DfES:  Sit & Learn - Ruth Kelly has welcomed the Learning Behaviour report from the Practitioners’ Group on School Behaviour and Discipline, which includes a package of new proposals to tackle poor pupil behaviour, saying that behaviour will be a cornerstone of the forthcoming White Paper.


The Group’s concludes that good teaching is key to promoting good behaviour, combined with consistently applied strategies to help pupils manage their behaviour, with a balance of rewards & sanctions.   Firm & consistent action is required, but the cooperation of parents is also essential.   

Press release ~ Learning Behaviour Report (1.3Mb) ~ DfES Learning & Behaviour website ~ Pupil Referral Units ~ TeacherNet Behaviour monitoring website ~ TeacherNet - Violence, threatening behaviour and abuse in schools ~ Learning Support Unit ~ Safer Schools Partnership ~ Behaviour and Discipline - Memorandum of SHA to the Practitioner Group on Behaviour and Discipline ~ Behaviour UK


DTI:  Pension strike averted - The Government & unions have agreed a set of framework principles that will be applied to the reform of public sector pension schemes in health, education & the civil service.  


New scheme members will receive a final salary pension (plus indexation) and will continue to have the right to retire at age 60, if they pay higher contributions, while those working to 65 will pay the standard contribution rate.  Scheme specific negotiations will take account of the special physical and mental demands of many public sector jobs and individual scheme negotiations should be complete no later than June 2006.


Jonathan Baume, FDA General Secretary, said: "We made clear from the outset that existing staff should not have their pension arrangements changed against their will. The Government has now accepted this”.

DTI Press release ~ FDA press release ~ Framework principles ~ Public Services Forum ~ GMB Position ~ Govt. Actuary’s department


DH: / Defra: Pandemic Influenza Contingency Plan Updated - The government has published an updated version of the Pandemic Influenza Contingency plan, plus a guide for Health professional & the public, a key facts document and an information leaflet


The Department of Health is inviting manufacturers to tender for a contract to supply approximately 120 million doses of the pandemic flu vaccine once the pandemic strain is known.   


Commercial poultry keepers will be asked to register their flocks as part of an initiative to step up surveillance of the avian influenza virus. Members of the public should not handle dead birds. If multiple bird deaths are found the public should report this to the Defra helpline 08459 335577.

DH press release ~ Defra press release ~ Confirmation press release ~ DH Pandemic website with newly published documents ~ UK Resilience Pandemic web page


DH:  Future of Social Care - A Green Paper setting out the responses received to the consultation on Independence, Well-being & Choice: our vision for the future of social care for adults in England has been published.  Health Minister, Liam Byrne confirmed that the consultation will be instrumental in shaping, supporting and informing the development of the White Paper expected later this year.


Subsequent to publishing the responses report the Department of Health announced the start of a ‘wide-ranging’ review of the regulatory framework for the health and social care sector.

Consultation press release ~ Review press release ~ Responses to the consultation on adult social care in England: Analysis of feedback from the Green Paper Independence, Wellbeing and Choice ~ Original Consultation ~ Wider review of regulation of health and social care


CIOB:  Ignoring standards raised death toll - An informative item reveals how the ignoring of building standards led to an increase in the heavy toll of casualties caused by the earthquake that struck Northern Pakistan recently. 

Press release ~ Chartered Institute of Building International website ~ Richter scale ~ Aga Khan Cultural Services ~ Baltit Fort


Industry News:  New ‘BOBI’ helps police with inquiries - Staffordshire Police Force now use Business Objects Business Intelligence solutions to provide a single reporting infrastructure for a consolidated view of up-to-date information that supports tactical & strategic decision-making ands drive performance improvements.


The improvements in information availability led to Staffordshire Police achieving the largest performance improvement of any force in the UK last year and they are now one of the top few forces in the National Police performance league table.

Full article ~ Staffordshire Police Force ~ www.businessobjects.co.uk ~ National Intelligence Model (NIM) ~ NIM – Key lessons ~ Integrating the NIM with a ‘problem solving’ approach  ~ Police Force Analysis ~ intelligence-led policing ~ Crime & Disorder Reduction Partnerships

General News

Socitm:  The Society of IT Management has launched a new initiative to support & encourage the transformation of local public services through ICT-facilitated change.


