In the News
MoD: What if the MoD were only paid 57% of the time - The MoD has responded to the Public Accounts Committee’s (PAC) report into the Department’s Support for High Intensity Operations.
The PAC’s press release included the following extracts: ‘The MOD has had some successes in providing support for our armed forces in Iraq and Afghanistan: notably, the delivery of life-saving medical treatment at the front line. But there are important areas where the process is creaking. …………… But the serious downside is that problems with reliability have sometimes emerged only after the kit has actually been deployed. The MOD's high degree of reliance on this procurement process must be questioned.
Both ground vehicles and helicopters have suffered from shortages of spare parts. Helicopters back home have had to be cannibalised; and our forces in theatre have been compelled to rely on contracted and coalition helicopters’. The process of getting equipment and supplies out to our forces in Iraq and Afghanistan is undeniably an extremely demanding one. But the fact that the MOD continues to fail to meet its own supply chain targets is of concern’. …….. Since July 2007 only 57% of demands made in Afghanistan and 71% made in Iraq met the supply chain targets'.
Also last week, the MoD issued a press release about the publication of the report by Bernard Gray, who was commissioned to ‘assess what steps the department was making to reform its procurement process for the Britain’s Armed Forces and suggest further recommendations for how it can be improved’.
His findings identify a number of areas where the acquisition process could be improved. The MoD accepts the report’s 2 main themes:
* a need to bring equipment plans into line with likely available resources
* a need to improve equipment programme planning, management & delivery
The Executive Summary includes the paragraph: ‘Nonetheless, the Ministry of Defence has a substantially overheated equipment programme, with too many types of equipment being ordered for too large a range of tasks at too high a specification. This programme is unaffordable on any likely projection of future budgets’.
Mr Gray has agreed to work with the MoD to develop an overall Strategy for Acquisition Reform to be published in the New Year.
NAO: The language used could hardly be more damming - The Rural Payments Agency and DEFRA have shown scant regard to protecting public money in their administration & management of the EU’s Single Payment Scheme in England, according to the National Audit Office:
* The IT system does not meet the scheme’s needs
* The cost of processing claims, already very high, has continued to increase
* The administration of the scheme is not value for money
Mr Amyas Morse, head of the National Audit Office, said: “This is the third time we have looked at the Single Payment Scheme and there are still significant issues to be resolved. There has been a serious lack of attention to the protection of taxpayers’ interests over the administration of the scheme. There has been a lack of senior management ownership of the scheme in the Agency and DEFRA, even though the risks were previously highlighted by the Committee of Public Accounts”.
ISA: Safe Voyage as the ISA launches - A new era in safeguarding in England, Wales & Northern Ireland has been welcomed by Sir Roger Singleton, Chair of the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA). From 12 October 2009 organisations including those in the health; social care and the education sector (and all other regulated activity providers) have new duties to refer information to the ISA if they have concerns that an employee or volunteer has caused harm or there is a risk of harm to a child or vulnerable adult.
The ISA already receives 400+ referrals a month and its job is to independently assess the individual and decide, based on all the information that is known, whether the individual poses an on-going risk of harm. A series of criminal penalties have also been introduced and the barred lists have been streamlined from 3 down to 2 (Protection of Children Act (POCA), Protection of Vulnerable Adults (PoVA) and List 99).
This is a key phase in the delivery of the Government’s Vetting and Barring Scheme which, from July 2010, will initiate a 5-year phasing strategy for the registration, through the CRB & AccessNI, of individuals who wish to work or volunteer with children or vulnerable adults. This includes all new staff in schools, etc; being ISA-Registered from November 2010.
EHRC: Current Legislation based on rumour not data? - The Equality and Human Rights Commission has launched a report into discrimination experienced by lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) people. 'Beyond Tolerance: Making Sexual Orientation a Public Matter' celebrates the progress that has been made in tackling homophobia in the past 40 years and sets out measures organisations could take to tackle the discrimination that persists.
New research for the report found that some LGB people still don't feel they can be open about their sexual orientation without fear of prejudice or discrimination in key services & sectors, including the workplace & local health practices or hospitals and particularly in schools, universities, colleges & police stations.
A critical recommendation made in the report is to gather more data on sexual orientation. As this is virtually non-existent in Britain public policy decisions are being made based on assumptions about the size, location, or specific needs of the LGB population rather than facts.
BIS: David wins this battle with a Goliath - A UK registered mining company failed to comply with OECD standards for operating overseas, when it did not consult an indigenous group on the construction of a bauxite mine in India, a UK Government examination has found.
The Government’s examination found that Vedanta acted inconsistently with the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises by failing to put in place an adequate & timely consultation mechanism fully to engage the indigenous group Dongria Kondh about the construction of a bauxite mine in the Niyamgiri Hills, India.
A complaint against Vedanta was made by Survival International on 19 December 2008, triggering the start of the complaint procedure by the UK National Contact Point (NCP) for the OECD Guidelines.
WAG: If one cannot follow the lesson there seems no point to school - This autumn, children in schools across Wales will experience a live theatre production as part of the Read a Million Words Together in Wales campaign, which forms an integral part of the Welsh Assembly Government’s basic skills strategy. Its aim is to encourage young boys between the ages of 9 & 14 to read. It is at this stage that many boys begin to fall behind in their reading and, once this happens, it is very hard for boys to catch up.
Cwmni Theatr Arad Goch has been commissioned to develop & perform a production aimed at primary school children. The texts on which the performances are based have been chosen particularly to appeal to boys and especially to motivate those who are reluctant readers.
MoD: Toys for our Boys (& Girls) - A range of items including portable DVD players, games consoles and solar-powered chargers for MP3 players & other personal equipment, are to be supplied to Afghanistan’s Forward Operating Bases as an initial project to get a new type of charity fund – the Operational Welfare Fund - under way – See ‘Charities / Voluntary Organisations / Third Sector’ section for more information.
Forthcoming Event: 'Working Smarter' with Project & Resource Management – Following the publication of the Operational Efficiency Programme review earlier this year, it was claimed that the UK public sector could reduce around 20% of its current annual IT spend by 2014. Add to this the recent reports showing that public sector net borrowing had reached more than £16billion in August 2009; we can expect to see spending cuts outlined across departments in the autumn pre-budget report.
Improved efficiency gains have long been believed as a means to reducing public spending as they can not only reduce costs but also provide more efficient services. Over the last 10 years the Government has introduced a number of programmes and processes to make the most of public spending and to deliver efficient and effective services.
