Can you help stamp out religious extremism in our schools?

A commissioner has been appointed to take an overview of evidence in relation to Birmingham schools and the allegations relating to the document publicly known as the ‘Trojan Horse letter’.  He will work very closely with Ian Kershaw as adviser to Birmingham City Council to tackle this important issue and provide independent advice to the Secretary of State. 

There will be close co-operation between ongoing investigations by West Midlands Police and Ofsted. The commissioner will examine all evidence put to him and is expected to report by the summer.  Should you have any information concerning issues related to Birmingham schools and the allegations being investigated and wish to come forward to the commissioner, please contact them by email or post.

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SME Supplier Engagement Conference 2014 - Making Government Business More Accessible To SME’s

Click here to find out more and register free for this event....

2nd June, Central Hall, Westminster, London

Event Background:

One year remains for the UK government to achieve its target of awarding 25% of direct and indirect government spend to SMEs. Despite the significant progress that has been made, there remains much work to be done. Without a doubt, small to medium sized enterprises are crucial drivers of this country's economy. Not only are they responsible for providing jobs and generating wealth, SMEs are key to spurring the innovation that will keep Britain competitive in the global marketplace.

Why Attend?

The SME Supplier Engagement Conference 2014 is not only supported by a number of central government departments, including the Crown Commercial Service, but also by prime suppliers to government and top SMEs. This truly Public and Private Sector event provides a unique opportunity across both sectors to make real progress on the SME agenda through dialogue, information sharing, and networking. 

Click here to find out more and register free for this event.

What makes up the ‘melting pot‘ of the UK

A major new study by think tank Policy Exchange reveals that the 5 largest distinct BME communities could potentially double from 14% of the population to between 20-30% by the middle of the century.   Over the past decade, the UK’s White population has remained the same while the minority population has almost doubled.  Black Africans and Bangladeshis are the fastest growing minority communities with ethnic minorities representing 25% of people aged under the age of five.

The handbook, A Portrait of Modern Britain, draws on an extensive set of survey, census, academic and polling data to build up a detailed picture of the five largest minority groups in the UK – Indians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, Black Africans and Black Caribbeans.  The purpose of the research is to show that there are clear & meaningful differences between each of these communities, which need to be fully understood by policymakers & politicians.

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A needless waste of life!

This first confidential enquiry report from the Royal College of Physicians (RCP), Why asthma still kills, published on World Asthma Day, found 45% of those patients included in this study who died from asthma did not have any medical help during the final asthma attack.   Improvements are needed so that both patients & healthcare professionals are better at recognising the signs of deterioration in asthma, and are better at acting quickly when faced with a potentially fatal asthma attack.

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Actions of Faceless Bureaucrats can have devastating impacts on individuals & their families

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman has published new findings which reveal the number & nature of complaints about government departments & agencies in 2013. Details about the nature of complaints they have investigated and how well departments & agencies have worked with them to put things right have also been published.

These highlight how the failure by government departments & agencies can have devastating impacts on individuals and their families.  Cases include the stories of a child who had to wait nearly 10 years before their immigration application was decided, an individual who had their medical records shared inappropriately and a sexual assault victim whose suffering was compounded by mistakes in their treatment.

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A counter-balance to recent Russian ‘energy aggression’?

The House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee has called on the Government to do more to bring forward development of the UK’s shale gas & oil resource and ensure that the UK enjoys the substantial benefits shale gas can bring to the economy, to national energy security and to the environment.

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Something for the 2017 EU Referendum perhaps?

Britain's membership of the European Union is shown to have had no positive impact on trade with other members in a detailed analysis of UK exports published by the cross-party think tank Civitas.  A study of British export figures since 1960 exposes the ‘empty rhetoric’ behind oft-repeated claims that the EU gives the UK an essential trade advantage.

Britain's trade with other EU nations accounts for no more of its trade with all leading economies than it did on joining the European Economic Community in 1973, the report shows.  Meanwhile, exports to non-EU nations Iceland, Norway and Switzerland have increased enormously over the same period.

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A bit like a ‘recently minted’ army officer not taking ‘advice’ from his Sergeant!

Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) cannot choose not to follow NICE guidance because they merely disagree with it, even where there is no statutory duty to do so, a court has ruled.

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Remembering the start of the ‘Slaughter’

3 national commemorative events to mark the First World War Centenary will take place on 4 August 2014.  The events in Glasgow, Mons in Belgium, and London form a key part of the Government’s centenary programme, and will take place across August 4th, the 100th anniversary of the date war was declared.

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