Socialist Worker

Police use DNA swabs on boys

Issue No. 1930

TWO CHILDREN from my school, both aged 11, were picked up by the police during their lunch break recently.

They were accused of stealing chewing gum from a Morrisons supermarket.

Rather than bringing them back to school, the police locked up the boys for four and a half hours in a cell.

They were fingerprinted and had DNA swabs taken from the inside of their mouths.

Staff at the school were utterly shocked at the police’s behaviour.

The children were treated in this way without the presence of a teacher or anyone else into whose care they had been entrusted.

The two boys were very shaken, and were made to report back to the police station on bail one week later.
Newcastle teacher

PFI school finds it can’t junk food

ONE Nottinghamshire school has discovered the perils of the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) after it decided to do something to improve its pupils’ diets.

Harry Carlton School in the village of East Leake moved to get rid of its crisp and chocolate vending machines in an effort to shift towards healthy eating.

But it found it was locked into keeping the machines by the PFI contract it had signed.

The school was taken over by Alfred McAlpine Business Services under a PFI deal signed last year.

Some local community groups were so taken by McAlpine’s promises that they wrote:

“They are responsible for the impressive development taking shape before our eyes at the end of Lantern Lane, and will then provide fabric maintenance and service management of the new schools till the year 2033 or thereabouts.”

Now the chair of governors, Marion Shaw, has had to explain in a letter to parents that the presence of the vending machines “is not the fault of the current management, who are vehemently opposed to them”.

She says the school has a contract with Nestlé, under McAlpine’s management of the catering facilities, and that the machines make a significant profit—none of which goes to the school.

“In fact the school pays for the electricity that powers the machines, with no return,” she adds.

McAlpine has told the governors that the school will have to fork out a “considerable” sum if it breaks the contract on the vending machines.

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Sat 4 Dec 2004, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1930
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