A forthcoming independent white paper, commissioned by Wired-Gov - 'Working Smarter' with Project & Resource Management discusses these programmes and how project and resource management can play an integral part in achieving these goals.
In addition a limited number of seats are still available (public sector registrants only) at six breakfast seminars throughout the UK (November 2009 - January 2010) which will address how effective project and resource management can play a fundamental role in achieving maximum efficiency gains, as well as improving internal processes and resource experience.
Click here to find out more.
For information on other forthcoming public sector events please click HERE to visit the WGPlus Events Calendar
For other Industry News please click HERE
FSCS: The Financial Services Compensation Scheme is trying to reduce the impact on claimants of the current postal strikes (for details of the likely disruption please visit the Royal Mail website). If you had a fixed term bond with Icesave or London Scottish Bank that is due to mature during the planned strike, and you are concerned about delays in receiving your compensation cheque from FSCS, please contact their customer service team by phone on: 0207 892 7300 or 0800 678 1100. Or by email: email@example.com
DCMS: Collaborations between UK and Moroccan film-makers are set to increase after both countries signed up to a package of incentives which will hopefully encourage co-production projects and boost both nations’ film industries.
It is expected to come into force in the first half of 2010, after it has been formally ratified by the Moroccan Government. Any UK filmmaker who wants to work with a Moroccan producer under the treaty will have access to a range of benefits including tax breaks, sources of funding and practical support.
NE: The famous plateau of Kinder Scout has been officially declared a National Nature Reserve (NNR) by Natural England. Owned & managed by the National Trust, Kinder comprises around 700 hectares of various upland habitats, including blanket bog & sub-alpine dwarf shrub heath and also supports several upland breeding birds, notably species of birds of prey & waders, curlew and ring ouzel.
Assessments will be made of the potential to restore damaged habitat areas, including the regeneration of bog mosses, which are fundamental to the long-term process of peat creation and carbon storage. Kinder is among the most popular upland areas in England for walkers and holds a special affection as the site of the famous 1932 Mass Trespass - the catalyst for the creation of our National Parks.
LLUK: A new Professional Development Award (PDA) in Youth Work SCQF Level 6 has been launched in Scotland. The Scottish Qualifications Authority, Lifelong Learning UK Scotland and other stakeholders worked together to produce a qualification based on the National Occupational Standard (NOS) in Youth Work.
The award will allow new recruits, who may have little or no experience of youth work, to develop the knowledge & skills needed to show their competence against the NOS. It will also prepare candidates for progression to SVQs (Scottish Vocational Qualifications) when working in the sector. The award is suitable for part or full time staff, sessional workers and volunteers.
It will also allow those currently working within the Community Learning & Development (CLD) sector (with no formal qualifications) to improve on their professional practice, keep-up-to-date with legislation and develop best practice within their own working environment. In addition, each of the component Units of the PDA can also be delivered individually for CPD purposes.
ACE: Arts Council England has launched its new website. A pioneering interactive map and smart search engine will help users search everything from arts listings to funded organisations or regional offices, by entering their location or postcode. Profiles of Arts Council funded organisations and their work will feature streamed audio & video content, while an ‘Eligibility wizard’ will enable potential ‘Grants for the arts applicants’ to find out whether they are eligible for funding.
EH: English Heritage has unveiled its design for the new proposed visitor centre for Stonehenge. The designs were revealed as a planning application for the visitor centre was made to Wiltshire Council (who will now undertake further public consultation as part of the formal planning process). The new centre will be located at Airman’s Corner, 1.5 miles west from the monument and will not be visible from it.
It is designed to be sensitive to its surroundings and to the significance of the monument. The exhibitions, café, shop & toilets will be housed in a pair of single-storey areas – one glass, the other timber-enclosed - sitting beneath a gently undulating roof. The centre will be linked to the Stones by a low-key transit system and will be fully accessible to disabled visitors.
BIS: Up to 1.5m adult social care workers currently working in England will be able to improve their skills as the National Skills Academy for Social Care has been launched. Backed by over £6m of Government funding, it will also train some of the estimated future 1m highly skilled care workers needed to care for our ageing population.
The Skills Academy has already introduced a National Management Trainee Scheme to attract some of the executives of the future into the adult social care workforce. This scheme, with a pilot of 20 graduates is the first of its kind for social care. The 1-year course is hosted by 20 employers across England and is designed for current graduates from a range of disciplines.
The NSA also plans to increase take-up of apprenticeships at both foundation and advanced levels for young people and adults and to drive up numbers of adults qualified to at least NVQ level 2 and level 3.
TfL: Transport for London (TfL) has announced that it has agreed to continue subsidising the Thames Clipper river service between The O2 in Greenwich and Woolwich Arsenal. The deal, which will be jointly funded by TfL and Greenwich Council, is worth £269,000 over 4 years. It means that the current levels of service between the QEII and Woolwich Arsenal pier will be maintained. The original funding contract ended in January 2009, but the new deal will secure the river service until 2013.
DH: Patients can now rate & compare GP practices on a new online comparison service. Similar to the hospital comparison service launched over the summer, the tool will make it easier to find key information in one place, such as opening times & additional facilities offered by the GP practice. Patients will also be able to read other people’s comments about:
* How easy it is to get an appointment
* How highly they would recommend the GP practice
* How well patients are treated by staff
* If patients felt they were involved in decisions about their care
Last month, the Government announced its intention to abolish GP boundaries within the next year, meaning patients will be able to register with a GP practice of their choice. Under current arrangements, GP practices have catchment areas and tend only to accept patients who live within those areas.
Newswire - CABE: A record number of 36 housing schemes have qualified for a Building for Life standard this year, up by a third from last year. Building for Life is the national standard for well-designed homes & neighbourhoods. Schemes were judged against the 20 Building for Life criteria, which embody CABE and the Home Builder Federation’s vision of functional, attractive and sustainable housing.
DCMS: The Queen has decided that November 8 shall be observed as Remembrance Sunday, and the Secretary of State, on behalf of the Cabinet, is making the necessary arrangements for the ceremony at the Cenotaph. The customary Two Minutes' Silence will be observed from 11.00 am.
Defra: Movements of fish into, out of & within 2 fisheries have been restricted, following the confirmation of Koi Herpesvirus disease at sites in Kent & West Sussex. The outbreaks are not related. Cefas, acting on behalf of Defra, has issued a confirmed designation to each site prohibiting the movement of fish. There are no implications for human health.
