In the News

DfETime for the education system to start educating all children in the basics - Plans to restore rigour in the key primary subjects were last week set out by Education Secretary, Michael Gove.  

The draft Primary National Curriculum Programmes of Study for English, maths & science are more demanding than the existing National Curriculum.  They align England with those countries that have the highest-performing school systems.

By raising standards in basics such as reading, grammar, fractions and basic scientific concepts, children will be equipped to do more advanced work once they start secondary school.

The draft Programmes of Study published last week will be subject to an informal consultation so they can be widely discussed and the DfE will consider the public debate and re-draft the programmes before re-publishing them later in the year for formal consultation. The final programmes will be introduced in primary schools from September 2014.
Press release & links ~ Gove’s letter to the Expert Panel ~ Draft Programmes of Study ~ Ofsted: Primary School Maths – related documents ~ Ofsted: Primary School English – related documents ~ DfE: Primary School Maths – related documents ~ DfE: Primary School English – related documents ~ England's 15-year-olds' reading is more than a year behind the best ~ Further progress on school and college leaver attainment requires radical new vision - CBI / Pearson  ~ Review of Vocational Education – The Wolf report ~ Building Engagement, Building Futures ~ NAO: Mathematics performance in primary schools: Getting the best results

DFID:  Access to & control of resources is what has been at the basis of conflicts for millennium - Natural resources (such as food, water & energy) will come under extreme pressure within 20 years, says a new report.  The latest European Report on Development shows that demand for energy & water is expected to grow by 40% and food by 50% by the year 2030.

Poorer countries will be hardest hit as populations continue grow and the consumption of resources increases as a key means of economic growth. It came ahead of this week's international Rio+20 summit - convened by the United Nations to look at sustainable development, poverty reduction and environmental protection.
Press release ~ European Report on Development ~ STFC: New Insight Gained into How Plants May Fight Diseases & so boost food production ~ Drought Tolerant Maize ~ Food security: EU supports G8 initiative for a ‘New Alliance’ with partner countries, donors and the private sector ~ DECC:  Will costly green power provide the energy security we need? ~ Environmental Audit Committee publishes report on sustainable food ~ A vision for bio-energy ~ Commission proposes strategy for sustainable bioeconomy in Europe ~ Previous BIS press release ~ Foresight: Migration and Global Environmental Change - Future Challenges and Opportunities ~ International Dimensions of Climate Change ~ Global Food and Farming Futures ~ Land Use Futures ~ Food, energy, water and the climate: A perfect storm of global events? ~ Human tide: the real migration crisis ~ NIESR: Drivers of Immigration to the UK and Where Immigrants Choose to Locate ~ Research and Innovation: new modelling results link natural resources and armed conflicts ~ Global food security~ Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) ~ BIS - GOS: Food ~ Sowing the seeds of scuba rice ~ BBSRC: Food Security ~ Climate Change & Food Security: Health Risks and Vulnerabilities of the Poor in Bangladesh ~ Assessing Water Risk: A Practical Approach for Financial Institutions ~ Bread and protests: the return of high food prices ~ Eldis – Food Security ~ Global Food Trends - Overview ~ DECC: Energy Security ~ Energy Security For Whom? For What? ~ IME: UK Energy Security - Power

HMT:  Why does one suspect that whatever is put in place, Bankers will still be ‘over-compensated’? - The Government has published a White Paper setting out proposals to fundamentally reform the structure of banking in the UK (consultation closes on 6 September 2012).  

The White Paper, which details how the Government will implement the recommendations of the Independent Commission on Banking (ICB), offers further detail on plans to separate retail & investment banking through a ‘ring-fence’ and increase competition in the banking sector.
It also sets out proposals to make banks more resilient, as well as making them simpler to resolve in the event of failure. Draft legislation will now follow in the autumn and the White Paper reconfirms that all legislation will be in place by the end of this Parliament in 2015.
Press release ~ The Independent Commission on Banking & consultation White Paper ~ CBI responds to Government's statement on banking reform ~ iea: Government policy on banks and lending deeply flawed ~ Reform of banking welcome but more must be done to get banks lending, says TUC ~ Nef: Who will tame the giant vampire squid?

