Ofsted: Good in parts but could & must do better - In a new report from the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted) inspectors found that most local authorities are making a good contribution towards delivering better outcomes for the majority of children and young people.

However, Narrowing the gap: the inspection of children’s services also finds that for a significant minority provision is not good enough and authorities need to do more to redress this inequity.

However, the biggest challenge continues to be narrowing the gap in opportunities, provision & outcomes between the majority of children & young people and those that are vulnerable or underachieving.

A second significant theme is that strong partnerships between local authorities and other providers are of pivotal importance in order to secure the level of support & style of service delivery that will improve the achievements of children and young people.

Many schools are adopting the National Healthy Schools Programme, with an increasing number of schools achieving the National Healthy Schools standard. However, a common area of weakness is the poor monitoring & assessment of the physical and mental health needs of vulnerable groups, in particular looked-after children and children with disabilities.
Press release ~ Narrowing the gap: The inspection of children’s services ~ Healthy SchoolsWired for Health - National Healthy School Programme ~ National Healthy Schools standard ~ DfES: Children and Families ~ DH - Children’s Services ~ Children's Workforce Strategy Update - Spring 2007 ~ Optio ns for Excellence review ~ Framework for Multi-Agency Environments (FAME) ~ DirectgovKids ~ Tackling Youth Homelessness - Policy Briefing 18 ~ Information about the review into services for children in hospital ~ Building on the best: overview of local authority youth services 2005-06 ~ Looked After Children and Young People: We Can and Must Do Better ~ NAO report on Sure Start Children’s centres ~ Let s talk about it - A review of healthcare in the community for young people who offend ~

~ are ission for Rural Communities have y are they ng that works when dealing with the latest CLG: Isolating the problem is cheaper and more successful - Local communities who are plagued by significant anti-social behaviour from a small number of the country's most badly behaved families have been given a helping hand with the establishment of a network of 53 Family Intervention Projects (FIPs) that will troubleshoot around 1,500 families a year across England.

Currently, problem families can disrupt the quality of life of whole communities and make the lives of residents around them miserable, but they also:

  • put themselves at risk of losing their home
  • their children at risk of being taken into care if it's in their best interest or
  • having enforcement action such as anti-social behaviour orders (ASBOs) taken against them

These families create multiple problems and the way public services intervene currently is not always the most effective. Yet it costs the taxpayer between £250k and £350k per family per year for a range of interventions by public services including social, children's & housing services, policing, court services, criminal justice agencies and others.

Family Intervention Projects provide a single key worker to 'grip' the family and challenge the root causes of their behaviour by giving intensive support, but also apply sanctions if rules are broken. Average project costs range from around £8k per family for those receiving outreach help in their homes or living in managed properties, to around £15k for services providing more intensive services (in a residential core unit).

A review found that, for more than 85% of families, complaints about anti-social behaviour ceased or reduced and in 92% of cases the risk to local communities was assessed as having either reduced or ceased completely by the time the families completed the programmes.
Press release ~ 230: Anti-social Behaviour Intensive Family Support Projects: An Evaluation of Six Pioneering Projects - Communities and Local Government ~ Anti-social Behaviour Intensive Family Support Projects - Communities and Local Government ~ Respect ~ NCH ~ Evaluation of the Impact and Implementation of Community Wardens ~ DCLG - Anti-social behaviour and Housing ~ Community Impact Statements ~ Community justice courts ~ Respect Standard for housing management ~ Respect and Housing Management – Using Good Neighbour Agreements ~ Family Intervention Projects - CLG

LLUK: Mapping out directions for Lifelong Learning - Lifelong Learning UK (LLUK) has published a ‘roadmap’ of activity to help the education sector prepare for the implementation of new teaching qualifications and the introduction of ‘Qualified Teaching Learning & Skills’ (QTLS) status in September 2007.

From that date, all new entrants to post-16 teaching in the sector will be expected to achieve the ‘Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector’ (PTLLS) initial award. Those in a full teaching role will need to achieve Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) status within five years.

The roadmap outlines what will happen and includes anticipated dates for the publication of specific & technical guidance ahead of the reform’s introduction. It is designed to ensure employers, providers & learners within the FE sector are fully aware of the implications of the reform and the preparations they need to make in advance of it.

It has also been designed to act as portal to existing support materials on the implementation of the reforms, which will impact on all teachers, tutors & trainers entering the FE sector, including: further education colleges; work-based learning; adult community learning; offender learning; and those involved in FE teacher training at HE institutions.
Press release ~ Lifelong Learning UK (LLUK) ~ Roadmap and key milestones ~ Teacher Education Reform: FAQs ~ ‘Qualified Teaching Learning & Skills’ (QTLS) ~ Evaluation of the tests and trials of the initial award: 'Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector' ~ National Reference Point for Skills for Life professional development

DH: All trained and nowhere to work - A detailed action plan, which the government hopes will help to increase job opportunities for newly qualified healthcare professionals, has been published.

The plan, which has been put together jointly by the NHS trade unions, the DH and NHS Employers through the Social Partnership Forum, makes a series of practical suggestions as to what NHS, social care, local government, independent & voluntary sector employers and higher education institutions can do together to identify employment opportunities for newly qualified healthcare professionals, including the following:

  • The creation of talent pools of all new qualifiers seeking their first post through the use of NHS Jobs
  • A feasibility study in the East of England which will consider an employment guarantee scheme
  • Employers & SHAs to indicate the expected number of new qualifiers that will need to be employed
  • HE career advisors to offer each qualifying healthcare professional support in their career planning
  • NHS trusts to advertise ‘entry posts’ rather than stipulating set amounts of experience
  • NHS Careers to produce information targeted at new qualifiers seeking wor
  • Employers to provide opportunities for work shadowing for newly qualified healthcare professionals

Press release ~ Action Plan ~ DH: Modernising workforce planning ~NHS Modernisation Agency - Changing Workforce Programme ~ Primary care workforce planning framework ~ NHS Jobs ~ Keep Our NHS Public ~ Modernising Medical Careers website ~ Sir Liam Donaldson's Unfinished Business report - 2002 ~ Modernising Medical Careers Specialist Training Programme ~ Medical Training and Application Service (MTAS) ~ Supporting unemployed graduates - The CSP ~ NHS Careers

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