Monitor: Monitor, the independent regulator of NHS foundation trusts, has used its formal powers of intervention to appoint - with immediate effect - an Interim Chair at Heatherwood & Wexham Park Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. In July 2009, Monitor found the Trust to be in significant breach of the terms of their Authorisation as a result of a rapid decline in their financial and operational performance.
DH: Sir Ian Kennedy has set out the areas he will consider in his review of NHS services for children, looking at how to build on recent progress and ensure lasting improvements in quality & outcomes for children. The Chief Executive of the NHS, David Nicholson, has commissioned Sir Ian to explore the cultural obstacles that can stand in the way of sustained improvement in the provision of care for children and to consider what can be done to develop the NHS’ contribution to safeguarding children.
DfT: The Government is to protect the route of a potential future Crossrail extension from Abbey Wood to Gravesend in Kent. The scheme’s plans currently terminate at Abbey Wood, but while no decision or commitment to extend it further to Gravesend & Hoo Junction has been made, safeguarding provides additional protection against future developments on the route.
Crossrail (due to open in 2017) will run 118 km from Maidenhead & Heathrow in the west, through new twin-bore 21 km tunnels under central London to Shenfield & Abbey Wood in the east. It will bring an additional 1.5m people within 60 minutes commuting distance of London's key business districts.
STFC: A magnetic charge can behave & interact just like an electric charge in some materials, according to new research conducted at STFC’s ISIS facility and led by the London Centre for Nanotechnology (LCN) which could lead to a reassessment of current magnetism theories, as well as significant technological advances.
The research proves the existence of atom-sized ‘magnetic charges’ that behave and interact just like more familiar electric charges. It also demonstrates a perfect symmetry between electricity & magnetism – a phenomenon dubbed ‘magnetricity' by the authors from the LCN and the Science and Technology Facility Council’s ISIS Neutron and Muon Source.
TfL: Transport for London (TfL) has welcomed an announcement by Sadiq Khan MP that the Government has approved the introduction of a roadworks permit scheme in London. TfL & 18 borough councils across London have been working on a London wide permit scheme, which was submitted to the Department for Transport (DfT) for approval.
Under the scheme utility companies who want to dig up roads will have to apply for a permit before they can begin. Permitting will enable TfL and the London boroughs to proactively plan & coordinate the timing of works, providing greater opportunities for utility companies to carry out works at the same time, helping to reduce disruption to road users.
DCMS: Minister for Sport, Gerry Sutcliffe MP, has announced a start date of 14 December 2009 for UK Anti-Doping (UKAD), the UK’s first stand-alone anti-doping body, to assume responsibility for the UK’s national anti-doping programme.
Based at Cockspur Street in central London, the new agency will be headed by Chair David Kenworthy, and Chief Executive Andy Parkinson, who will be supported by an experienced senior team, the recruitment of which is currently being finalised.
Also announced were two new initiatives planned to be operational in early 2010 a ‘Drug Cheats’ hotline and an Athlete Committee. The confidential telephone line will act as an outlet for anyone with information on doping or supply of banned substances in sport. The Athlete Committee will help UKAD form closer relationships with the athlete community and better understand how best to support athletes in the future.
HMRC: A record 83,000 scam emails offering fake tax refunds were reported to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) in September 2009. The online attacks, known as ‘phishing’, have continued this month, with an unprecedented 10,000 reports of the fraud made to HMRC on one day alone.
The scam email tells the recipient they are due a tax refund and then asks for bank account or credit card details. Anyone who gives these details to the fraudsters risks their bank accounts being emptied and credit cards maxed to their limit. The latest version of this scam originates from various different websites, which operate for 20 minutes before changing their domain name.
John Harrison, Head of HMRC Customer Contact Online, said: “We only contact customers who are due a refund in writing by post. We never use emails, telephone calls or external companies in these circumstances. I would strongly encourage anyone receiving such an email not to open it, send it to us for investigation at firstname.lastname@example.org and then delete it from their computer.”
HO: The £4m Community Cashback scheme gives local people a direct say on how criminal assets are spent in the fight against crime & antisocial behaviour. The new scheme is funded by cash & assets seized from criminals.
More than 45,000 votes were received from members of the public for 1,225 community projects via a dedicated website, neighbourhood policing meetings and through Citizens’ Panels. A total of 269 projects will receive a share of the fund with work now beginning on the first projects.
NA: A collection of early Irish maps (c.1558 – c.1610) from the 'State Papers Ireland' has been made available online by The National Archives. The stunning collection comprises more than 70 different maps, which are among the earliest cartographic representations of Ireland, depicting plantations, fortifications and townships during the reigns of Elizabeth I and James I.
Rose Mitchell, Map Specialist at The National Archives, said: “These maps were drawn at a time when the English were colonising or ‘planting’ Ireland. By transferring land ownership from the native Irish to English settlers, the English were trying to increase the loyalty of Ireland to the English crown”. To celebrate the launch of the digitised collection, The National Archives is offering a free download of the barony map of Tullyhaw, County Cavan from DocumentsOnline.
PCS: 850 PCS members working for Fujitsu have begun a ballot on industrial action in support of the union’s campaign to save jobs, pay & pensions in the company. The decision to ballot follows Fujitsu’s announcement that they are cutting 1,200 in the UK.
PCS members provide IT support to essential government services including taxes, defence and driving licences. The PCS ballot closes on 29 October with the result announced shortly after.
ScotGov: The H1N1 vaccination programme will begin in Scotland on 21 October 2009. Further details on the plans, which will be phased in over the next few weeks, were announced by Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing Nicola Sturgeon, who also revealed that the majority of the vaccine will be administered in a single dose. Children under the age of 10 and in the ‘at risk group’ will require two doses.
FSA: Asda has withdrawn some packs of its 2 Pack Cream Slice, because they have been incorrectly packaged and may contain 2 Pack Custard Slice. This means the product is a possible health risk for anyone with an allergy to egg. The Agency has issued an Allergy Alert and if you are allergic to egg you are advised not to eat this product.
Policy Statements and Initiatives
CLG: The government is taking on the role of protecting the traditional market in the face of increasing pressures threatening its long term survival. Markets are a national tradition, but the growth of out of town supermarkets, discount stores, internet shopping and the current economic climate have caused a prolonged decline in many places.
