ESRC: Third Sector Providers get personal - Third sector providers of social care services face a host of new challenges (but also opportunities) following the Government’s commitment to expanding personal budgets in social care and the issues are outlined in ‘The impact of personal budgets on third sector providers of social care’.
This new booklet highlights the views of leading experts on social care and the third sector, as presented during a Public Policy Seminar jointly organised by the Economic and Social Council (ESRC) and the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (ACEVO), held in February 2009.
The aim of personal budgets is to enable those who rely on social care services to exercise choice & control over the help they need. However, choice is only a reality if the services and types of support that people choose are available. Are third sector providers of social care well-placed to help those who use social care services including older people, adults with mental health problems and disabled people to enjoy greater choice and control?
In the booklet, seminar speakers Professor David Challis and Professor Caroline Glendinning draw on recent research findings to highlight the perceived threats, barriers & opportunities posed by increased user choice. Fears over rising costs and loss of care workers & clients due to the expansion of personal budgets are just a few of the concerns expressed by third sector organisations.
Newswire – DCSF: Must try harder - Sir Alan Steer’s report - Learning Behaviour: Lesson Learned - claims that there has been progress in raising the standards of behaviour in schools but that, although most children, teachers & schools do very well to tackle bad behaviour, there is no room for complacency and bad behaviour cannot be left untouched. Schools with 'satisfactory' standards have the potential to rise to the challenge to do even better.
As well as the publication of the Sir Alan Steer report and the Government response, the Government has also published:
* guidance for teachers on how to tackle cyber bullying
* new guidance to help prevent bullying outside of school on journeys, in youth clubs, sports clubs, playgrounds, after school clubs, Children’s Homes and in Further Education colleges
• a new leaflet, published jointly with NASUWT, to help teachers & schools understand their powers
Newswire – HAC: Keep politics out of crime - The police should adopt a new protocol setting out the exceptional circumstances under which any politician should be kept informed of developments in an ongoing police operation, says the Home Affairs Committee in a report released last week.
The Committee says that in such politically sensitive cases all decisions made may be subject to question & interpretation and in such circumstances it concludes that it would ‘be sensible not to keep politicians informed during police operations’.
The Committee noted that the Standards Committees of the Greater London Authority and Metropolitan Police Authority found that the Mayor of London Boris Johnson had not breached their code of conduct, but some of his actions were unwise and his motives ‘could have been misinterpreted’.
The Committee wished to investigate specifically the starting point for the police inquiries and the wider conduct of the investigation by the police. The Committee expressed concerns about some of the circumstances surrounding the involvement of the police in the investigations.
It says that leaks are corrosive and cannot be condoned, but that growing frustration in the Home Office and Cabinet Office about the leaks may have led officials to give an exaggerated impression of the damage done by them and that it was ‘unhelpful to give the police the impression that the Home Office leaker(s) had already caused considerable damage to national security’.
The Committee recommends that the Cabinet Office review its guidance on leak inquiries so that the police are called in only when there is clear evidence that a criminal offence under the Official Secrets Act has been committed.
ScotGov: A welcome bit of help - A new resource to help schools meet the needs of children with autism has been launched. The Autism Toolbox, which has been sent to every school & education authority in Scotland, draws on practical examples, literature & research to give guidance to councils and support to schools.
It is funded by the Scottish Government and developed by the National Centre for Autism Studies at the University of Strathclyde. It will help everyone involved in delivering education to those with autism by:
* Giving autism-specific advice aimed at pre-school, primary & secondary school staff to encourage innovative, individualised and creative teaching
* examining how education professionals can work in partnership with parents & families to ensure the best possible outcomes for the child
* Providing schools & education authorities with good practice and exemplars drawn from all over Scotland
* Giving guidance on the different approaches that can be taken to support individuals with autism - both within and out with the educational setting
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