Magazine article Public Finance

Nanny Knows Best

Magazine article Public Finance

Nanny Knows Best

Article excerpt

Having spent his first two terms trying to avoid the 'nanny state' label, Tony Blair has thrown caution to the wind and let loose the super-nanny state.

Dozens of childcare specialists are to be despatched around the country to sort out poor parenting skills. Immediately dubbed super nannies, after the TV programme, they will offer advice on discipline and motivation.

The PM will no doubt find himself on the equivalent of the 'naughty step' for his new boldness, and yet it is hard to argue against the scheme. It will cost only £4m to introduce and will attack the scourge of many of our deprived areas: youths behaving badly.

But it's not just the parents who need to send out a call to Nanny 911. Where the state acts in loco parentis, it too appears to be falling short.

This week's annual report from Ofsted claimed that one in eight secondary schools is 'inadequate', with a huge gulf between the best and worst. Most vulnerable of all are children in care, whose educational performance lags far behind those of other pupils.

Chief inspector Christine Gilbert called the poor levels of attainment and attendance 'simply unacceptable'. …

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