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Hello from Mumsnet Towers...
Next week, we've the kind of webchat line-up you'd only get on Mumsnet. On Tuesday (22 June, 1-2pm), it's Magnus Scheving, aka Sportacus, the superfit (in more ways than one) star of CBeebies' Lazytown. Swiftly followed, on Wednesday (23rd June, 10-11am), by evolutionary biologist and headline-grabbing atheist Richard Dawkins, who wants to hear from Mumsnetters what church schools are really like. Gawd help him (or maybe not).
Plus, you can post your carbon-footprint questions for the Carbon Trust's Euan Murray, and check out the just-in As to your Qs for happiness expert Ben Renshaw and for Boots suncare adviser Mike Brown. And please, pretty please, don't forget to help us pester the PM about nappy provision for children with special needs, if you haven't already done so.
And, finally, did you know that there's an alternative - Glee - to England v Algeria tomorrow night? Check out our World Cup 2010 Alternative TV Guide for further non-footie options.
Now for this week's parenting news...
Task force for childhood: Prime Minister David Cameron is to chair a new Childhood and Families Ministerial Task Force to improve children's experience of growing up and family life. His deputy Nick Clegg announced the initiative, saying it was being "driven from the heart of government". The task force, he said, would "identify specific policy proposals that will make the biggest difference to children and families, tackling a hardcore of everyday bottlenecks that frustrate family life". In 2007, a Unicef report said Britain was the worst place in the industrialised world for children to grow up in, because of problems such as poverty, limited time with parents, and exposure to smoking, drinking and underage sex. (Guardian 17.06.10)
Half of schools 'failing': Nearly half of schools are failing to give children a good enough education, Ofsted said this week. Nine per cent of schools inspected under new, tougher rules were rated as inadequate, up from four per cent the previous academic year. Overall, 47 per cent were deemed to be either inadequate or only satisfactory. Ministers said the ratings showed the urgent need for reform. (Telegraph 16.06.10)
DRESS UP AS YOUR FAVOURITE CHARACTER FROM LADYBIRD'S READ-IT-YOURSELF FAIRYTALES SERIES and join in some magical storytellings at your local Waterstones this weekend (19 to 20 June). Wolves, princesses, trolls and elves all welcome, and there will be activities and prizes for the best dressed!
Other stories in brief
Quote of the week: Monty27 sums up the particularly special experience that is a visit to Ikea: "It's like childbirth. It's horrendous but you forget the pain very quickly, and then do it again."
This month's prizes are:
CHANGE YOUR WORLD. Take a small step to make a big difference. Pledge a local journey you make (to the shops, school, work) by foot, bike or public transport, and each journey pledged before 4 July will count towards a virtual journey around the world. Also, great prizes to be won from Center Parcs, Riverford and Lush Cosmetics. Find out more at www.changeyourworld.org.uk.
Looking for tried-and-tested days out? Mumsnetters suggest:
Aitch's TV round-up: Fatherhood season, BBC Four
Rather ironic that the BBC chooses World Cup month to devote their subsidiary channels to a season of programmes on fatherhood. It does look lovely, though. I've seen a bit of A Century Of Fatherhood (Monday 21 June, 9pm) and blubbed after 10 seconds (daddy ishoos, dontchaknow). And The Biology of Dads looks fascinating (same time, following day). Big pick, however, is Lennon Naked, a drama about John Lennon's parental demons (Wednesday 23 June, 9.30pm). Christopher Ecclestone is as chameleonishly good as we've come to expect, and Naoko Mori, playing That Beatch Yoko at the height of her powers, reminds us why killing Tosh was such a bad idea...
Discuss this show (and others) in our Telly Addicts Talk forum.
Recipe of the week: bealos' lettuce risotto
Yes, really, a risotto with lettuce: trust us, it works nutty, creamy, juicy magic on yer rice (and it's a great way to use up that will-be-manky-in-a-mo bunch of cos in the fridge).
You can review this week's recipe here - or why not post one yourself?
That's it. We're off to browse your Father's Day tips for OMG-it's-on-Sunday inspiration...
WIN A DELUXE WEEKEND A DEUX IN PARIS! Our new discount partner, travel experts Mr & Mrs Smith, are offering one lucky Mumsnetter (plus partner) a romantic two-night stay at a chic Left Bank boutique hotel in Paris. Ooh la la! Find out how to enter and how to get free Mr & Mrs Smith membership.
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