Lack of educational skills makes them ‘un-employable’ when they leave prison – Recent findings show no prison was rated outstanding for its education & training provision in the last 4 years.  Only 35% were judged to be good.

Matthew Coffey, Ofsted’s National Director of Further Education & Skills said recently:  
'This year’s Annual Lecture aims to focus on how we can reduce the stubbornly high re-offending rates that are nearly 50% for adult prisoners and 72% for juveniles.  If these figures related to our schools there would be a national outcry. The aim is to reduce the number of re-offenders by focusing on rehabilitation in prisons through better employer engagement and better teaching and training……

Every prisoner costs the taxpayer the same as sending a child to Eton
, around £34,000 per year.  We must now focus on improvement of prisoners’ vocational and employability skills to ensure we support them on their journey out of prison and into employment to break the cycle of re-offending.'
Press release & links ~ Thousands of students drop English & maths after GCSE ~ Skills Minister writes to councils over teen participation concerns ~ Offender management in prisons - opportunities to reform being missed ~ CBI comments on day one referral of ex-offenders onto the Work Programme ~ Prisons failing to educate young offenders, warns CSJ ~ Minister sees benefits of Invisible Walls ~ Making Prisons Work: Skills for Rehabilitation ~ BIS:  Recruiting ex-service personnel to teach in poorly performing schools may not be such a ‘wild’ idea after all ~ Bars to Learning: Practical Challenges to the 'Working Prison' ~ Breaking the Cycle: Effective Punishment, Rehabilitation & Sentencing of Offenders ~ ScotGov: Reducing crime through learning & skills PR ~ Offender Learning: Options for Improvement publication ~ Scottish Government Response to Offender Learning: Options for Improvement ~ Reducing Re-offending in Scotland  ~ Reducing Offending by young people ~ NAO: Managing offenders on short custodial sentences ~ Offender Learning & Skills Service (OLASS) ~ EDM - Communication Difficulties & Young Offenders ~ BBC NEWS - Communication skills 'cut re-offending'

Time we cared more for young carers
- The government has tabled an amendment to the Children and Families Bill to help improve services for young carers.  Children & young people who care for family members are to benefit from a full assessment of their support needs so they receive help & assistance to experience the same opportunities as their friends.

The government has tabled an amendment to the Bill - currently making its way through Parliament - which will help improve services for young carers by:

* extending the right to an assessment of support needs to all young carers under the age of 18
* supporting LAs to combine the assessment of a young carer with an assessment of the person they care for - providing a co-ordinated & rounded package of support for the whole family
* simplifying the law relating to young carers - making their rights & duties clearer to both young people & professionals
Press release & links ~ New legislation planned for Scotland’s carers ~ Caring for our Carers ~ Big Lottery Fund Scotland’s £20m helping hand for Scottish carers ~ Over £200,000 to help young Scots fulfil their potential ~ Greater focus on prevention & integration essential to improve Care & Support Bill, warn Peers and MPs ~ Cash for short breaks ~ YC Net ~ NHS Choices:  Being a young carer ~ Barnardo’s:  Young carers ~ Children’s Society:  Include programme ~ Family Action ~ Children in Wales ~ Young Carers toolkit

Defence of a Scottish Realm – The analysis paper on Defence, highlights the extent to which an independent would no longer benefit from the £34bn billion annual defence budget, one of the largest in the world.  The complex & integrated nature of the ’s defence capabilities mean that an independent would have real difficulties trying to replicate a similar, but smaller, force from scratch.
Press release & Links ~  RUSI Expert Comments on Ministry of Defence's Scotland paper ~ Nuclear-free defence forces will save Scottish taxpayers almost £1bn ~ Defence implications of possible Scottish independence ~ First Minister sets out vision on defence ~ UK Government publishes list of UK public bodies that serve Scotland ~ RUSI:  A' the Blue Bonnets: Defending an Independent Scotland ~ Site search of RUSI for additional documents ~ CH:  The Foreign Policy Implications of and for a Separate Scotland ~ CH:  Scotland the new brave world

Left at the starting gate of the race for a good education - Poor children who are behind in the so-called three Rs at the age of 7 already have their life chances virtually determined.  In a new report entitled ‘Too Young to Fail’, the Save the Children charity said being behind at reading, writing & arithmetic at such a young age could prejudice a child’s future earnings and health. 

