DfE: Power to parents for SEN location choice - Ministers are considering how to ensure parents can send their child with special educational needs (SEN) or disabilities to their preferred educational setting – whether that is a mainstream school, special school or an academy.
The plans were outlined as Children’s Minister, Sarah Teather, called on parents, charities, teachers & LAs to contribute to the Government’s SEN Green Paper, which is to be published in autumn 2010. It will aim to ‘improve radically the entire SEN system and will cover issues including school choice, early identification and assessment, funding and family support’.
Alongside the launch of the Call for Views (closes on 15 October 2010), the Children’s Minister confirmed the end of the national disabled children’s services parental survey.
Only a limited number of parents could respond to the survey and ministers want all parents to have the opportunity to get involved in how local services are designed & delivered. The Government welcomes views on how to strengthen the process for ensuring parents’ views affect the services their family receives locally.
CQC: Children are not born 'naughty', but a poor environment doesn't help - The work to turn children away from crime needs to be more focused and to be evaluated better, said independent inspectors, who have recently published a joint report on youth crime prevention.
Inspectors confirmed that a number of factors in a child’s background can make that individual more likely to offend. The report emphasises that it is difficult to turn some of these children away from crime, but details many examples of prevention work that were having a positive impact on children’s lives.
ESRC: Community cohesion develops best in 'nice' areas - What people think about their neighbourhood is much more strongly influenced by deprivation than by the degree of ethnic mixing in the area, according to new research funded by the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC), carried out by researchers from Portsmouth and Southampton Universities.
The study says that while initiatives to promote cohesion are valuable, policy should prioritise on improving disadvantaged areas.
“Previous research has suggested that diverse communities are less cohesive and suffer from problems associated with anti-social behaviour, crime and lack of trust,” Dr Liz Twigg, University of Portsmouth explains: “Our research suggests that this is not true. In general, what people think of their neighbourhood as a place to live is not strongly influenced by the level of ethnic mixing. What is more important are material circumstances - the level of deprivation or prosperity in the area.”
Drawing on multiple sources of data to model the relationship between ethnic diversity and the way people see their neighbourhood. The researchers found no link between the degree of ethnic mixing and high levels of perceived antisocial behaviour, such as spraying graffiti on local buildings, truancy and hooliganism. They also found that people who lived in the most ethnically diverse areas were less likely to think that the national crime rate was increasing.
DCMS: Most of us are not yet convinced as to its benefits yet - Following the publication of the Government’s Digital Radio Action Plan in July 2010, the Consumer Expert Group (CEG) - who advise the DCMS and BIS on the needs of consumers - have published their recommendations on digital radio switchover.
Its recommendations are designed to make sure that consumers are at the heart of the Government’s roadmap to a digital radio switchover and that the needs of older people and people with disabilities are met to ensure that no consumers are left behind.
Among the prerequisites the CEG have called for are:
* the consumer benefits to be clear & demonstrable before a decision on switchover is made
* a full cost-benefits analysis from the user perspective is undertaken
* new & compelling digital radio content to drive the voluntary take-up of digital radio by consumers
* a digital switchover date to only be announced when no more than 30% of listening remains analogue
* coverage & signal strength issues to be resolved
* no digital switchover date to be set until DAB radios have been standard in cars for a minimum of 2 years and reliable solutions to be offered for retro-fitting cars
* suitable equipment to be available for all listeners, including older & disabled people
Forthcoming event: Reducing risk from targeted attacks - Tuesday October 5th, London - When the 'Aurora Attacks' hit the headlines earlier this year, it was far from an isolated case. The criminal intent on display was just one example of many more instances that continue to impact enterprises, but go unreported by the media.
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