MoD bureaucrats have shared around £370million in bonuses. This is a third higher than the £260million cost of the war in Libya.
It has also emerged that senior servants are entitled to claim for damaged clothing, handbags and shoes at the expense of the taxpayer even if the government department was not negligent.
A MOD spokesman said: “Difficult decisions have had to be taken to deal with the black hole the Government inherited; this has included reductions to military and civilian personnel.
“Under a three year agreement made by the last Government performance awards were part of the total wage bill paid out naturally, it is just that a proportion of pay was spent on a performance basis.
“More than half of all MOD civil servants earn less than £20,000 a year, and in 2010-11 the average award, which is taxable, was £677. The new Government has since implemented a pay freeze.”
The bonus figure comes after the disclosure that senior civil servants across Whitehall have perks which include being able to claim towards to cost of clothes and shoes which have been damaged or even simply become worn.
More woes from living in bureaucratic Britain
Four-hour delays at Heathrow thanks to immigration staff shortage as tens of thousands of passengers return from half-term getaway. Britain’s huge bureaucracy still cannot provide basic services
Passengers at Heathrow airport are facing severe delays this weekend as a shortage of immigration staff causes chaos during the busy rush of families returning from half-term breaks to the UK.
Travellers may be forced to wait several hours before they get through immigration because of apparent staff shortages.
Sky news home affairs correspondent Mark White said: ‘This has all the potential to be a very difficult weekend for passengers. ‘The airlines at Heathrow have issued an urgent bulletin to staff saying they’re expecting delays of up to three hours. ‘It’s a combination of half-term holidaymakers returning to Heathrow but also apparently lower staffing levels at immigration checkpoints.’
British Airways admitted congestion was already starting to build up in the immigration area in Terminal Five. A BA spokeswoman said: ‘We are speaking to Heathrow Airport and UK Border Agency to understand why the immigration area in Terminal Five is congested. ‘We are doing all we can to assist our customers and are sorry that they are being affected by this issue, which is regrettably beyond our control.’
A Heathrow Airport spokesman said they were unaware of any immigration staff shortages – claiming it didn’t come under their remit. A spokesman for Heathrow added: ‘No one has notified us of a staff shortage. However it is up to UK Border Agency to staff the border appropriately.’
Heathrow Airport has 1,231 flights carrying 180,100 passengers a day – with half of those being inbound flights. Last year the airport saw 65.7million passengers with 23.4 millions of those going through terminal five.
But the UK Border Agency has dismissed the concerns – saying they are prepared for the busy weekend. The UK Border Agency released a statement saying: ‘There will be a significant number of passengers coming through UK border controls and we have organised extra resources to ensure that we have sufficient staff to process passengers as quickly as possible, while maintaining border security.’
But other immigration checks – such as the multi-million pound Iris Recognition Immigration System (IRIS) introduced to speed up passport control – have proven to take far longer than physical checks. The £9million system have already been ditched at Birmingham and Manchester airports and are expected to disappear from Heathrow and Gatwick after the Olympics
It added that it was expecting ‘an exceptionally busy weekend as usual for the end of February half-term’.
But Mr White said queuing passengers at immigration would have a knock-on effect on incoming flights. He added: ‘Some may have to circle around Heathrow for longer and some may have to be diverted to other airports.’
Uncertain future for electric cars in Britain
Where next for the all-electric family car? The honest answer is that nobody – not even the companies which make them – knows for sure.
Our ruling politicians don’t have a clue either. This despite the fact that they’re endorsing the idea of battery-powered vehicles for the general public by giving £5,000 taxpayer-funded handouts to buyers. But it appears a classic case of do as we say, not do as we do. I say this because I’m not aware of any of our “leaders” using all-electrics as their personal or ministerial cars. I’ll admit I’m wrong if there is a leading politician who has done so, but I’m not expecting to hear from anyone.
Are the young Cameron and Miliband families, for example, running electric vehicles (EVs) as family wheels, or even buying them as second cars for shopping trips and school runs? What happened to leading by example?
What’s beyond doubt is that for the private motorist who has to meet his own running costs, the EV, with a rechargeable battery pack as its sole source of power, has severe limitations. First, price: the all-electric family-sized car has typically a list price two or three times higher than that of a petrol model of similar size. Second, range: most electric cars can travel about 100 miles (without “refuelling”), while petrol-engined models do several hundred, with some diesels achieving closer to 1,000.
Figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that about 99 per cent of all cars sold/registered in Britain in 2011 were conventional petrol or diesel models and just over one per cent could be classed as an alternate fuel vehicle (AFV). This year, the story’s much the same – only about one car in every 100 is an AFV. I wonder if any real-world private motorists have bought one last year or this. It may well be that manufacturers and their dealers have registered or “sold” most of the EVs on Britain’s roads to themselves, to serve as company cars, press vehicles or demonstrators. Look out for them as very low-mileage used (and therefore considerably less expensive) cars.
Admittedly, firms such as the big energy suppliers have a few, too. But that’s not because they particularly like them. They love EVs because they see the potential for huge profit in selling the increasingly expensive electricity needed to power them. Drivers doing a maximum of 50-60 miles a day in mild weather and undemanding traffic conditions should be able to get away with recharging from the mains once a day. But for others, plugging in several times per day at home or the workplace is essential.
In a new report, the London Assembly has more bad news for the EV industry. Its Environment Committee claims: “With 2,313 electric vehicles [including cars, vans and trucks] currently in London, the Mayor is only two per cent towards his goal of 100,000 on the streets.”
In 2009, Mayor Boris Johnson announced that he intended to make London the electric car capital of Europe. But the committee doesn’t seem convinced. “There are fewer than 50 electric vehicles in the Greater London Authority (GLA) fleet compared with the Mayor’s aim of 1,000 by 2015,” it says.
“Also, there are about 400 charge points across London compared with the Mayor’s recent target of 1,300 by next year and original target of 25,000 by 2015,” the healthily sceptical committee adds, before concluding that the Mayor should “commission research on the full carbon footprint of electric vehicles”.
Petrol-electric cars such as the Vauxhall Ampera/Chevrolet Volt plus diesel-electrics like the Peugeot 3008 Hybrid4 and Citroën DS5 make far greater environmental and economic sense because they can run on pump fuels if there’s no convenient electricity supply.
If, however, you can live with the limitations of an EV, Renault will revolutionise the UK marketplace this spring when it puts a full line-up of competitively priced, 100 per cent electric cars on sale. Worth considering, but think very carefully before committing yourself.
British Met Office: “The Case for Global Warming Stronger Than Ever”
But they do actually come out and admit that they may have overstated the role of CO2 in their precious “models”
Met Office study concludes that the fingerprint of human influence on climate is stronger than ever. So what convinced them? Was it declining temperatures, or declining sea level, which put the final nail in the coffin?
According to the models, none of those combinations can produce the climate patterns currently being observed in the real world. Add the greenhouse gases that we know humans are generating (and which we’ve known since the 1800s tend to warm the Earth, all other things being equal), and the simulations finally come close to matching the real world.
What a load of complete crap. Most climate scientists know very little about past climate, much less can explain it, much less can rule out common causes with the present.
Its possible, albeit far-fetched, that the simulations are defective. It is even less possible that all of them (and there are many) are defective in the direction of overstating humanity’s contribution to warming.
Far fetched that climate models are wrong? ROFLMAO …..
Graph of projections versus where we are now (red dot)
And the contraction for “it is” is spelled “it’s.”
SOURCE (See the original for links)
British Private schools fear ‘social engineering’ in university admissions
Like Leftists everywhere, the British Liberals hate the idea of merit. All men are equal, donchaknow
Professor Les Ebdon’s selection as the new head of the university regulator has raised fears of “social engineering” among independent schools and elite universities.
When Professor Les Ebdon was once asked about his university’s lowly position in the national rankings, his response was swift and revealing. “It’s a snobs’ table,” he said, which guarantees that “institutions like Cambridge and Oxford are always at the front, while newer places bring up the rear”.
The man at the centre of a Coalition storm, who looks set to be the next head of the Government’s higher education admissions regulator, is well versed in the language of “them and us”.
Over the years, the vice-chancellor of Bedfordshire University has bemoaned the “Oxbridge obsession”, referred to the “well-off and well-heeled” Russell Group of leading universities as “these people”, and claimed that for parents who pay independent school fees, the new £9,000 a year tuition fees “might not seem an awful lot of money”.
