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PX: Education may be ring-fenced, but do the policies meet the needs of the most vulnerable? - Policy Exchange recently published a major report into improving education for pupils with Special Educational Needs (SEN) – aimed at driving up standards and helping every child achieve their potential.
The report backs setting up independent panels to gauge what individual needs SEN pupil have – with parents given a guaranteed choice on what type of schooling their child should get.
Just 33.7% of SEN pupils currently reach the expected National Curriculum level in English & Maths compared to 84.6% of pupils with no SEN. Children with SEN are twice as likely to be persistently absent from school and are 8 times as likely to be excluded from school.
MoD: Just where does the frontline start in modern conflicts? - The Ministry of Defence has completed a review into the policy that ‘excludes female members of the Armed Forces from carrying out ground close combat roles’ and decided that it should remain unchanged.
Women play an active part in front line operations, undertaking crucial posts in areas such as logistics, artillery & engineering, but they cannot join the infantry or serve in small tactical combat arms teams where they are required to be in close contact with and kill the enemy face-to-face.
The policy was last reviewed in 2002 and the EC Equal Treatment Directive requires the UK to conduct a reassessment every 8 years. Since 2002, operations in Iraq & Afghanistan have generated considerably more evidence of women serving on the front line to be reviewed.
Newswire – OBR: Let’s face it, economics is hardly an exact science - The Office for Budget Responsibility published its Economic and fiscal outlook recently.
The report also contains an assessment of whether the Government is likely to achieve its fiscal mandate & supplementary target and offers a preliminary view on the long-term sustainability of the public finances.
DH: Improving the NHS, or just another round of musical chairs? - A plan to ‘go further & faster in tackling today’s causes of premature death & illness and reduce health inequalities, with a public health service to make it happen’, was unveiled last week by Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley.
Public Health England (PHE) will be created as a service that ‘gives more power to local people over their health, whilst keeping a firm national grip on crucial population-wide issues such as flu pandemics’.
The White Paper, Healthy Lives, Healthy People also sets out how funding from the overall NHS budget will be ring-fenced for spending on public health – a recognition that prevention is better than cure. Early estimates suggest that current spend on areas that are likely to be the responsibility of PHE could be in the range of £4bn.
“There is a strong case for public sector organisations having to comply with, or explain why they do not comply with, a maximum pay multiple, such as 20:1. This would demonstrate fairness by reassuring public opinion.….
Some of the arms race character of top private sector pay determination is also showing signs of reproducing itself in the public sector.….
Without clear principles there is every prospect of the rise and potentially irrational range in senior pay settlements continuing – which will accentuate already growing concerns about pay fairness…….
The public sector should be cautious about simply adopting ‘best practice’ from the private sector, as private sector pay practices and corporate governance have not delivered proportionality in pay”.
In its Final Report in March 2011, the Fair Pay Review will make detailed recommendations on the definition & implementation of a pay multiple and other elements of a wider fairness framework in the public sector.
Recent white paper
: Countering Advanced Persistant Threats with Cyber Forensics - Just as organized crime has become the main player in commercial hacking, terrorists and malign foreign governments are becominto dog the primary force in attacks on government systems. A recent paper argues that the public sector should invest in cyber forensics.
Many security teams have been caught unawares by recent advances in targeted attacks. Multi stage, multi vector attacks now steal sensitive and classified data, access privileged accounts, and spy on public sector organizations.
Independent analysts IT-Harvest explains the need for new security tactics and rapid response technologies to counter these advanced persistent threats, reaching three conclusions:
1. Advanced persistent threats are a real and present danger to the public sector.
2. Malicious adversaries are evolving increasingly stealthy techniques as they target the public sector and its private sector employers.
3. Government agencies must implement forensics-grade technology to completely eradicate malware and minimize the attack service of their sensitive data.
Click here to receive a free copy of ‘Countering Advanced Persistant Threats with Cyber Forensics’.