Sunday newspapers: UK 'haven' for migrant children, US snow, 'honeytrap risk' MPs and Simpsons in class

Europe's migrant crisis remains in the headlines with a suggestion in the Observer that David Cameron is considering plans to admit at least 3,000 unaccompanied children from war-torn areas to the UK within weeks.

According to the paper, ministers are looking seriously at calls by charities to provide a "haven" for young people who have arrived in Europe from countries including Syria and Afghanistan, and are thought to be at risk of falling prey to people traffickers.

The "humanitarian gesture" would be in addition to the 20,000 refugees the UK has already agreed to accept over the next five years, it explains.

Image copyright Reuters

The Observer also notes Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn's call during a visit to camps in Calais and Dunkirk for the UK to "reach out the hand of humanity" to more refugees.

But Mr Corbyn's visit attracts less positive coverage in other papers with the Sunday Times choosing to highlight how he was apparently mistaken for David Cameron by some migrants, and a headline in the Mail on Sunday describing his statements as an example of the "lunacy of the left".

Meanwhile, writing in the Sunday Telegraph, MPs Sir Nicholas Soames and Frank Field say a potential rise in overall UK migration poses a risk to "social cohesion". The pair, chairmen of a cross-party group urging "balanced migration", say it is "vital" for the prime minister to secure an agreement with other European leaders that offers a "fighting chance of being able to control the mass movement of people".

Eye-catching headlines

  • They mint it's all over - The Sunday Mirror reports that commemorative coins are to be issued by the Royal Mint to honour the 50th anniversary of England's World Cup win
  • Team's plea to save the whale plaque - The Sunday Express says efforts to mark the attempted rescue of the "Thames whale" 10 years ago have come up against red tape
  • Stinky teenagers losing sleep - An Oxford University expert tells the Sunday Times there are concerns of a link between poor bedroom hygiene, insomnia and academic performance
  • Technology sheds light on how treasures fade away at stately homes - The Sunday Telegraph reports opening hours at some of the National Trust's best-loved properties could change after experts discovered the times of day when paintings and furniture are most damaged


Photographs of a blanket of snow covering Capitol Hill in Washington DC and Times Square in New York feature in many papers as they report on the blizzard hitting the US East Coast.

Image copyright AFP

The Sunday Express describes the havoc wreaked by the storm as "snowmageddon", while the Independent says it was a "whiteout".

Storm Jonas saw the streets of Manhattan left almost empty, reports the Sunday Times, and the Sunday Telegraph records the cancellation of thousands of flights, including about 50 from the UK.

What the commentators say...

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionJoseph Harker, deputy opinion editor for the Guardian, and Neil Midgley, media commentator at join the BBC News Channel to review Sunday's front pages

RAF 'foils attacks'

The lead story in the Mail on Sunday says there are claims a British man who was found guilty at the Old Bailey of promoting the so-called Islamic State group has been encouraging his children to support the terrorists.

A "farce" and "ill-thought out". That is how the Sunday Express describes measures which it says will see Scout troops, Sunday schools and church youth groups made to register on a "list of potential extremists" under government plans to combat radicalisation. Any organisation which interacts with children for more than six hours a week will be subject to the new inspection by regulator Ofsted, it adds.

The main story in the Sunday Express reports a plot to attack Britain was foiled after the RAF heard two foreign pilots discussing targets on their radios. The plans by men believed to be sympathetic to IS were being made in the week after December's Paris massacre, it says.

The Express says coded messages were passed to GCHQ which established the men were talking about London, Bath, Brighton and Ipswich, and raised fears they were part of a "logistics team" that might be flying in personnel and devices. They are now said to be on a security service watchlist.

There is more about the RAF in the Sunday People, which says Britain's new fighter aircraft have a potentially fatal ejector seat flaw which means the jets can only be used by heavier pilots. The glitch in the seats of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II stealth jets is said to mean personnel weighing less than 89kg (14st) could break their necks if they have to bale out.

And the Independent on Sunday says it has discovered that the majority of Britain's fighter jets have not been fitted with safety systems that would help prevent a catastrophic mid-air collision with a passenger plane, despite the government pledging to install them almost 20 years ago.

'Honeytrap risk' MPs

Do MPs need greater protection from members of the public?

According to the Observer, that is the conclusion psychiatrists working with the Home Office have reached after a study found four out of five MPs had been victims of intrusive or aggressive behaviour. A total of 192 of the 239 MPs responded to a survey, with 36 saying they fear going out in public.

And there is another potential problem for MPs to worry about, according to the Sun on Sunday - honeytraps.

It says officials have issued a step-by-step guide to MPs and their staff to help them avoid being targeted by Russian and Chinese spies trying to get access to Parliamentary information.

Image copyright PA

Simpsons 'in GCSEs'

The lead story in the Independent on Sunday reports a new law is to be brought in to ensure that state schools in England promote apprenticeships as much as university education. It aims to end an "outdated snobbery" against technical education, says the paper.

Finally, the Mail on Sunday carries news of another classroom concern - claims that teachers are trivialising GCSE lessons by using US cartoon family the Simpsons to provide "bogus relevance".

Image copyright Getty Images

The Simpsons are said to features in hundreds of model lesson plans used by teachers to engage students in subjects ranging from religious education to Shakespeare to the Weimar Republic.

Former government adviser Chris McGovern, from the Campaign For Real Education, says the trend is a "flag of surrender to pupils looking for an easy time". But National Union of Teachers chief Christine Blower appears more relaxed, telling the Mail: "It is a matter of the teacher's professional judgment on how best to align materials with the content and skill to be taught."