20%+ of children born poor in England, who are behind at 7 years old, will have less than a 1 in 6 chance of getting five good GCSEs through no fault of their own, the charity added.   The charity says there has to be more focus & investment on 5 to 7-year-olds, not just because of the individual tragedy of wasted lives, but because failing to help the poorest primary-age children could cost the UK economy £30bn in untapped potential by 2030.
Press release & links ~ CBI comments on Save the Children report ~ DfE:  Time for the education system to start educating all children in the basics ~ New tests show 1 in 4 struggling with spelling, punctuation and grammar ~ Raising ambitions and standards for primary schools ~ Minister launches Wales’ £7m National Support Programme for the literacy & numeracy framework

The existing NHS is no longer ‘fit for purpose’ - Explaining to the public why the NHS needs to redesign services can be tricky, but a new NHS Confederation animation aims to 'set the record straight' and help the public, NHS and politicians have more conversations about how local services are provided.

The new animation illustrates why the NHS needs to adapt and what changes will mean for patient care.  It follows a joint call by the Confederation, Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and National Voices for more meaningful engagement with the public, patients, politicians and health professionals in proactive, well-planned service changes.
Press release & links ~ NHS Confed:  Task group recommends 'central role' for community pharmacy ~ Monitor:  Integrated care is the only way we will be even barely able to afford future care demands (6th item) ~ TKF:  Time for a new model NHS? (6th item)

Timely TSB funding competition will help offset even higher energy prices of the future - The Technology Strategy Board and the Research Councils' UK Energy Programme are to invest up to £4m in collaborative R&D to stimulate innovation in the field of energy management for existing buildings.  The aim of this competition is to advance significantly the capabilities of businesses so that they can capture a greater share of growing and global markets.

This is a 2-stage competition and applicants must register by noon on 20 November 2013.  The deadline for expressions of interest is at noon on 27 November 2013.  A briefing event for potential applicants will be held in London on 23 October 2013.
Press release & links

DFID warns that ‘Christmas has not come early’
- DFID have been alerted to a potential scam either originating in, or targeting & . Please do not respond to any correspondence you may receive from Justine Greening or Alan Duncan offering you or your organisation funding from the Department for International Development (DFID).  DFID do not provide funding or grants in this way.
Press release & links

Last chance to comment - The Department of Health is asking people to answer questions about dementia research ahead of the G8 dementia summit on 11 December 2013.  The summit, which will be held in London , will look at how the G8 can lead efforts to prevent, delay and effectively treat dementia.  Have your say on improving dementia research across the world on the Dementia Challenge site.  Comments close on 15 October 2013.
Press release & links

Do you know someone who has achieved something special in Wales? - The First Minister, Carwyn Jones has called for people from across North Wales to recommend someone they feel deserves recognition for their outstanding achievements.  The St David Awards scheme is unique to and recognises the achievements of people from all walks of life, regardless of their origin or background.  Nominations are open until the 5 November 2013.
Press release & links ~ St David Awards website

Latest Paper
Critical Factors for Success of the Government’s ICT strategy
- The Efficiency and Reform Group (ERG) at the Cabinet Office is leading the drive to radically change the way that the public sector buys and uses information and communications technologies. In particular, the new agenda is about smaller, more manageable projects, using cloud computing whenever appropriate, reusing software solutions where possible, and engaging with SMEs to deliver such solutions in a way that is more innovative, more responsive and more cost-effective.

With deficit reduction policies and budget restrictions set to continue for the foreseeable future, there is a strategic imperative to reduce costs and bureaucracy while at the same time improve services to citizens with a more “joined-up” government experience.

This latest paper explores how effective collaboration within and between central government departments, local authorities and other public bodies can help realise these goals by reducing operational costs and improving engagement between staff, citizens and third parties.

Click here to find out more and download your free copy of this latest White Paper.


Please note that previously published newsletters can be accessed from the Newsletter Archive

Critical factors for success of the government’s ICT strategy: Secure file sharing and collaboration across the public sector. image.
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