OfstedThey are people, not objects - The experiences of children placed into care are revealed in a new report.  Among the experiences are many children not knowing that they are going into care until it actually happens and then having no choice about where they are going to live.  Of 28 children who did not know they were going into care, 18 were emergency admissions.

Before care, the latest report by Children’s Rights Director for England, Dr Roger Morgan, is a small but significant survey of 50 children, from different authorities across the country, who recently entered the care system. It provides first hand accounts of children’s experiences before entering care and raises concerns about how ill informed and unprepared some children are when they come into care.

However, the report also shows that once children are in care, the majority (35) felt the right decision had been made for them, with 38 reporting that their life was generally better since they came into care.
Press release ~ Before care ~ Children’s Rights Director ~ Keeping in touch ~ Children’s messages to the Minister report ~ Future rules ~ Parents on Council Care ~  Ofsted – Children’s Rights (scroll down) ~  Reuniting looked after children with their families ~ Safeguarding & looked after children: national results for children’s social work practitioners survey 2010 ~ Safeguarding and looked after children: national third sector organisation survey 2010 ~ Family Life: a grandparents’ guide to supporting families through difficult times ~ Grandparents Plus ~ Kids in the Middle ~ ‘From Care2Work’ programme ~ National Care Advisory Service ~ NCAS Briefing paper ~ AC: Education of looked after children toolkit ~ Support for care leavers ~ Care Matters: Time for Change ~ Educational achievement of looked-after children ~ Frank Buttle Trust Quality Mark ~ Carelaw : A guide for young people in care ~ Looked After Children and Young People: We Can and Must Do Better ~ Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) ~  Childline information sheet ~ JRF: Barriers to change in the social care of children ~ Care and prejudice ~ Resilience and young people leaving care ~ Mentoring for young people leaving care ~ These Are Our Bairns ~ Report analysing responses to the first consultation on Looked After Children (Scotland) Regulations 2008 ~ Ofsted: Looked after children: good practice in schools ~ Life in Children’s homes ~ Life in secure care ~ Directgov: Children in Care ~ CAB:  Children and local authority care ~ Who Cares Trust ~ Families and Social Services Information Team ~ Panorama: The Big Society's big challenge: Kids in care ~ CfSJ: Children in care ~ Barnardos: Children in Care ~ Related DH press release

HSE:  Not quite the rosy image one imagines - A sharp rise in the number of people killed or seriously injured on British farms has wiped out previously achieved safety gains.  New figures released by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) show that in Britain between April 2009 & March 2010, the number of reported major injuries, such as broken bones or amputations, rose to 640, up from 599 the previous year.

The number of major injuries has now increased by more than 40% in the last 3 years.  In June 2010 it was announced that 38 people died as a result of work on farms last year - up from 25 twelve months ago and above the average of 37 for the previous 5 years.  With a rate of fatal injuries to workers in 2009/10 of 8 per 100,000, agriculture remains Britain's most dangerous industry.
Press release ~ H&S Statistics ~ HSE: Farm Safe ~ Farm self-assessment software ~ INDG241- No second chances: A farm machinery safety step-by-step guide ~ Agriculture health and safety, farming industry help and advice ~ Example COSHH risk assessment - Fruit farm ~ Minimising risks to farm visitors from animal bacteria ~ Agriculture: Children and public safety ~ UoL: A guide to the safety issues that need to be considered when working on farms ~ NFU to spearhead farm safety campaign ~ Juniorcitizen.org.uk/kids/farmsafety ~ Interactive Farm Safety Games ~ Farm Fires & Farm Safety

Newswire – UNICEF:  Learning ‘Right’ from ‘Wrong’ - Teaching children about their rights can ‘reduce exclusions & bullying, improve behaviour & teacher-pupil relationships, raise attainment and make for more mature, responsible students’ according to new research published by UNICEF UK.  This evidence is highlighted in a 3-year qualitative study of UNICEF UK’s Rights Respecting School Award (RRSA), undertaken by researchers at the Universities of Sussex and Brighton.

UNICEF UK’s Rights Respecting School Award recognises achievement in putting children’s rights at the heart of all of a school’s planning, policies, practices and ethos.  The aim of the evaluation was to assess the impact of the initiative on the well-being & achievement of children in 31 schools participating in RRSA across English Local Authorities.