MoDThe latest round of redundancies won’t exactly boost morale - The Army has launched Phase 2 of its 'Don't Bottle It Up' campaign which focuses on reducing the stigma surrounding mental health.
Press release & links ~ MoD: Unless one has faced the dangers of bullets & IEDs, it is difficult to ‘understand’ ~ Extra funding for Armed Forces online mental health network ~ Fighting mental health issues in the military ~ Armed Forces online mental health forum launched ~ (2nd item) ~ DH:  For some the real problems start after the ‘safe’ return home ~ Surgeon General discusses importance of partnerships ~ New mental health partnership for veterans in Colchester ~ DH: More help for our heroes ~ MOD to strengthen links with mental health charities ~ Managing mental health issues in Helmand ~ Life after leaving the UK's Armed Forces ~ MoD: Returning to civilian life is difficult

CSEF:  Learn how to avoid having to say ‘If only we had ……’ - According to a report published by the European Child Safety Alliance, injuries are the leading cause of death & disability for children in the EU.  The report (How safety conscious are European countries toward children) reveals that death is just the ‘tip of the injury burden’ with many more children suffering serious long term consequences in terms of physical disabilities & psychological effects.

Child Safety Week (CSW) kicks off this week and is a community education campaign that aims to secure a safer environment for children of all ages, so they can live life to the fullest without unnecessary hazards.  To help you run a successful CSW, you can sign up for a 14-day trial of the Children’s Safety Education Foundation’s online safety education programmes that promote health, well-being & safety to children & young people aged from 5 to 14 years.
Press release & links ~ RoSPA: Child Safety Report Cards published for England and Scotland

Monitor:  Integrated care is the only way we will be even barely able to afford future care demands - Monitor has published an independent report to inform the development of its policy on integrated care.  

The report titled Enablers and Barriers to Integrated Care and Implications for Monitor was commissioned by Monitor from Frontier Economics, the Nuffield Trust, the Kings Fund and Ernst & Young and is another part of the growing evidence base that Monitor will use to determine its approach as sector regulator.
Press release & links ~ British Red Cross: Dangerous cuts are putting vulnerable people at risk ~ Patients Association’s response to BRC report ~ TKF: Where next for the NHS reforms? The case for integrated care ~ TKF: New survey highlights impending crisis in social care

EAAn apt way of monitoring the problem - A new app to help combat the spread of 3 problem plants has been launched.  Japanese Knotweed, Himalayan Balsam and Floating Pennywort are 3 particularly problematic Invasive, Non-Native Species (INNS) that are spreading quickly across the Midlands region.  Using a smartphone app called PlantTracker the Environment Agency would like anyone who is out & about to record where these plants are so that we can more accurately assess the situation.
Press release & links ~ Free British National Formulary prescribing app launches

NHS  ConfedOrganisations that ne(e)d a NED can link up fast - NEDLink is a new NHS Confederation service that can help match non-executive directors (NEDs) working in the NHS with organisations from across health & social care that are seeking NEDs with NHS skills & experience.
Press release & links

TKF:  ‘Politics’, not deteriorating quality, dents opinions - Public satisfaction with the way the NHS runs fell from 70% in 2010 to 58% in 2011, according to British Social Attitudes Survey data published by The King’s Fund.  With the NHS performing well according to a number of key indicators & patient experience surveys, it concludes that the fall in satisfaction is unlikely to reflect a deterioration in the quality of services.

Instead, the report suggests the most likely explanation is that concern about the government’s health reforms, reaction to funding pressures and ministerial rhetoric to justify the reforms may have combined to dent public confidence in the way the NHS runs.
Press release & links ~ NHS Confederation comments ~ Unite comment

EU NewsWhile national tax revenues shrink all over Europe, MEPs dream up ways to ‘get hold of & spend even more of an ever-shrinking cake’ - The EU needs a robust budget to meet its political goals, MEPs have told EU leaders, who discuss the 2014-2020 budget plan on 28-29 June.  

Parliament claims reforms to the current system, introducing alternative sources of income such as a financial transaction tax or a new EU VAT, would reduce EU member states' contributions based on gross national income from 75 % to 40 % by 2020.
Press release & links ~ EU Parliament calls for high-level EU human rights envoy with strong mandate 

Latest Paper 25 Social Media Tips on How to Engage Your Followers - With high speed internet access becoming increasingly socially inclusive, aligned with inevitable budgetary constraints, more and more public agencies are turning to social media tools as the most powerful way to boost productivity and deliver cost-efficient communications.

The Government has set out its commitment to design and deliver all information and transactional services digitally and the desire to utilise the power of social media to help drive digital take-up.

Public sector CIO’s are becoming increasingly convinced of the power of social media with advantages including:

         Improved citizen, partner and stakeholder engagement
         Increased public feedback and input
         Being able to reach specific audiences with specific messages
         Greater scope to adjust or refocus communications quickly, and where necessary

Increasing and engaging your social media followers is often easier said than done. Social media must be managed carefully.

This free white paper offers a toolbox of expert tips and nuggets of wisdom for winning social media followers and keeping them engaged.

Click Here To Receive Your Free Guide Now.

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Serco gifts £400,000 for care worker apprenticeships