School looking at pupil tagging

A school in Swansea is considering tagging its pupils because of a shortage of assistants who can supervise lunch breaks. The idea is for children at Lonlas Primary to wear the tags all day, with a buzzer sounding if they leave. The shortage of assistants has been put down to low pay and unfavourable working hours. Sara Reid, the Deputy Children's Commissioner for Wales, said she was concerned by the plans. "I understand that schools need to worry about the safety of the children but we are concerned about the effect this is having on the human rights of children," she said. "There is a need to supervise we know and to make sure that the children are safe."

The head teacher at Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Lonlas, Dyfrig Ellis, picked up the idea from an IT conference in the Netherlands and has already begun talks with a Dutch company about the tagging scheme.


Electronic tagging up by more than half

Increasing confidence by courts in restriction of liberty orders.

THE use of electronic tagging increased by more than 50% last year, while a third of drug treatment orders made in Scotland were broken. Between April 2003 and 2004, Scottish courts made 807 restriction of liberty orders, monitored remotely with electronic tags, representing a rise of 524 (54%) on the previous 12 months. The criminal justice social work statistical bulletin also revealed, for the first time, information on drug treatment and testing orders. One in three was breached, a quarter of which resulted in the original order being revoked and a custodial sentence imposed. A total of 7428 Community Service Orders, also used as an alternative to custody, were made in 2003/04. This figure includes 2255 probation orders which entailed in part unpaid work, and represents a 1% increase on the previous year.

Cathy Jamieson, the justice minister, said the figures "suggest increasing confidence by courts in community disposals", particularly restriction of liberty orders.



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Januar 2005

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