Magazine article Public Finance

Round-Up

Magazine article Public Finance

Round-Up

Article excerpt

Prime Minister Tony Blair has pledged to set up an anti-corruption squad to help tackle the estimated £85bn that is illegally siphoned out of Africa each year. The squad will include members of the Metropolitan Police and will be funded by the Department for International Development. It is expected to cost around £1m a year. The pledge follows commitments made at the Group of Eight summit in Gleneagles a year ago. Blair said: 'The UK has a responsibility to tackle money laundering and bribery where it stems from our own shores.'

Classroom assistants make an important contribution to pupils' learning, according to new research by London University's Institute of Education. It found that assistants believed they made 'significant' contributions, acting as a bridge between teacher and pupil. Teachers too were positive about the support teaching assistants brought. But the review also flagged up potential problems, including an insufficient grasp of maths and science.

Women should be given a choice over where they give birth, government advisers have suggested. Draft plans from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence say all women should be offered a choice of giving birth in hospital, at home or in special midwife-led units. Nice added that all risks should be 'fully understood and properly managed'. The government has made a manifesto promise to offer women a choice of where they give birth and what pain relief they use by 2009.

Teacher vacancies in Scotland have fallen significantly, according to new figures from the Scottish Executive. …

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