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Why should the young have to conform?

I have just read Helen Reddington's book The Lost Women of Rock Music, which traces what happened to the influx of female musicians who entered the business in the 1970s and early 80s.

Finally, youth sector receives a boost

Given that he spent seven years limbering up for the job in opposition, there was some relief when Tim Loughton was named as a children's minister in the coalition six months ago.

Who would gain from a licence?

At the tail end of the summer, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills announced that it had no plans to introduce occupational licences, including one for youth work.

Hidden costs of payment-by-results

We are in an age of austerity where outcomes are critical. So it is difficult to take issue in raw principle with the government's desire to commission more public services on a payment-by-results basis.

It's time to respect children's rights

You wait ages for one 20th anniversary, then three come along at once. We've just marked the fall of the Berlin Wall and the 1989 Children Act. And this week it is 20 years since the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child came into existence.

Education is the antidote to racism

The bear-baiting of British National Party (BNP) leader Nick Griffin in his recent appearance on Question Time did nothing to advance race relations in our country.

Informal educators or bureaucrats and spies?

"Not another bloody form!" says Patricia when I give her the paperwork required for a girls' project. "Oh no!" groans Jerome in exasperation when handed several pages of monitoring forms at the end of a film project.

Small interventions make a big difference

"My electric wheelchair blew up yesterday ... the bus driver wouldn't put down the ramps for my other wheelchair, and that's difficult to drive because I've got a frozen shoulder ... I've got to go into hospital to have an injection to loosen it up ... oh, and I've probably got to have another operation on my spine ... and last week a pipe burst in my flat and flooded the living room ... and my mum's not well ... "

Teenage fathers

The government launched a campaign earlier this month called Think Fathers to dispel the myth that dads are the invisible parent.

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