November 2, 2009

(BBC News)
The European Union (EU) has approved plans for nationalised bank Northern Rock to be split in two – paving the way for a partial sale.

One business, described as the “good” bank, would hold savers’ money, carry out new lending and hold some existing mortgages.

A second “bad” bank would be set up to hold the rest of the mortgages and repay outstanding government loans.

Northern Rock said the EU’s approval was “an important and positive step”.

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http://www.ddukonline.org/auction_event.html

October 29, 2009

Debt Doctors Foundation UK (DD-UK) is proud to host the exciting and inspiring Fashion, Arts and Culture Charity Auction in the very modern and vibrant Westbourne Grove Church in West London.

We have items from this years London Fashion Week, and artwork by up- and-coming artists.
Our highly-esteemed Patrons: Dr. Vince Cable MP, Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, Lady Olga Maitland, Greg Hands MP, and soon to be confirmed Duchess of Cornwall – Camilla Parker Bowles, will help raise awareness for money education, whilst publicising our work.

Renowned Sotheby’s auctioneer Ed Rising will semi-host the event, and there will be live entertainment, along with drinks and canapes.
The theme of the event will be elegant, sophisticated and black tie, and we are anticipating a large public attendance – with over150 guests from the political and business worlds.

The auction is operating for a worthy cause – in raising money education awareness to society. Guests are most welcome to invite friends and family – in supporting such a cause.

For further details regarding the event, please contact johnsonh@ddoctors.org

We look forward to seeing you on the 30th November 2009!

Debt Doctors Foundation UK (DD-UK) (Registered Charity No: 1116937)

October 28, 2009

(BBC News) Loans firm tightens debt recovery

 The firm responsible for managing the student finance system is tightening its procedures for recovering debt as it writes off nearly £29m.

The Student Loans Company (SLC) has adopted new ways of tracking debtors’ work and income status and chasing European students returning home. The move comes as the public debt from student loans reached nearly £26bn.

 This is nearly double the debt it had at the end of 2005, six months before variable tuition fees were brought in.

 The introduction of the student finance package in 2006, under which students borrow indirectly from the government through the SLC to cover their tuition fees and maintenance costs, meant public debt increased significantly.

 Students are now expected to graduate with total debts of about £23,000, a recent survey suggests.

 

October 27, 2009

(BBC News) Children as young as seven are to be offered careers guidance under a government scheme in England.

The programme, which aims to broaden the horizons and raise the aspirations of children from deprived backgrounds, is to be piloted in seven local areas. Universities and firms will give pupils a glimpse of what it is like working and learning in adulthood.

The move comes as an annual survey shows careers guidance for teenagers has fallen over the past 12 years. Under the government scheme, careers advice will continue up to the age of 18.

It is being tried in 38 primary schools in seven local authority areas: Bristol, Coventry, Gateshead, Manchester, Plymouth, Reading and York.

October 22, 2009

(BBC News) Automatic direct payments of housing benefits to private tenants in England should be stopped, the Tories say.

The party says the government, which is to undertake a review, should follow its lead and change the policy.

The move comes after housing charities and landlords said changes in 2008 have meant some tenants are finding it hard to manage or are dodging rents.

October 20, 2009

(BBC News) Universities must protect access for poorer applicants if they are to be allowed to raise tuition fees, said Business Secretary Lord Mandelson…

In a speech on the future of higher education, Lord Mandelson said university admission processes must do more to promote social mobility. “We are doing better, but not well enough,” he told university leaders.

Conservative university spokesman David Willetts said the government should “get on with the tuition fees review”.

October 19, 2009

Parents in England are to be given much more choice about when their children start school.

Currently, all local authorities have to ensure all children have a school place by the time they are five.

But most begin part-time, aged four, as “rising fives”, with summer-born pupils sometimes offered later starts.

From 2011, all children will be able to start school from the first September after their fourth birthday or take up a free full-time nursery place instead.

October 16, 2009
(BBC News) Call for lessons to begin at six…

Children should not start formal learning until they are six, a review of primary education in England says.
Instead the kind of play-based learning featured in nurseries and reception classes should go on for another year, the Cambridge Primary Review says.

There is no evidence that an early introduction to formal learning has any benefit, the review says, but there are suggestions it can do some harm.

This would be of particular benefit to children from disadvantaged backgrounds and those with speech and language delays, she added.

October 15, 2009

London’s bus and Tube fares will both rise in 2010, Mayor of London Boris Johnson has announced.

Bus fares are to go up by 12.7% and Tube fares will rise by 3.9%. Oyster card pay-as-you-go bus journeys are to rise from £1 to £1.20. Meanwhile the price of a seven-day bus pass will jump from £13.80 to £16.60.

The Congestion Charge is rising to £10, while Mr Johnson said a £9 charge for those using a new account system would be operational next year.

Last year Mr Johnson raised prices by 6%, blaming the former administration for creating an £80m financial hole.

Mr Johnson said: “Nobody wants to make an announcement like this, especially when Londoners are feeling the effects of the recession.”

October 14, 2009

(BBC News) Tesco boss raps school standards…

Standards in many state schools are “woefully low” and employers must “pick up the pieces”, the boss of the UK’s biggest supermarket chain has said.

Tesco chief executive Sir Terry Leahy, who is also an education adviser to the prime minister, said his company was particularly concerned about education.
“As the largest private employer in the country, we depend on high standards in our schools,” he said.
The government commented that secondary school standards had never been higher.
“Sadly, despite all the money that has been spent, standards are still woefully low in too many schools,” Sir Terry told the Institute of Grocery Distribution’s annual conference.