To ensure that the traditional market survives, the Government will champion the interests of all markets with a new body that will bring together key government departments, representatives from the retail markets industry and the Local Government Association.
WAG: Clinicians to lead new teams to care for people living with eating disorders are being sought, Health Minister Edwina Hart announced recently. Mrs Hart has approved proposals by Health Boards to utilise WAG funding to develop 2 teams, one for North Wales and one for South Wales, to improve diagnosis, care and support for those with eating disorders.
The South Wales team will be spilt to focus on individual health organisations across the area but working together to share expertise. The teams will include specialists, working with existing GP surgeries, social services and mental health services. Funding of £0.5m is available in 2009/10 to begin the development of the service and provide extra training. This will rise to £1m every year to develop sustained services.
ScotGov: A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between the Association of Indian Universities (AIU) and its Scottish equivalent, Universities Scotland, to promote co-operation between Indian & Scottish higher education institutions.
This MoU was facilitated by Scotland's international development agency Scottish Development International (SDI). To further develop the relationship between Scotland & India, SDI will lead its first education mission to India in November where Scottish university principals & professors will attend the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry's Higher Education Summit and where Scotland will feature prominently as an event partner.
DH: More than 100,000 people will benefit from a new wave of talking therapy services that started going live across the country on, World Mental Health Day. The 52 new sites will help people with depression & anxiety disorders access NICE approved treatments, including cognitive behavioural therapies, counselling and guided self-help.
One in four people suffer from a mental health problem at any one time and mental ill health costs the economy over £77bn a year, according to estimates. The Government is developing a new strategy for mental health for the coming years called New Horizons, currently out for consultation.
CLG: There has been an alarming increase in the number of young people losing their lives in domestic fires. Latest Fire Statistics reveal that the number of people aged 17 to 24 killed in accidental house fires, in England, increased by 14% from 2006 to 2007. These figures come despite a 15% drop in the total number of fatal fires in England in the same period.
That's why a Fire Kills campaign is urging students to stay safe from fire, as they move into homes outside the security of halls of residence. The Government is supporting the campaign by funding 24 fire safety ambassadors students in universities across England to raise awareness of fire safety among their fellow students. The student ambassadors will also work closely with their local F&R services to help spread fire safety messages.
DCSF: Schools Minister Diana Johnson recently announced new proposals for home educated children with special educational needs (SEN), signalling the ‘start of a new relationship between local authorities and families who choose to educate at home’.
The commitment came as Secretary of State for CSF, Ed Balls sent the Government’s full response to Graham Badman’s Review of Elective Home Education to the Chair of the Children, Schools and Families Select Committee.
The response sets out a new support package for home educated children, which includes better access to GCSEs, vocational qualifications & further education. The proposed changes to monitoring arrangements will also make sure that the right checks & balances are in place so all children receive a suitable education, in a safe environment.
DH: The Department of Health's 'Dance Champions' Group, will embark on a nationwide tour to get the country dancing, as part of a campaign (Dance4Life) to get 100,000 people more active through dance in the run up to the 2012 Olympic Games.
HO: Extra help for victims of anti-social behaviour, a crackdown on those that breach ASBOs and new local minimum service standards agreed with the public (that outline what they should expect from councils, police & social landlords to deal with intimidation), has been pledged by Home Secretary Alan Johnson.
The new measures introduced include better support for victims of ASB and driving up prosecutions when ASBOs are breached. Acknowledging good work in some areas, the Home Secretary also announced that by March 2010 he expects to see all local areas delivering a minimum set of standards. In addition, victim & witness champions will be established in 85 priority areas backed by almost £2.8m of funding between now & 2011.
WAG: The Deputy First Minister Ieuan Wyn Jones has announced that he will lead a new Economic Renewal Programme for Walesto ensure that the right policies & structures are in place to build a more sustainable economy following the recession.
The new programme has been announced in light of the changing international economic outlook and following the publication of the independent benchmarking exercise on International Business Wales by Glen Massey, which pointed to the need for fundamental changes in the way the WAG secures & retains inward investment.
WAG: A new initiative called ‘CânSing’ aimed at helping school children in Wales find their voice and take up singing has been launched by Education Minister Jane Hutt, backed up with almost £476,000 of Welsh Assembly Government funding over a 3 year period.
‘CânSing’ is about giving young children more opportunities to sing at school, both as part of activities within the curriculum, as well as out of lesson time. The programme, delivered in partnership the charity ContinYou and local authorities will be aimed at pupils in Years 5, 6 and 7. Its key element lies in providing schools with a training programme and curriculum-linked resources to support the teaching of singing.
DCSF: Acoustic testing will be a contractual requirement for all Building Schools for the Future projects in England and no future funding will be signed off for a BSF secondary school building project without a commitment to having the £6,000 acoustic test.
The requirement is part of a package of measures to improve acoustics in schools and ensure that all children, particularly those with hearing difficulties, have access to a learning environment which enables them to reach their full potential. It comes on top of the Minimum Design Standard being brought into the BSF programme to strengthen the design quality which ministers announced in May 2009.
WAG: Health Minister Edwina Hart has launched an innovative pilot project which will support older people who are admitted to hospital to return home as soon as they are well enough to do so. The project will start in November 2009 and will be trialled for 6 months at Wrexham Maelor Hospital.
The ‘Frailty Fast Track Project’ has been developed in response to concerns that older people who need hospital treatment for relatively minor conditions, sometimes experience unnecessary delays so that their ability to care for themselves declines. It will allow older patients to recuperate and be looked after at home, rather than the need to be transferred to a care home.
WAG: Education Minister Jane Hutt has announced changes in initial teacher training (ITT) incentives for postgraduate courses for the 2010/11 academic year. Each of the postgraduate ITT incentive bands will be increased by £1,800 from September 2010. This change is aimed at maintaining the Welsh Assembly Government’s support for those on postgraduate ITT courses in the light of the phasing out of the Tuition Fee Grant, which will not be available for new students from the 2010/11 academic year.
The priority incentives (£9,000 for new eligible students from 2010/11) will be specifically focussed on recruitment to secondary postgraduate courses in mathematics; chemistry; physics; information and communications technology (ICT); and design & technology. Welsh, both first & second language, will also be a priority incentive.
DH: At report stage of the Health Bill in the Commons recently, MPs agreed the Government's proposals which mean that shops will no longer be allowed to promote tobacco in enticing multi-coloured displays. MPs also agreed to an amendment, tabled by Ian McCartney MP, to prohibit tobacco vending machines.