According to Socitm, transformation has not generally happened in the UK because ‘eGovernment’ initiatives to date have tended to be concerned with technology rather than with change, putting too much effort into improving access to services and too little on back office efficiencies.

Press release ~ EU Ministerial e-Government Conference in Manchester, November 24-25 ~ Socitm’s Performance Management Group (PMG) ~ PMG Annual KPI workshop 22 November 2005 ~ BVPI 157 (NAWPI 1.5 in Wales) ~

e2Government leaflet - (enter following URL in your web browser: http://www.socitm.gov.uk/NR/rdonlyres/616B14DA-6A73-4FAB-A9BB-E2D3BED1EC72/0/e2GovLealflet.pdf


Highways Agency:  School children in Surrey have been the first to use a new teaching pack - "Just a Stones Throw" - designed to help 10 & 11 year olds understand the dangers of dropping objects onto traffic from bridges and the emotional impact on families, relatives and friends when someone is hurt or dies.  The pack includes a personal letter from the family of a man who died from injuries received when a brick was thrown from a bridge over a motorway.

Press release ~ Teaching pack ~ LASER (Learning About Safety by Experiencing Risk)


Defra:  Fly-tipping is now costing almost £1 million a week to clear-up, according to new data released by Defra from its Flycapture database.  However, a new measure providing local authorities with the capacity to immediately remove abandoned cars from the streets came in to force last week.

Press release ~ Flycapture Database~ Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act ~ Defra Fly-tipping website


Defra:  Defra has launched Farm Business Advice Service  -Knowing Your Options to provide free business advice to English farmers. It is intended to help farmers claiming the Single Payment to consider the implications for their business and to explore options for change - including restructuring, diversification and co-operation.


The service, which will run until the end of March 2007, will be delivered under eight regional contracts and it replaces the former three day farm business advice service which ended in March 2005.

Press release ~ Farm Business Advice Service - Knowing your options ~ Single Payment Scheme


DfES:  Schools Minister Jacqui Smith has congratulated Liz Robinson on her appointment as head teacher at the Surrey Square primary school in Southwark, London.  Liz, 29, is the first Fast Track teacher to be offered a headship since the programme’s inception in 2000.

Press release ~ Fast Track Teaching website ~ Teacher Training Agency ~ NCSL Head teacher training programme ~ BBC Q&A on becoming a teacher ~ GO4itnow website


DH:  The Department of Health has announced £130 million capital investment in mental health services (from 2006 onwards), which is intended to update the mental health estate and ensure that each mental health trust has access to an ’appropriate place of safety’ for assessment of people brought in under the Mental Health Act by the police.

Press release ~ Joint Committee on Human Rights ~ Mental Health Bill ~ DH Mental Health website ~ Rethink website ~ The National Audit of Violence (2003 - 2005) Final Report ~ National Assoc. of Psychiatric IC Units


WG Newswire: The first ever national training syllabus to tackle violence against frontline staff in mental health and learning disability services - Promoting Safer and Therapeutic Services - was launched recently by the NHS Security Management Service (NHS SMS).  The syllabus, which will be delivered by 2008, will provide training in recognising, de-escalating & managing potentially violent incidents, whilst improving staff and service-user safety.

Press release ~ NHS Security Management Service (NHS SMS) ~ Mind’s Ward Watch survey (2004) ~ Protecting NHS staff from violence

Policy Statements and Initiatives

Defra:  Biodiversity Minister Jim Knight has announced that most respondents to a public consultation on wildlife legislation are in favour of reviewing the laws that protect individual wildlife species in England & Wales.  Scotland has already taken forward its amendments to the Act through the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004.

Press release ~ Review of Part I of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 ~ Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004 ~ Natural Environment and Rural Communities Bill ~ Game Conservancy Trust ~ English Nature & Countryside Council


DH:  Care Services Minister Liam Byrne has announced that a new taskforce to help not-for-profit organisations pitch for health & social care work has been set up.  The taskforce will identify how to break down the barriers that stop third sector organisations, including the voluntary sector and not for profit social businesses, having a much greater involvement in delivering innovative person-centred health and social care


Press release ~ National Strategic Partnership Forum (NSPF) ~ NAO – Working with the Third Sector ~ Mencap ~ Turning Point ~ Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations ~ Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action (NICVA) ~ Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA) ~ Third Sector European Network (TSEN) (scroll down)


DH:  Health Minister Lord Warner has announced a review aimed at helping the NHS plan & pay for some of the most expensive treatments and drugs.


