Leading article: Too many targets

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The Independent Online

The nanny state is growing apace. Local authorities, it seems, are to have a new set of targets from central government to include how much children are drinking and smoking, as well as how many have sexually transmitted diseases. Where will this lead? Does it mean that schools will be given targets, too? Will head teachers have to delve into pupils' private lives to find out how many units of alcohol and cigarettes they are consuming - and get black marks from Ofsted if they haven't curbed pupil excess? That would be a step too far. Schools should be laying on classes, but not blamed for what teenagers do in their spare time.

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