The nuts & bolts of how the Government’s proposed new tobacco control laws will work in practice are now out for consultation (closes on 4 January 2010). The Government is calling for views about key elements of the laws to make sure they are practical & affordable.
BIS: Following Lord Mandelson’s announcement of a postgraduate review in July 2009, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has issued a call for evidence from all those with an interest in this topic.
The Review, headed by Professor Adrian Smith, will consider the benefits of postgraduate study to the economy and the UK as a whole, as well as other wide-ranging issues including research competitiveness and the UK’s international position. It is due to report back by Spring 2010 and will look at both the strengths & weaknesses of the current system, including the diverse way services are provided across the sector.
BIS: The Government has set out its plans to give Britain’s 1.3m agency workers a fairer deal in the workplace. As agreed last year by the TUC & CBI, the changes will give agency workers the right to the same pay, holidays and basic conditions as permanent staff after 12 weeks on a given job.
The government has now published a consultation (closes on 11 December 2009) which sets out detailed proposals for implementation in the UK of the EU’s Agency Workers Directive. It follows a policy consultation that took place earlier in 2009.
BIS: The Government has launched a consultation (closes on 8 January 2010) setting out its intention to implement a series of recommendations (through a Direction to Ofcom) made by the Independent Spectrum Broker (ISB), Kip Meek, on how to make the best use of the digital spectrum – the airwaves which all mobile telecommunications networks need to operate.
The proposals will make available parts of the spectrum suitable for mobile broadband and 3G to offer more sophisticated services & applications. Lack of bandwidth & exclusive use of certain wavelengths for 2G services, such as voice calls & text messages, has constrained the expansion of mobile internet services.
MoJ: The government has launched a public consultation (closes on 7 January 2010) on whether to introduce prison sentences for those found guilty of offences related to obtaining, disclosing, or selling personal data. The proposals could see those convicted imprisoned for up to 12 months (magistrates’ court), or up to 2 years (Crown Court). The courts will also be able to impose community sentences & fines if appropriate.
The government is clear that it does not wish to restrict legitimate data processing in the public interest – claiming that ‘legitimate & responsible journalism has an important place within a democratic society and the government firmly supports the freedom of the press’.
The consultation will therefore also look at whether an additional defence should be introduced for those acting for the purposes of journalism, art or literature with a view to publishing such material in the reasonable belief that the obtaining, disclosing or selling of the information is in the public interest.
Guidance Notes and Best Practice Guides
LLUK: Mental ill-health remains largely misunderstood in FE colleges according to Lifelong Learning UK. The majority of FE staff who have declared a disability (2.7%) prefer not to specify the nature of their impairment, only 0.02% of staff state they have a mental health condition, compared to 0.5% of staff declaring a physical impairment.
With separate research from 'Time to Change' showing that 1 in 4 adults experience mental health problems in any one year, LLUK is concerned that not enough is being done to support staff experiencing mental health difficulties. In a move to de-stigmatise mental ill-health, LLUK is by providing advice (see press release for details) on what FE colleges can do to improve support to staff experiencing mental health issues.
CRC: The East of England Development Agency (EEDA) has published a short guide to rural proofing in economic development to make it easier for organisations to assess their approach to rural needs at three levels:
* organisational infrastructure
* strategic priority setting
* individual interventions
EEDA's guide complements the Commission for Rural Communities’ own Rural Proofing toolkit which includes guidance & case studies to help to ensure domestic policies take account of rural circumstances & needs.
EH: The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) and English Heritage have launched their first joint 'How to' Guide outlining a new development-led approach to masterplanning, which advocates assessing the historic character of a site right at the earliest stages of redevelopment.
The Guide - Capitalising on the inherited landscape – an introduction to historic characterisation for masterplanning - is the product of an joint pilot project between the 2 agencies. This took the established conservation-led Historic Characterisation approach – encouraging the use of specific techniques to identify the distinctive characteristics of a site in order to explain an inherited sense of place and identity – as a starting point - and tested its value at different stages of the development process.
The Guide also offers a way to contribute to UK implementation of the Council of Europe's 'European Landscape Convention', which aims to shape & enhance future landscape & place in town as well as in country.
FSA: A Government scheme, supported by the Food Standards Agency, aimed at encouraging & recognising best practice among public sector organisations buying & serving healthier, more sustainable food, is recruiting for its pilot phase.
The voluntary scheme, which has the working title 'Healthier Food Mark', is being set up by the Department of Health, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Food Standards Agency, working as part of a cross-Government group with the food industry, public sector organisations and other stakeholders.
The scheme is being tested as a pre-consultation pilot in 2009-10. A full consultation on the scheme will follow in 2010 with the aim of rolling out the scheme in 2011.
LSIS: The Learning and Skills Improvement Service (LSIS) and LSC have jointly published guidance for FE colleges & providers, to help them to self-assess equality and diversity. The guidance is intended to help providers prepare for Ofsted’s new ‘limiting’ equality & diversity inspection grade and the Government’s proposed new equality duties. It also includes sections on funding body requirements and workforce development.
CRC: Roger Turner, head of the Commission for Rural Communities Rural Economies programme, spoke last week at the 'Re-Skilling for Recovery in your Region' Conference about making welfare work for rural England.
He drew on the CRC’s new research 'Delivering national employment and skills programmes to vulnerable groups in rural England: Needs, barriers and solutions', examining the effectiveness of national employment & skills programmes in meeting the needs of vulnerable rural residents in helping them into work, remain in work and progress in work.
The study also reveals that local providers encounter barriers that result in higher delivery costs – which in turn means the provision of employment and skills services in rural areas may be more limited and sometimes of a lower quality than in urban areas.
SGC: The Sentencing Guideline Council’s definitive guideline on fraud offences provides comprehensive advice on a wide range of statutory offences, including new offences introduced by the Fraud Act 2006, which provides for maximum sentences of up to 10 years imprisonment – See ‘Legislation / Legal’ section for more information.
DCSF: A new benchmark for youth sport has been set with the publication of the PE & Sport Survey 2008/09. The survey is the sixth carried out by the Government and the first one since the target for 5- to 16-year-olds to do at least 2 hours of sport each week was met last year.
The latest benchmark for the 5-hour offer has now been set as the 2008/09 survey reveals that only 51% of pupils took part in at least 3 hours sport in a typical week.