The new taskforce will look at ways of ensuring PCTs to work together to commission specialised services so that the financial risk is shared and also how to tighten the ways in which specialised services are commissioned, so that there is greater consistency across all PCTs

Press release ~ DH Commissioning Specialist Services website ~ Specialised Healthcare Alliance ~ Specialised Services National Definitions


DWP:  David Blunkett and Patricia Hewitt have launched the first stage of a strategy that places ‘responsibility’ not just in the hands of Government, but also with employers, individuals, the healthcare profession and stakeholders.


The strategy, Health, Work and Wellbeing - Caring for our Future, lays out a blueprint for change, so that work related illness and accidents can be avoided in the first place, but if not, ensures people get fast treatment and that they can access occupational health services if they need them.


The next step will be to publish a charter next spring, which will include an action plan.

Press release ~ Health, Work and Wellbeing - Caring for our Future ~ HSE Managing Sickness absence and return to work website


DfES:  Schools Minister Andrew Adonis claims that "Cricket Explorer", an interactive programme in cricket clubs, will help underachieving youngsters increase their knowledge & understanding of the geography of England, Wales and the wider world.


It is part of the Playing for Success initiative, which according to the government, four independent national evaluations have demonstrated has had a significant impact on pupils’ literacy, numeracy and ICT skills, boosting pupils’ self esteem and increasing their motivation to learn.

Press release ~ Playing for Success initiative ~ Literacy Trust findings ~ NFER reports & articles


DfES: Minister for Lifelong Learning, Further and Higher Education, Bill Rammell has announced changes to the planning & funding of the Further Education (FE) sector.  The two-year strategy outlined in a document published by the Learning and Skills Council (LSC), is meant to:

·         enable more 14-19 year olds to stay in education or training and improve their results;

·         Train more adults without basic skills and qualifications to join the workforce. And

·         Increase the percentage of the costs paid by individuals and organisations

Press release ~ LSC document: Priorities for Success - Funding for Learning and Skills ~ DfES White Paper: Skills Getting on in business, getting on at work ~ White Paper: 14-19 Education and Skills ~ National Employer Training programmes ~ National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE) ~ Association of Colleges funding petition


DCA:  Proposals to ensure the most effective use of judges at all levels have been outlined in a new consultation paper (closes 20 January 2006) issued by the Dept. of Constitutional Affairs.  Focusing Judicial Resources Appropriately outlines ways to ensure cases are dealt with in a more efficient way by the appropriate level of judge.

Press release ~ Consultation


Defra:  Defra has launched the 2nd stage of a consultation (closes 15 December 2005) on the scope of the Gangmasters Licensing Scheme, as it applies to labour providers for the food processing & packaging industry.

Press release ~ Gangmasters (Licensing) Act 2004 ~ Consultation documents ~ Gangmasters Licensing authority

Guidance Notes and Best Practice Guides

Defra:  People living in rural England should enjoy the same standards of health care as the rest of the population, Rural Affairs Minister Jim Knight said at the launch of the Institute of Rural Health’s Rural Proofing Toolkit for Primary Healthcare Organisations.


The first section of the Toolkit describes the evidence base for rural health commissioning, while the second covers areas that are often overlooked in commissioning health services in rural areas.  Each chapter of the Toolkit is illustrated with examples of good practice, some of which are derived from the Defra-commissioned database of good practice in rural health and wellbeing.

Press release ~ Institute of Rural Health’s Rural Proofing Toolkit for Primary Healthcare Organisations ~ Institute of Rural Health ~ Defra-commissioned database of good practice in rural health and wellbeing


Defra:  Defra has published the Code of Good Practice on the Use of Snares in Fox and Rabbit Control as part of a review of the use of snares in the England, which emphasises the importance of weighing the possible risks to the welfare of wildlife against the need to capture pest animals.

