CO: Return of the ‘public servant’? - Modernisation of public services will give people choice & control over the services they use and end the ‘get what you’re given’ culture. People will be ‘given more choice to shape the public services they use, putting control in the hands of individuals and neighbourhoods so everyone can benefit from the best public services available’, the Prime Minister has announced.
Recognising that ‘Whitehall does not know best’, it begins a programme of consultation & engagement over the summer with individuals, communities, public sector staff & providers to ensure that the improvements are both ambitious & practical.
The 5 core principles for modernising public services are:
* Wherever possible Government will increase choice
* Public services should be de-centralised to the lowest appropriate level
* Public services should be open to a range of providers
* Fair access
* Public services should be accountable to users and to taxpayers
The report has identified a wide range of risks to the UK from climate change impacts in other parts of the world, which may have implications for:
* Foreign policy & security
* Resources & infrastructure
* Financial sector & business
* UK’s role on the global stage
The report demonstrates how the UK is closely interconnected with the global economy, and has an important role in addressing risks internationally. It also points to opportunities in business, finance and global leadership.
The project’s evidence base will inform the UK's first Climate Change Risk Assessment (as required by law through the 2008 Climate Change Act) to ensure that the Government’s policy on adaptation to climate change takes appropriate account of international impacts. The Assessment will be published in January 2012.
DfE: Spare the rod, spoil the child? - The Department for Education has published the final guidance for teachers on how they should deal with bad behaviour (slashed from 600 pages to 52). This guidance will be used by schools from the start of the new academic year in September 2011. It will be revised again if the Education Bill is passed.
Behaviour in good schools is not a serious problem, but overall it remains a big concern for parents. Evidence shows there is much to do. For instance:
* Nearly 1,000 children are suspended from school for abuse & assault every school day.
* Persistent disruptive behaviour accounts for nearly a third of all cases of permanent exclusions in secondary schools.
* Major assaults on staff have reached a 5-year high with 44 having to be rushed to hospital with serious injuries last year
* False allegations have been made against 1-in-4 school staff by a pupil. 1-in-6 have had an allegation made by a member of a pupil's family
* Two thirds of teachers say bad behaviour is driving professionals out of the classroom
* 1in 4 children have been bullied at school and 1 in 5 have been victims of bullying outside of school
DfE: A sensible way to monitor statistical results - The Department for Education is changing the definition of ‘persistent absence’ to ‘deal with the reality of pupil absenteeism in schools and its impact on their learning’. Latest figures show that while 184,000 pupils miss 20% of lessons, more than 430,000 pupils miss 15% of lessons a year – the equivalent of having a month off school a year.
Some schools tend to take action to intervene when pupils near the persistently absent threshold, but nearing 20% is too late. Lowering the threshold will ensure that schools take action sooner to deal with absence. Ministers will continue to look at the possibility of further lowering the threshold over time. The new threshold will be published in statistical releases from October 2011 onwards, with the old threshold being published alongside it.
There is also clear evidence of a link between poor attendance at school and low levels of achievement:
* Of pupils who miss more than 50% of school, only 3% manage to achieve 5 A* to Cs including English & maths.
* Of pupils who miss between 10% & 20% of school, only 35% manage to achieve that target
* Of pupils who miss less than five per cent of school, 73 per cent achieve that target
Press release & links ~ DfE: school attendance ~ A guide for parents about school attendance
TfL: Let’s face it, its probably going to be a ‘difficult’ & crowded couple of weeks - Transport for London (TfL) and London 2012 are determined to ensure that businesses can take advantage of the opportunities generated by the Olympics and have announced 2 new programmes to help SMEs & multi-site businesses run smoothly - and minimise any transport challenges - during the 2012 Games.
From August 2011, multi-site companies employing more than 200 people, such as retail outlets, restaurant chains and financial institutions, can receive bespoke advice to help them devise & implement travel action plans for their organisations during the summer of 2012.
Also from next month, and until summer 2012, more than 50 free workshops will be rolled out across the country. These will be for firms with less than 200 employees that are based in areas set to be most impacted by the 2012 Games.
In addition, a new online planning tool has been developed which helps businesses of all sizes think about the key issues that will affect them during the Games. The tool asks a series of questions about staff and business travel, customers, visitors, suppliers and deliveries.
After answering the questions, the travel planning tool provides companies with suggested actions and the considerations they will need to take into account. Any business can start planning now by visiting the website and selecting 'Make your Plan'.
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