Schools should be fined for illegally excluding pupils, inquiry finds

Children’s commissioner says illegal exclusions are ‘source of shame to education system’Schools should be fined thousands of pounds for illegally excluding pupils, a major inquiry has found.The children’s commissioner for England, Dr Maggie Atkinson, conducted a two-year inquiry into illegal exclusions.Last year, halfway through the inquiry, Atkinson published early findings revealing that teachers had admitted […]
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Benefits: ‘I’m following all the rules, but they won’t pay for me to survive’

Stephen Gordon has done everything he can to get his life back on track since leaving prison, but when his benefits were cut for two months due to a mixup, he had to borrow money just to eatStephen Gordon is desperate to find work and turn his life around after spending time in prison. But […]
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Pupils’ opinions may help decide teachers’ pay under new rules

Department for Education guidelines say views of pupils and parents can be taken into accountSchool governors and headteachers can take into account the opinions of pupils and parents in awarding performance-related pay increases to teachers under new guidelines issued by the Department for Education that detail a radical shift in how teachers’ salaries are determined […]
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A letting agent ombudsman is a start | Penny Anderson

It’s not perfect, but at last renters might be able to seek redress for grasping, discriminatory and devious treatment by agentsWell, it’s better than nothing, I suppose. The housing minister Mark Prisk has approved an eleventh-hour amendment to the enterprise and regulatory reform bill. Tenants should be excited to learn that there will be a […]
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Commerzbank ‘victimised’ employee over discrimination case, tribunal rules

Latifa Bouabdillah was sacked by Commerzbank for breach of trust but tribunal says this was ‘both offensive and unfair’A City banker was “victimised” by her bank after it discovered she was suing her former employer for sexual discrimination, a tribunal has ruled. Latifa Bouabdillah was sacked by Commerzbank after less than a month when her […]
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Millions set to switch accounts as study finds banks at fault

Which? research reveals a flood of frustrated customers ready to take advantage of shakeup in current account marketRecord numbers of people are expected to ditch their bank in the coming year as mis-selling, poor customer service and a faster switching service persuade them to make the move. More than a quarter have had a problem […]
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Japanese car recall: how are UK consumers affected?

Toyota, Honda, Nissan and Mazda are recalling 3.4m vehicles worldwide after discovering a fault with passenger seat airbagsJapanese carmakers are recalling 3.4m cars worldwide after discovering a fault with some airbags. Here is a guide to how UK consumers are affected.What is the problem with the cars?The affected models have all been supplied with front […]
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Judicial review expected into handling of small firm loan scheme

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills accused of retrospectively rewriting rules of loan schemeThe government is facing the threat of a judicial review into its handling of an investigation into Barclays’ involvement in a state-backed loan scheme.An investigation into a loan made by the bank in 2006 under the small firms loan guarantee scheme was […]
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Excessive credit card surcharges outlawed

A ban that comes into force on Saturday will ensure that payment surcharges reflect the actual cost of processing the paymentA ban on excessive credit and debit card charges comes into force on Saturday as the government moves to end “nasty surprises” on bills. The consumer organisation Which? welcomed the changes which are designed to […]
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The Scottish referendum is about popular sovereignty, not identity | Elliot Bulmer

In his call for a constitutional convention Vernon Bogdanor does not grasp what is at stake in Scotland’s independence debateIn his article on the implications of Scottish devolution, Vernon Bogdanor calls for a UK-wide constitutional convention, possibly leading to a written constitution (A one-state solution to the English question, 26 March). Using the analogy of […]
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