Press release ~ Code of practice and other relevant documents


DTI:  Horizon scanning and greater openness are two key elements outlined in the Chief Scientific Adviser’s revised guidelines for advice to Ministers, when using evidence in advice to key Government decision makers.

Press release ~ Guidelines on Scientific Analysis in Policy Making ~ Horizon Scanning Centre ~ Foresight Website


ODPM:  New guidance to inform emergency planning for clearance of sites affected by incidents such as natural disasters or terrorist attack has been published by the ODPM and the Welsh Assembly Government.

Press release ~ Guidance on Development of a Site Clearance Capability ~ UK Resilience

Annual Reports

ODPM:  According to the Arson Control Forum annual report, in the year ending December 2004, there were 75,800 deliberate fires - down by 21% per cent on 2003, while in the same period deliberate road vehicle fires fell by a quarter:

Press release ~ Arson Control Forum website ~ Annual report ~ LFB Fire setters intervention scheme ~ LFB Advice for parents & guardians ~ Educational initiatives ~ Other initiatives ~ HMIC for Scotland report ~ Evaluation of interventions with arsonists and young firesetters

General Reports and other publications

DH:  Secretary of State for Health, Patricia Hewitt, called for action by all European member states to break the cycle of poor health among disadvantaged groups when she opened the Tackling Health Inequalities - Governing for Health Summit in London.  Two independent reports commissioned by the UK’s Presidency of the EU, were also published.

Press release ~ DH Summit website ~ Health Inequalities - Europe in Profile (1Mb) ~ Health Inequalities - A challenge for Europe


DWP:  The 2000-06 ESF England Objective 3 programme provides £2.9 billion to support domestic labour market programmes and policies.  By the end of March 2005, 1.75 million people had benefited from the support of a wide variety of ESF projects. Most funding is targeted on unemployed and economically inactive people, and some funding is used to support employee development.

Press release ~ Research Report No. 287 - Evaluation of the European Social Fund Objective 3 Global Grants programme ~ Summary version ~ England ESF Objective 3 programme

Legislation / Legal

DCA:  Lord Falconer, claims that ‘putting consumers first in modernised legal services’ is at the heart of a package of proposals for reform of the legal services market published in the White Paper  - "The Future of Legal Services - Putting Consumers First".  It also means complaints about lawyers will be handled independently.

Press release ~ White Paper (1Mb) ~ DCA Legal reform website ~ Sir David Clementi review of legal services


DCA:  Lord Falconer hopes that simpler & more accessible court structures leading to more efficient & effective civil justice will be delivered by his newly announced proposals, including the unification of civil and family court jurisdictions which were outlined in a consultation document, A Single Civil Court?’, published in February 2005.

Press release ~ Closed consultation: A Single Civil Court?


DCA:  Another 18 courts (total 25) are to be equipped to specialise in dealing with domestic violence cases in a scheme which is claimed to have already shown striking results.  Domestic violence accounts for 17% of recorded crime, according to the latest statistics and, on average, more than two women a week are killed by a current or former partner.

Press release ~ Women’s Aid ~ Reports on DV courts (scroll down) ~ Organisations providing aid ~ Domestic Violence wbsite ~ National Plan ~ Tackling Domestic Violence: Providing support to survivors from Black Minority Ethnic communities ~ Tackling domestic violence: Providing support for children who have witnessed domestic violence ~ Developing Domestic Violence Strategies - A Guide for Partnerships  ~ Violence at Home


DTI:  Alan Johnson, has announced that the Work & Families Bill aims to create a modern framework of employment rights & responsibilities for employers & employees, while minimising the impact on business.

Press release ~ Work and Families Bill (click on ‘W’) ~ Details on the Work and Families consultation and Government response ~ Results of the Second Flexible Working Employee Survey 2005 ~ DTI Working Parents website

EU legislation, initiatives, etc.

Defra:  The government has laid regulation in Parliament that will transpose the Linking Directive into UK law. The use of project credits these regulations allow has the potential to increase UK operators’ compliance options and make compliance with the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) cheaper.