ScotGov: Scotland's Chief Statistician has published Work and Worklessness among Households in Scotland 2009, which provides information on the economic activity status of working age households in Scotland and its local authorities.
CQC: The Care Quality Commission has published performance ratings for all 392 NHS trusts in England. It also commended the significant improvement in ratings for financial management, which is good news coming into a period of restraint on public spending.
But CQC raised concerns about the 20 trusts rated ‘weak’ this year on Quality and a further 27 that have not been higher than ‘fair’ for Quality & Financial Management in the last 4 years. These organisations face a tough challenge to meet requirements of the new registration system, which CQC will introduce next year.
HEFCE: An independent survey of HEFCE's main stakeholders, other than higher education institutions (HEIs) & further education colleges, found that there has been a shift in the way they rate many aspects of their relationship with HEFCE from 'good' to 'very good'. The survey conducted by Ipsos MORI found that external organisations with an interest in higher education (HE) recognise an improvement in the quality of HEFCE’s relationships with them since the last survey in 2005.
IfL: The Institute for Learning (IfL) and the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) have produced a film addressing the important contribution that teachers & trainers in further education & skills play in helping realise the UK's ambition of being in the top 8 countries in the world for skills, jobs and productivity. This joint venture builds on the Ambition 2020: World Class Skills and Jobs for the UK report published by UKCES in May 2009.
IfL: The Institute for Learning (IfL) is ‘making a difference for teachers and trainers’. The professional body has published a review of its progress since the introduction of membership for all teachers & trainers across the further education & skills sector. Covering the years 2008 to 2009, the report focuses on the 3 strategic priorities that IfL developed with members and set out in its 5-Year Strategy.
General Reports and Other Publications
DH: Proposals to improve access to childcare, introduce part time training and improve career guidance have been outlined in a report published as some of the key ways to help improve the future career prospects of women doctors.
The National Working Group on Women in Medicine’s report ‘Women Doctors: Making a Difference’, highlights current barriers that prevent female practitioners in the medical profession from reaching senior positions & leadership roles and sets out recommendations on how best to address these.
FSA: The Food Standards Agency has published an evaluation report of FSA Mission: Possible!, a UK-wide pilot scheme aimed at teaching food hygiene messages to children aged 8 to 10 (key stage 2). The report concludes that the pilot was a success. The scheme's secret agent concept captured pupils' imaginations and allowed them to develop a range of skills that could be applied to the wider curriculum, such as carrying out scientific investigation.
With the pilot stage now complete, the Agency is considering options for the future development of the project. The long-term development of FSA Mission: Possible! will depend on how well it can be integrated into the school science curriculum.
Defra: The path to Britain becoming a zero waste nation was recently announced by Environment Secretary Hilary Benn at a summit of Local Authorities and the waste industry. In 2010, Defra will consult on what recyclable & compostable items should be banned from landfill and how a ban will work, so that we can exclude the most climate damaging substances from landfill by 2020 at the latest.
WAG: A report on the independent investigation of expenses claimed by International Business Wales (IBW) staff has been published in full by the Welsh Assembly Government. The forensic investigation into expenditure was conducted by KPMG – one of the UK’s leading providers of professional services, who examined more than 7,000 transactions in a detailed 2-month study.
This report follows an independent review to assess how the Welsh Assembly Government performs its inward investment function compared with competition elsewhere in the UK.
CRC: The Commission for Rural Communities has recently responded to 2 consultations on coastal policy from Defra and CLG:
* Defra's 'Consultation on Coastal Change Policy' concentrates on how coastal communities can successfully adapt to coastal change
* CLG's 'Consultation on a new planning policy on development and coastal change', which the government ultimately intends to combine with 'PPS 25 Development and Flood Risk' concentrates on development appropriate to coastal areas at risk
DH: A new report showing how communities have been inspired & helped to improve the health of all their residents has been published. The Communities for Health programme is helping some of the most disadvantaged communities in the country. More than 360 local activities have enabled people to take control of their own health & wellbeing, tackling obesity, smoking, drugs and alcohol.
This second report about the Programme - Unlocking the energy within communities to improve health - describes how community activities in more than 80 local authorities have encouraged behaviour change and strengthened local partnership to tackle a wide range of key health priorities.
NE: Natural England has published a report claiming that investment in the natural environment is critical to long term economic prosperity and that natural services provide a highly cost effective solution to growing problems like flood & coastal defence, carbon emissions and the preservation of soil, water & air quality.
No Charge? Valuing the Natural Environment pulls together leading research to show that the economic value of nature now runs to £bns in the UK alone and that there are major savings to be made through looking after it.
Ofsted: Ofsted’s latest evaluation of 173 serious case reviews (SCRs) has found evidence to suggest that Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs) are taking a more robust approach in carrying out their SCRs to support the learning of lessons from these tragic incidents and improve their practice.
These reviews are being carried out more quickly & with greater levels of independence, and the backlog of historic cases is largely now addressed. In addition there is evidence that LSCBs are co-operating more readily where a review spans more than one area. However, weaknesses still exist with 34% of reviews judged as inadequate.
WAG: Credit Union membership amongst adults in Wales has increased from 11,000 in 2000 to 42,000 in 2007, with a further 7,500 child members, thanks in part to £8m of support from the Welsh Assembly Government and Europe, a new report has claimed.
Deputy Minister for Regeneration Leighton Andrews launched the report last week to mark International Credit Union Day. ‘Realising the Potential’ was commissioned by the Welsh Assembly Government and carried out by UWIC’s Cardiff Institute for Co-operative Studies.
Legislation / Legal
HSE: The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is warning school governing bodies to ensure that correct risk assessments are undertaken and precautionary advice is issued when pupils are using hazardous substances. The advice comes after a 6th form student was left with only two fingers after using plaster of Paris to make a cast of her own hands in an A-Level Art & Design class.
A risk assessment, required by law, for the handling of hazardous substances had not been carried out, the class pupils had not been told by their teacher of the potential dangers of plaster of Paris and the pupils had not been instructed to wear gloves or other protective equipment when handling the substance. In addition, the school’s Governing body did not report the incident. The HSE was told by the plastic surgeon who treated the burns.
It is important to note that the school’s Governing body was deemed responsible and not the local authority because the school has foundation status and is therefore not governed by the local authority.
CLG: Councils are to be given new legislative powers to establish mutual insurance companies in light of the recent London Authorities Mutual Limited (LAML) court judgement. Urgent new amendments have been laid on the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Bill that will give 'best value' authorities legislative power to join together to set up & participate in mutual insurance companies.