Perhaps not unsurprisingly for a man brought up on a north London council estate who won a place at Imperial College, London, Prof Ebdon has a self-proclaimed mission to increase the number of working-class students going to university and widen the social mix of students at the best institutions.
“Education transformed my life,” he says. “I’m absolutely certain that my background has been a factor in my commitment to widening participation.”
Under his leadership, Bedfordshire’s fortunes have been transformed. It is now a thriving institution that successfully recruits from some of the poorest postcodes, giving the dream of a university education to thousands of students with low exam results or even no A-levels at all.
Even his critics would applaud Professor Ebdon’s efforts. What they fear, however, is giving him the power to remake other universities in Bedfordshire’s image.
The appointment — expected this week despite Tory opposition from the Prime Minister down — will be welcomed by those who want greater opportunities for the socially disadvantaged.
Yet opponents fear it will lead to the “social engineering” of university admissions, with privately-educated pupils routinely rejected because of the school they attended and less-qualified state school pupils given places on the basis of their “potential”.
With Prof Ebdon in post, the country risks “levelling down standards at university for the sake of a misguided strategy,” according to Nadhim Zahawi, one of the Tory MPs on the Commons Business, Innovations and Skills Committee which voted against his appointment. “In the UK, we are second probably only to America in university quality. What I would hate to see is a head of Offa who would level down standards at university instead of levelling upwards.”
The furore over Prof Ebdon is the latest in a series of rows about the UK’s dire social mobility record that has put university admissions centre stage, dating back to 2000 when Gordon Brown, then chancellor, condemned as an “absolute scandal” Oxford University’s rejection of state school pupil Laura Spence. The high-profile case put the middle-class dominance of higher education under the microscope.
Since then, universities have come under increasing pressure to admit more students from poor backgrounds.
Labour’s weapon was Offa, established in 2004 to mollify left-wing backbenchers threatening to sink Labour’s plans to introduce variable fees of up to £3,000 a year. It was given real power — the potential to ban a university from charging full fees if it failed to attract applications from working class candidates.
Although the power has yet to be exercised, the threat has been enough to put the “widening access and participation” agenda at the heart of university admissions.
As a matter of course, students now provide information on their university application form about the education levels of their parents to allow admission tutors to take into account those who are the first in their family to go to university.
Children in care are also flagged on the Universities and Colleges Admission Service (Ucas) form, as are pupils who have attended summer school, mostly attended by pupils selected by their state schools.
Increasing numbers of institutions take into account “contextual data” relating to the kind of school a candidate attended. Students from low performing secondaries are sometimes given lower A-level entry requirements. This positive discrimination is also extended by some universities to students who live in deprived areas with low proportions of young people going on to higher education.
As thousands of sixth formers across the country wait nervously for university offers of places, figures suggest that almost two-thirds of universities will employ data covering students’ social class, parental education or school performance to give the most disadvantaged candidates a better chance of getting on to degree courses this year.
At Birmingham University, a student’s background may be “factored in to move an applicant up the ranking order”, for instance; while at Leeds, the poorest teenagers may receive lower offers — such as an A and two Bs instead of three As for the most demanding courses.
Applicants to Oxford who are flagged because of their school and postcode, and have the necessary three A grade prediction, will be shortlisted for interview. Or, as the university says ominously, the department who failed to select them will be asked to explain why.
What independent schools fear is that this pressure on admission staff and academics will result in background factors being used in a formulaic fashion to meet unofficial quotas, where candidates with the “right” profile are automatically selected before other, equally well-qualified candidates. Some universities are already moving beyond simply using information on a candidates’ background in a tie-break situation.
Last year, one of the largest exam boards advocated a national system for ranking pupils’ achievements according to the school in which they were taught.
Teenagers at weak secondaries would get bonus points while those at elite schools would be penalised. Applicants with the same grade would then be “ranked according to the favourability of the context in which they were educated”.
While the Headmasters and Headmistresses Conference of private schools might publicly claim there is no evidence of across-the-board discrimination, privately, some heads feel that it may play a part in cases where well-qualified students are rejected by every university they apply for.
