News in brief

Submitted by Matthew on 7 November, 2012 - 7:10

The announcement that subjects such as drama and art will not be included in the new “English Baccalaureate” (EBacc) and that it will only focus on “core” subjects (English, maths, science, history and languages) has provoked criticism from people in the arts that the country’s “creative edge” is at threat. But this misses the point.

The narrowing of the curriculum will badly affect working-class students who have fewer opportunities for self-expression.

Sell out

Lambeth council, which bills itself as the “Co-operative Council”, is on the verge of selling its last stock of “short life” social housing, much of which is run by local housing co-operatives.

Around 170 tenants, many elderly, face eviction so that the properties can be made uninhabitable to “prevent squatting” (another developer will then be paid to make them habitable again).

A number of co-ops have joined together into Lambeth United Housing Co-op to campaign for the properties to be left in social ownership and Lambeth Save Our Services have organised demonstrations against the destruction of local communities.

Criminal Injuries

Plans for cuts of around £50m to the £200m budget of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme, which the government had appeared to have shelved in response to widespread opposition, are back on the agenda.

This cut has been packaged with “reforms” which will remove the entitlement of sufferers of “minor” injuries to compensation, and would explicitly disqualify from entitlement the consequences of railway trespass including suicide or attempted suicide, regardless of any negligence on the part of railway owners.

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