General Reports and Other Publications

DECC: New research, released by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), reveals there is strong support among the UK public, at deliberative research events, in favour of Government action to decarbonise the nation's housing stock.
 
As part of the 'Big Energy Shift' engagement process, householders in England, Wales and Northern Ireland were asked for their opinions & ideas on the challenges facing us - with the results forming part of the Government's long-term Heat and Energy Saving Strategy and Renewable Energy Strategy.
 
Under the UK Government's 'Great British Refurb' plans, at least 7m homes will have been offered 'whole-house' upgrades with energy efficiency & micro-generation technologies by 2020 and every home by 2030 - virtually eliminating carbon emissions from our homes.
Press release ~ 'Big Energy Shift' ~ Heat and Energy Saving Strategy ~ Renewable Energy Strategy
 
Newswire – AC: A new report by public services watchdog the Audit Commission finds that Local Strategic Partnerships (LSPs), which bring together health, councils, the police and other service providers, have 'important lessons to learn from one another'.  The national report - Working Better Together? - says that; 'LSPs are developing, and each has its own unique history and challenges.'
 
It finds that the more mature LSPs are further advanced, that those in multi-tier areas face greater challenges than those in single-tier areas, but that there is no one model that will guarantee future success.  The report recommends a layered approach to joint working:
* a strategic layer sets overall direction & checks progress
* an executive layer allocates resources & manages performance
* and an operational layer deals with actual service delivery
 
There is a special mention for elected members, who it says should better understand LSPs through training and the scrutiny role.  The Audit Commission will be providing a range of products, including on-line improvement tools, to help LSPs and their partners on their improvement journeys and to influence government to improve policy.
Press release ~ Local Strategic Partnerships (LSPs) ~ Working Better Together?
 
Defra: The final report by Professor Martin Cave into competition & innovation in water markets has been published.  It sets out the challenges & opportunities facing the industry and recommends measures for increasing competition & innovation to benefit customers and the economy by up to £2.5bn over 30 years and deliver considerable environmental and service improvements.
 
The Consumer Council for Water said it welcomed the recommendations put forward in Martin Cave's report on competition in the water industry and echoes his call for a step by step approach which gets competition right for business customers first.
Defra press release ~ CCWater press release ~ Cave Review ~ Research into household customers' views on competition in the water and sewerage industry (Scroll down) ~ CCWater
 
LLUK: The Scottish Union Learning has commissioned a 16-page supplement which showcases the role trade unions are playing in increasing access & opportunities in learning and training for workers in the Highlands & Islands. 
Press release ~ LLUK ~ Trade Unions Working, Learning, Organising: Together in the Highlands and Islands
 
LSN: The Learning and Skills Network recently hosted a presentation evening to launch a new report called UK employment and skills in a global recession, by Tom Bewick. The report looks at & answers the questions:
* What should be the role of the FE system in speeding recovery?
* What is the latest thinking and what options should be considered to tackle the crisis?
 
This paper presents a call to look ahead - beyond the immediate piecemeal measures - proposing more comprehensive labour market reforms that aim to protect & develop the UK skills base.  It presents practical solutions that can be delivered immediately on a sectoral basis, seeking to build-in competitiveness, as we emerge from recession.
Press release ~ UK employment and skills in a global recession - What can we do now?
 
DH: To coincide with World Meningitis Day, a new report highlights the success of childhood vaccines against the 3 main strains of meningitis. In the next 3 years, a vaccine against the last significant cause of bacterial meningitis, group B meningococcal disease, is a very real prospect.
 
Meningitis & septicaemia can be difficult to spot in young children.  The bacterial form of the diseases is fatal in 10% of cases and urgent treatment is required.  Many of those who recover are left with long-term conditions including hearing loss, brain damage, paralysis, and seizures.
Press release ~ NHS Immunisation ~ World Meningitis Day ~ Meningitis Research Foundation ~ Meningitis Trust ~ Meningitis UK
 
Ofsted: Opportunities to work with an inspiring teacher, a visiting artist or in an art gallery can have an immediate & lasting impact on pupils’ creative aspirations & achievement, says Ofsted in its new report - Drawing together: art, craft and design in schools.  However, these experiences are rarely available to all pupils, the report reveals.
Press release ~ Drawing together: art, craft and design in schools
 
DH: Results from a survey of Change4Life families show that 72% of their children are not getting 60 minutes of daily activity outside of school.  The campaign's new TV ad urges families get up & about more in an effort to cut levels of obesity.  The advert responds to the need for families to get more physical activity into their daily routines - to make sure that the energy in, is matched by the energy out.
 
The 'How Are The Kids Survey', launched in January, is the biggest national survey of children's diet & activity levels, and received more than 260,000 responses from families across England. The survey of change4life families also found that 45% of their kids watched TV or played non-active video games before school and only 22% did something active after their evening meal.
Press release ~ Change4Life ~ Promoting physical activity for children and young people ~ Promoting and creating built or natural environments that encourage and support physical activity ~ Obesity: guidance on the prevention, identification, assessment and management of overweight and obesity in adults and children ~ Mind, Exercise, Nutrition... Do It! or MEND for short ~ 'Healthy Weight, Healthy Lives toolkit: A Toolkit for Developing Local Strategies' ~ DH - Obesity ~ Foresight Tackling Obesities: Future Choices Project ~ Obesity: defusing a health time bomb ~ The National Child Measurement Programme: guidance and resources ~ NAO: Tackling Child Obesity - First Steps ~ Information Centre for Health and Social Care - Obesity ~ Child Health - obesity ~ Useful publications
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