One such student, Prina Shah, 18, from City of London School for Girls, was turned down to study medicine last year by every university she chose despite being awarded an exemplary four A*s at A-level.
According to Mark Steed, the principal of Berkhamsted School, in Hertfordshire, discrimination does “apparently exist” against independent school pupils. “Take the case of one Berkhamsted pupil last year,” he says. “She had a perfect academic record: 10 A*s at GCSE and was predicted A*A*A* at A-level. She was rejected by four out of five universities.
“Now I can understand how someone with such an academic record could fail to gain a place at Oxford — the Oxbridge colleges still believe in additional testing and interviews.
“However I am at a loss as to how she could fail to gain an offer to study English from Leeds University on the basis of her UCAS form alone. How many A*A*A* applicants does the English Faculty at Leeds get each year? What can justify their standard offer of AAB, if they can reject A*A*A* candidates without an interview?”
For Anthony Seldon, the master of Wellington College, in Berkshire, the move to impose “artificial systems” on university admissions is worrying. “It’s like the nationalised industries of the 1970s,” he says. “By distorting the system you institutionalise patterns of failure. “The great fear is that you produce unintended consequences, such as a lack of competitiveness in state schools by making it easier for their pupils to get a leg up.
“It will drive the independent sector to crank up its exam achievement to an even greater level, which will not be a good outcome for the wider aspects of learning.”
A regulator director on a mission and with the power to impose, in Prof Ebdon’s words, “nuclear” financial penalties on universities could wreak real damage, according to Alan Smithers, professor of education at Buckinghamshire University.
He fears that the admission of less-qualified students by the back door will threaten the quality of UK higher education: “His appointment is potentially disastrous for the leading universities. Discrimination of that kind will undoubtedly weaken our universities and make it harder for them to guarantee academic excellence and compete in the world league. It introduces institutional unfairness.”
High ranking institutions argue that the focus on admissions is ignoring the underlying cause of why so few disadvantaged pupils go to university — state school failure.
A lack of candidates from poor backgrounds with the right grades in the right A-levels is the main reason student intakes are skewed towards the privately educated middle-classes, they say. “It is really important to understand the root causes of the under-representation of students from poorer backgrounds – underachievement at school and poor advice on the best choice of A-levels and degree course,” says Wendy Piatt, the Group director general.
Figures released in 2010 show that only about 1 per cent of the 81,000 pupils on Free School Meals (FSM) who get to university win a place at the top 20 institutions. And only 45 teenagers on FSM made it to Oxford or Cambridge, half the number of undergraduates supplied by Westminster, the £30,000-a-year public school in London, where an average of 82 sixth formers go on to Oxbridge each year.
But underlying this stark picture are even starker statistics that show that only 189 FSM pupils across the whole country achieved three A grades at A-level, the standard offer for many courses at Russell Group institutions.
The figures reveal the extent to which the Government faces an uphill struggle to change the fate of the poorest pupils through its academy and free school “revolution”.
In the meantime, Professor Ebdon, whose own grammar [selective] school education gave him the opportunity to attend one of the best universities in the world, believes universities should take responsibility and be “more flexible about entry” — or face the “nuclear” consequences.
More Leftist hate speech in Britain
“A senior Labour councillor was suspended last night after backing sick calls for the IRA to repeat its bombing of the Conservative Party conference.
Florence Anderson, chairman of Sunderland Council’s crime and disorder committee, was suspended after making the ‘disgraceful’ comment on the social network site Facebook.
The 1984 bombing of Brighton’s Grand Hotel killed five and left several more injured, including the wife of the Tory Cabinet minister Norman Tebbit. Margaret Thatcher narrowly escaped with her life after the blast wrecked the bathroom of her hotel room.
Mrs Anderson, a former deputy leader of the council, courted controversy in 2010 when she called for Baroness Thatcher to ‘burn in hell’. At the time she said the comments were made in a private capacity and Labour agreed to stand by her.
But the party moved swiftly to remove the Labour whip last night after details of her latest comments became public.
A Labour spokesman said: ‘These comments are disgraceful. Florence Anderson has been suspended from the Labour Party with immediate effect in light of this information.’ The move followed comments made by Mrs Anderson on the site of the controversial Facebook group ‘Margaret Thatcher doesn’t have to be dead before we give her a funeral’.