These steps follow the recent court ruling that Brent council did not have the necessary powers to set up LAML. Member councils participating in LAML claimed to have saved 15% on insurance premiums as a result.
DCSF: Children’s Secretary Ed Balls recently wrote to Ofsted to propose an end to the regulation of reciprocal childcare arrangements between friends. The Children’s Secretary asked Ofsted to treat, with immediate effect, all childcare arrangements made between friends with no financial reward & of mutual aid as beyond regulated childcare and therefore without requirement of regulation & registration.
He also announced he is setting in train the process required to clarify the relevant legislation to exempt from registration reciprocal childcare arrangements between friends.
MoJ: The Ministry of Justice has announced a review (by Sir Ian Magee) into the delivery of legal aid, which is meant to ensure that the £2.bn currently spent on legal aid every year is delivering best value for money, providing a healthy & sustainable future for social welfare law and effectively integrating the criminal defence service with the criminal justice system. Individuals & organisations interested in providing input into the Magee Review can do so via email.
Legal Aid costs per head of population in England & Wales run at £38 per head compared with £30 in Scotland, £36 in Northern Ireland and the following in comparable common law countries: £8 in the Republic of Ireland, £5 in Canada, £8 in New Zealand and £9 in Australia. Expenditure on the Criminal Defence Service has risen from £873m to £1.2bn and the Community Legal Service from £719m to £914m over the past 9 years.
SGC: The Sentencing Guideline Council’s definitive guideline on fraud offences provides comprehensive advice on a wide range of statutory offences, including new offences introduced by the Fraud Act 2006 which provides for maximum sentences of up to 10 years imprisonment.
The new guideline does not include the common law offence of cheating the public revenue, which is generally reserved for the most serious offences and where a sentence in excess of the statutory maximum for other offences would be proper, or those cases where offenders are convicted of conspiracy to defraud.
Offences covered by the guideline are grouped by types of fraud rather than by the specific offence of which a person is convicted to encourage a consistent approach. Among the types covered are: confidence fraud; banking & insurance fraud; and benefit fraud.
EU Legislation, Initiatives, etc.
Defra: Special fishing permits for English, Welsh & Northern Irish registered fishing boats, allowing the removal of shark fins at sea, are to be stopped. Scotland will simultaneously be announcing plans to cease issuing permits to their fleet. Any sharks caught by UK registered vessels will now have to be landed with the fin attached.
Shark finning is the practice of removing fins from the shark and disposing the carcass at sea. The high price for fins gives an incentive for this wasteful practice.
BIS: Business Minister Ian Lucas is urging companies, including SMEs, in the services sector to take advantage of new opportunities to do business with Europe. Mr Lucas highlighted the opportunities for firms following implementation of the EU Services Directive which comes into force at the end of 2009.
The aim of the Services Directive is to reduce the barriers and red-tape that can make it more difficult for service providers to enter new markets and compete outside of their home country. Sectors such as construction, business consultancy, leisure and hospitality, accountancy and legal services could potentially benefit. Regulations were, last week, laid before Parliament to implement the Directive in the UK.
Charity and Voluntary Sector
MoD: The equipment they use to fight the enemy costs £bns to develop and incorporates the very latest technology – but now troops serving on Afghanistan’s front line are about to see their down time made brighter ,with the provision of modern consumer gadgets.
A range of items including portable DVD players, games consoles and solar-powered chargers for MP3 players and other personal equipment, are to be supplied to Afghanistan’s Forward Operating Bases as an initial project to get a new type of charity fund – the Operational Welfare Fund - under way. Thanks to sponsorship, the scheme has received a valuable kick-start and will be able to start shipping these gadgets out to Theatre in a matter of days.
One of the key aims behind the new fund is to give members of the public - who have consistently demonstrated their generosity towards service personnel - a genuine alternative to sending their own parcels to operational theatre in the run-up to Christmas. Although it is recognised & appreciated that people have the best of intentions when they send festive gifts out to troops, the MoD is stressing that donating to the Operational Welfare Fund represents a much more effective way of supporting the troops.
BIG: An England-wide scheme to provide a listening ear to adults who suffered trauma in their childhood is amongst 40 projects receiving funding from the Big Lottery Fund as part of £11m from BIG’s Reaching Communities programme. The money has beenawarded to organisations working with some of the most vulnerable & socially excluded people across the country.
The National Association for People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC) received £495,210 to increase the capacity of their national freephone support line for adults who suffered abuse as children. Volunteers are trained to offer a sympathetic ear, allowing callers the opportunity to discuss their experiences with a non-judgmental listener and be signposted to other organisations that can help them deal with past issues face-to-face.
Cabinet Office: The Office of the Third Sector, in association with Ipsos MORI and Guidestar, is working with local groups in Gloucestershire, Bury and Hackney to conduct a pilot survey of local third sector organisations including charities, voluntary groups, community-led organisations and social enterprises.
These 3 pilot surveys will help develop understanding of the needs of local & national third sector organisations and their local relationships. The pilot surveys will be targeted at smaller & unregistered organisations in each area. The data gathered will supplement the results of the National Survey carried out earlier this year.
CO: Dame Mary Marsh, Director of the Clore Social Leadership Programme, a new initiative to identify & develop emerging talent in the third sector, has announced the names of the first Fellows, who will start their programme in January 2010.
The programme is modelled on the influential Clore Leadership Programme for the cultural sector, which was founded in 2004, with the aim of helping to train & develop a new generation of leaders in the arts in the UK. Fellows have been selected annually from the cultural sector & beyond, to undertake an individually tailored programme of tuition, research, mentoring & secondment designed to develop their leadership skills, knowledge and experience.
ScotGov: Small charitable organisations are set to benefit from improvements to the Scottish Government's Water Services Charges Exemption Scheme, which will help ensure that registered charities with a small income will continue to be eligible for exemption from water & sewerage charges from 2010 to 2015.
BIG: 6 of the UK’s much-loved parks are celebrating a boost of over £18m from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Big Lottery Fund (BIG). This cash injection from the joint Parks for People programme brings the total invested in public parks & the environment by the two Lottery good cause distributors to well over £1bn.
Business and Other Briefings
BIS: A new package of measures ‘cutting the costs of new laws that will benefit businesses both immediately and in the longer term’ has been announced by Business Minister Ian Lucas. Businesses will benefit by timing the introduction of 26 regulations to take account current economic circumstances. This will save them £3.5bn in new costs with a longer term commitment to cut a further £6.5bn from the ongoing costs of regulation.