Press release ~ Linking Directive Regulations ~ EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) ~ Linking Directive (2004/101/EC) ~ National Allocation Plan for Phase II of the EU ETS

Charity and Voluntary Sector

Charity Commission:  Andrew Hind, chief executive of the Charity Commission, has been in Africa to take part in a regional initiative to develop better regulation of non-governmental not-for-profit organisations (NGOs).   In one event titled Effective regulation: deterring misuse, helping NGOs flourish, NGOs from across sub-Saharan Africa came together to explore good practice & regulation of NGOs.

Press release ~ Charity Commission’s International programme and ~ HERE ~ Guidance for Charities working Internationally ~ Commission for Africa ~ Report on the Second United Nations Interagency Anti-Corruption Co-ordination meeting

Business and other briefings

FSA:   New policy aimed at making the Financial Services Authority’s enforcement process more transparent & fair took effect last week.  The new policy reflects those recommendations of the FSA’s Enforcement Process Review, published this summer, which required changes to the FSA Handbook.

Press release ~ Handbook ~ Policy Statement ~ report of the review team ~ Consultation Paper

Industry News



Whale Improve Party Line - Britain’s Labour Party has a large, non-technical staff that works from home or in satellite offices across the country and needs to access information quickly and securely.


The organisation has now overhauled its outdated dial-up networking system (which had become too slow & costly) using Whale Communication’s e-Gap® Remote Access Appliance to give employees simple & secure access to their Lotus Notes-based email, as well as essential files and data.


Strict provisions for wiping all traces of email attachments, files and user credentials from the end-point, as well as the ability to permit different levels of access and functionality depending on compliance of the access device with Party security policy, were critical.


Northgate helps Council to relate to citizens - Over 160,000 citizens living within Wycombe District Council are to benefit from the delivery of radical improvements to citizens’ services, thanks to a new partnership with Northgate Information Solutions


The programme Wycombe Direct will see Northgate’s Front Office citizen-relationship management solution rolled out across the council. The system will go live with Stage 1 integration to Northgate’s Benefits system, while Stage 2 will see the integration of Northgate’s Revenues system.


For further information on the above and previous articles, please click HERE

Reminders for events being held next month



For further information on the events listed below (and subsequent events) please click HERE


Date: 2 November 2005

Venue: Edinburgh

Organiser: National School of Government - Hitting the right note

Enhancing individual, team and organisational performance is the theme of a one-day National School of Government training and development conference.  Designed for public sector senior managers, HR and training professionals and anyone looking to introduce new approaches, ‘Hitting the Right Note’ features a presentation on passionate & memorable oral communication from Russell Wardop, followed by a workshop on developing the high-performance team led by the City of London Sinfonia.


Date: 9 - 11 November 2005

Venue: Sunningdale Park

Organiser: National School of GovernmentDeveloping Tomorrow’s Manager 1

On completion you should understand the basis of effective management including:

the role of the manager

·         leadership

·         motivation

·         strengths & preferences

·         teamwork

·         problem-solving & decision-making

·         effective communication

·         arguing your case.


This course includes a management case study against which you pitch your skills.


Date: 18 November 2005

Venue: Radisson SAS Portman Hotel, London

Organiser: Economist Conferences - Third Annual Public Sector Conference

Building on results for next-generation public services - Government today is engaged in complex business transformation programmes. A wave of efficiency drives in recent years has seen public sector organisations make real efforts to streamline operations and cut costs. Can leaders fulfil the public’s increased expectation of effective service provision? Is there a handle on developing an effective service delivery culture? Help shape the answers at this strategic one-day conference.


Date:  March - July 2006

Venue: Pinewood Studios

Organiser: Defence Science and Technology Laboratory - £10,000 Up for grabs underwater

In the first competition of its kind in the UK, teams of students from Universities will have the chance to win £10,000 in prize money for building the ultimate unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV). The challenge, which is sponsored by the MoD’s Research Acquisition Organisation (RAO) and Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) is to design & build an autonomous UUV that is capable of carrying out a specified in-water ‘mission’.


Five Universities have already signed up for the challenge, including Southampton, Heriot Watt & Cranfield and two European entries from Girona (Spain) and Trondheim (Norway). There are five places left and those universities who think they are up to the challenge are encouraged to grab these last few places.  Applications with entry fee must be received by end of March 2006.  For more competition information & mission details click HERE :


For further information on the above (and subsequent) events please click HERE

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