At a Rights Respecting School, students’ are taught to distinguish between wants, needs & rights. Children learn that with rights come responsibilities and develop, with teachers, classroom and school charters of how to act within the classroom and school environment.
Press release ~ Evaluation of UNICEF UK's Rights Respecting Schools Award ~ A feature from the Guardian on how UNICEF's RRSA has transformed life at Turton high school in Bolton ~ UNICEF UK's Rights Respecting Schools Award ~ CEC: Behaviour and Discipline in Schools - uncorrected evidence - 27 October 2010 ~ Steer report on behaviour and DfETeachers’ guidance on their powers and rights ~ Teachernet: School discipline and pupil-behaviour policies - Guidance for schools ~ Teachernet: Behaviour and Attendance ~ Directgov: School discipline and exclusions ~ Improving Primary Behaviour: A whole-school approach ~ Recording and Reporting Incidents of Bullying Between Pupils, and Incidents of Abuse against School Staff ~ Consultation on Regulations and Guidance on School Governing Bodies' Power to Refer Pupils to Off-site Provision to Receive Education or Training to Improve their Behaviour ~ Statutory guidance for local authorities and schools on Information Passports, Personal Learning Plans and the Core Entitlement for all pupils in Pupil Referral Units and other Alternative Provision ~ Teachernet: Tackling school bullying ~ Bullying - Don’t Suffer in Silence ~ Teachernet: Racism, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia ~ Teachernet: Racist Bullying ~ Teachernet, Addressing racism and prejudice ~ Teachernet: Behaviour and attendance ~ The relation between parenting, children’s social understanding and language ~ White Paper: Back on Track  -  A strategy for modernising alternative provision for young people ~ Practical guidance on accommodation and design for PRUs, with case studies of good practice ~ Teachers' Guarantee ~ Ofsted: Developing social, emotional and behavioural skills in secondary schools ~ Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL) ~ Developing the social and emotional aspects of learning to support children’s progress and the achievement of curricular targets ~ Good practice in re-engaging disaffected and reluctant students in secondary schools ~ Becoming a problem: how and why children acquire a reputation as ‘naughty’ in the earliest years at school ~ The exclusion from school of children aged four to seven ~ Behaviour in Schools - Safe and Effective Intervention

ScotGovScotland does have a lot of coast - A £70m investment fund to secure Scotland's place at the forefront of the global offshore wind industry was announced last week by First Minister Alex Salmond. 

The National Renewables Infrastructure Fund - to strengthen port & manufacturing facilities and supply chain provision for manufacturing offshore wind turbines & related components - will leverage significant private sector investment in the next 4 years and help deliver an estimated 28,000 jobs and £7.1bn in value to Scotland's economy over the coming decade.

Mr Salmond launched the fund, which is being delivered through a partnership of Scottish Enterprise and Highlands & Islands Enterprise until 2015, at RenewableUK 2010, the wind & marine energy industry body's annual conference & exhibition in Glasgow.
Press release ~ Listen to the First Minister's speech ~ Information about the National Renewable Infrastructure Fund ~ National Renewables Infrastructure Plan ~ Scottish Enterprise ~ Highlands & Islands Enterprise ~ The Saltire Prize ~ Wave & Tidal Energy: Research, Development and Demonstration Support ~ European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) Ltd ~ Marine Scotland ~ ScotGov – Marine renewable energy ~ Scotland's Energy Future ~ Siadar wave energy station ~ Pelamis wave energy converters ~ Offshore wind energy consultation ~ Current Offshore Wind Activity in Scotland ~ Scotland's Offshore Wind Route Map: Developing Scotland's Offshore Wind Industry to 2020

MoDForget 5 November, just remember those we owe so much to on 11 November - Members of 99 Squadron have been raising funds for the Hounds for Heroes charity that aims to match assistance dogs with injured personnelEndal Junior - or EJ - is a highly trained assistance dog and for his owner, Allen Parton, who was severely injured in the first Gulf War, EJ is quite literally a life-saver.

In Mr Parton's words, EJ has given him back a quality of life after losing the use of his legs in an explosion during the war in Iraq: "EJ is able to put a cash card into a cash machine or in a chip and pin machine in a supermarket, he will press the button at traffic lights, post letters for me - and can put me in the recovery position if I collapse, and get help."

He could not write, walk or talk, but through the love of his family (he remarried his wife 4 years ago as he could not remember the original wedding) and EJ, Mr Parton is now raising money to train up more dogs like EJ to help other Service personnel who have been injured.  So inspiring is Mr Parton's story that a best-selling book has been written about it, and a film looks set to be made about his life.

And, at RAF Brize Norton, personnel from 99 Squadron were on hand to give the Hounds for Heroes charity a boost. The charity's initial aim is to raise £100,000 for the purchase, training & support of its first 5 dogs - under its Puppies on Parade Appeal.
Press release ~ Hounds for Heroes charity ~ Photos and related links

Industry News: - Vehicle Tracking Survey 2010 – Uptake Doubles Amongst Fleet Operators The Vehicle Tracking Survey 2010, has revealed a significant uptake of vehicle tracking, with 55% of organisations now using the technology within their fleet operation. This represents a sharp increase from previous research conducted in 2008, which showed a market penetration of around 25%.
In addition, the findings suggest that vehicle tracking has become a valued fleet tool with 96% of operators using the technology stating that it has added benefit to their business. The Survey reports that improving productivity (41%) is the main reason for adopting vehicle tracking. However, fleet operators are achieving a much wider range of benefits from using the technology with reduced costs (77%), increased productivity (64%), added security (52%), and enhanced fleet and employee performance (51%) the most extensively highlighted.
Within the public sector, of the local authorities and utilities questioned, 50% were considering "green band driving" and other eco initiatives, and 75% of respondents have introduced safer driving and duty of care initiatives already.
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