CLG: Businesses have been urged, in a new campaign, to give more people the opportunity to volunteer for civic roles as Communities Secretary John Denham announced a new campaign to ‘promote the benefits of getting involved’. The campaign includes a new employer information pack and case studies on how it has worked for others and information on next steps will also be included.
Many businesses already support employees being school governors, councillors, magistrates or members of public bodies, and preliminary findings from the Institute of Directors show there are real benefits to be gained. A key finding shows 76% of directors noticed the benefit of skills that their employees had picked up in voluntary roles.
John Denham wants more people to have influence & a bigger say in shaping the places in which they live and the public services they use. These include getting involved as members of probation boards, youth offender panels, councils' overview & scrutiny committees, or board members of tenant management associations.
This brief replaces Revenue & Customs Brief 62/09 which contains a formatting error in the section 'Impact on theatres'. The content of the brief is otherwise unchanged. HMRC has revised its policy on input tax recovery on the costs of staging shows (production costs) for which the theatre's admissions are VAT exempt. It follows the tribunal decision in Garsington Opera Limited.
Following the decision of the European Court of Justice in the case of TNT Post UK Ltd, certain postal services supplied by Royal Mail are to become liable to VAT at the standard rate
This Brief outlines HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) policy in relation to an amusement machine playing a game called 'Stacker' and its liability to Amusement Machine Licence Duty (AMLD).
Guidance on HMRC's view of the inheritance Tax position in relation to contributions made to an Employee Benefit Trust.
OS: A three-dimensional map made from 700m individual points of light is the latest step in a geography revolution unfolding on the south coast. Ordnance Survey has been trialling the use of incredibly accurate lasers to create a spectacularly detailed map that could change the way the national mapping agency works and transform the way we think of maps forever.
The trials have been carried out in Bournemouth, with the town centre captured in ‘startling’ detail. Experts say the technology could revolutionise the future of personal navigation, tourism and the planning process as well as aiding architects and the emergency & security services.
The mapping agency has also been in consultation with businesses that want to view buildings in 3D and calculate heat loss from individual floors & walls in order to improve energy efficiency and drive down carbon emissions. OS says that it will be continuing with trials to help perfect the technology, but expects detailed mapping in 3 dimensions to be a reality within the next 5 years.
OS: Ordnance Survey and Land Registry have announced a significant data centre shared service agreement, the first of its type for central government. Under this agreement LR has leased to OS 219sqm of serviced & managed space, in its secure data centre in Gloucester.
This dedicated ‘data centre within a data centre’ will house a proportion of Ordnance Survey’s production IT infrastructure for the next 5 years as well as supporting the launch of a new database management system. It will facilitate essential IT Business continuity services in conjunction with Ordnance Survey’s new head office & operations base, being built in Southampton.
ScotGov: An internationally acclaimed designer, will be working with Scottish projects on plans for low-carbon communities. Andres Duany, who drew up designs for rebuilding work in Louisiana and Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina, will run design workshops, known as 'charrettes', for projects in Dumfries, Aberdeen and Fife.
The projects are taking part in a government initiative set up to encourage the development of new sustainable communities where residents can enjoy a high quality of life while reducing their carbon footprint. Mr Duany will work with 3 projects - Ladyfield in Dumfries, Grandhome & Whitestripes in Aberdeen and Lochgelly in Fife. The charrettes are expected to run for 3 weeks in March 2010 and will involve intensive events focusing on project design.
ScotGov: The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification gained by Stornoway Western Isles Langoustine Fishery in April this year has directly resulted in a hat-trick of good news for the fishermen - with exports up 5%, a new product launch and a deal with a major supermarket.
Young's Premium Whole Isle of Lewis scampi - the UK's first certified sustainable scampi - will be launched in Sainsbury's stores throughout the UK from November 2009. Made from whole langoustine tails landed by the Stornoway fleet & peeled at Young's Stornoway processing facility at Goat Island, the scampi will be coated & packed in Grimsby.
A deal has also been struck with Sainsbury's to serve Stornoway scampi in 220 of its cafes from this autumn. Young's, which invented scampi over 60 years ago, buys around £2.5m of langoustine from the Fishery p.a.
LR: Land Registry currently has 2 offices in Wales: the Swansea Office (in Swansea High Street) and the Wales Office, which operates from Phoenix Way, Llansamlet. As part of the programme to reduce office space, which was announced in 2006, the Swansea Office will close on 11 January 2010 and the administrative areas previously dealt with by that office will be transferred to the Wales Office.
All paper applications which will be received on or after 11 January 2010 and which relate to land in the London boroughs of Barnet, Brent, Ealing, Enfield, Haringey, Harrow, Hillingdon or Hounslow should be sent, or personally delivered, to the Wales Office, unless a written agreement is in place between the registrar and the applicant or applicant’s conveyancer allowing for delivery elsewhere.
The Customer Information Centre at the Swansea Office closed on 31 August 2009. Personal callers can attend the CIC at the Wales Office.
LLUK: The Power of Lifelong Learning: Innovation During a Recession -Tuesday, 8 December 2009, Kings Place, London N1. Faced with the worst recession for many years, it's more important than ever that we keep the skills of the UK's workforce up to date and adaptable. Training, in all its guises, is fundamental to this so we need highly skilled teachers, tutors, trainers, assessors and support staff as well other learning related roles.
At the LLUK 2009 conference you will be able to meet with decision makers, policy makers & influencers, leaders and practitioners to get the inside story on the development of the part of the UK workforce that underpins the rest.
LSIS: With the new Ofsted inspection process now in place, FE & skills providers can prepare themselves with new workshops held by the Learning and Skills Improvement Service (LSIS). The new Common Inspection Framework introduces grading on equality & diversity, safeguarding & value for money, as well as placing a greater emphasis on the learner journey, Every Child Matters and on providers’ ability to demonstrate capacity to improve.
Developed in consultation with Ofsted and with the learning & skills sector, the new Prepared for Inspection? Building and Demonstrating Capacity to Improve workshops have been designed to help providers plan and prepare for the new inspection regime.
The monthly workshops will be held in the north, south & midlands and places are available to providers of adult and community learning; work-based learning; Train to Gain; further education and sixth-form colleges, learndirect and Nextstep.
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