Socitm: Perhaps central government should also take note - The Society of IT Management (Socitm) has worked closely with the Local Government Association/ Welsh Local Government Association and central government on a new publication - Local Government Data Handling Guidelines - that shows councils the steps they need to be taking to keep safe & secure data collected from residents, businesses and other parties.
The guidelines set out fundamental steps that every council should take to lessen risks of personal information being lost or data protection systems failing and include Socitm’s top 10 tips for data handling. Richard Thomas, Information Commissioner, said: “I welcome these guidelines as a significant step towards ensuring the consistent, proportionate and secure use of personal information by government at all levels”.
Socitm will also be working with the LGA/WLGA and IDeA to provide advice & guidance to local authorities in achieving compliance with the Data Handling Guidelines and the Government Connect Code of Connection.
CLG: As we prepare to celebrate the birthday of another ‘rough sleeper’ - A new drive to end rough sleeping by 2012 has been announced by the Government. Ministers said that it is not acceptable for people still to be sleeping rough and announced a new action plan (backed by an allocation of £200m) to prevent rough sleeping and to support those already there to rebuild their lives away from the streets.
CLG: Decentralisation or Divide & Rule by central government? - Communities Secretary Hazel Blears has outlined plans to encourage new town & parish councils to be set up so that more decision-making powers are devolved to local people, particularly in urban areas. Recently passed legislation means that parish councils can now be established in London for the first time in 45 years.
Over £750,000 will be allocated to the National Association of Local Councils, which will work with organisations including the Local Government Association, the Society of Local Council Clerks and the Participatory Budgeting Unit, to:
* develop new good practice guidance on devolving decision-making
* develop a revitalised National Training Strategy for town & parish councillors
* help for councillors to encourage greater community involvement
New & existing councils that successfully meet approved standards will be recognised through NALC's Quality Parish and Town Council Scheme - it is hoped that the number of Quality Councils could rise from around 650 to as many as 2,500 by April 2011.
NAO: The ROI doesn’t add up - A National Audit Office report finds that meeting the 2011 progress target – that 84.5% of pupils make at least two National Curriculum levels of progress in mathematics – will be a considerable challenge. In 2007, pupils in their final year of primary school achieved the best set of results so far recorded in the national mathematics tests, yet almost a quarter of pupils are still not reaching the expected standard.
Attainment in mathematics increased significantly between 1998 & 2000, but improvements in results since then have been small, despite spending by primary schools increasing in real terms by more than 30%.
Ofsted: Failure, Failure Failure? - Ofsted’s Annual report for 2007/08 paints a picture of too many children & young people receiving services that are ‘patently inadequate’ – especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds – despite broad improvements across schools, children’s services and further education.
The report covers the first full year of Ofsted’s wider remit - inspecting & regulating education, childcare, social care, children’s services, adult learning and the skills sector – and highlights that:
* 8% of social care providers are inadequate
* 20% of 11 year olds transfer to secondary school without reaching the expected level in English & maths
* more than half of all pupils leave schools without five good GCSEs - A*s to Cs, including English & maths
The report warns that poor quality services exist ‘at every stage of the education and care sectors’ for children and young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, despite positive contributions by initiatives such as children’s centres, Teach First and London Challenge.
Forthcoming Event: Learn ‘How to’ in 60 minutes rather than a whole day – It’s a common problem for many managers – how to learn about the benefits of new ideas & techniques without having to spend most of a whole day out of the office.
SGS United Kingdom Ltd. provide one solution – their FREE 60 minute webinars - the next of which runs on 10 December 2008 at 10am GMT and explores the background to the Government's new (March 2008) Customer Service Excellence standard, as well as the standard’s key requirements on the drivers of customer satisfaction, namely; delivery, timeliness, staff, professionalism & attitude and information & access. It will also give you the opportunity to ask their experts any questions you may have regarding the standard.
Future webinars will be based on topics directly related to the CSE standard, such as Segmentation & Customer Grouping, Customer Journey mapping and the Key drivers of Customer Satisfaction.
In addition SGS have developed a FREE guide to Customer Service Excellence, which covers the entire path from deciding to go for the standard - right through to the application & certification process. It also contains a full copy of the standard, as well as guidance on the type of evidence required. You can also learn more from organisations that have already achieved recognition to the CSE Standard and gain an insight into their experience and what this achievement means to them.
* Register for event
* Request free guide
* See case studies
For information on other forthcoming public sector events please click HERE to visit the WGPlus Events Calendar
For Industry News please click HERE